Spotlight on Spanish
From political art to Magdalena Culture Club and flamenco, Mrs N Rosado talks us through Spanish at Blackheath High School.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a graduate with honours from Malaga University in Spanish and English linguistics where I also completed a postgraduate course in Education. Over the course of my career, I have been lucky enough to teach all ages, from reception to teachers and trainee teachers from Goldsmiths University. I have been Head of Spanish at Blackheath High School for five years now.
In Spain, I studied the international Baccalaureate, humanities options. This is where my love of languages, literature, history and arts started. My double honours degree (a 5-year degree) combined Spanish, German and English. This broad education has enabled me to have a wider knowledge of my subjects and a strong background in History and Art. This year, I am also teaching two enrichment courses which are very close to my heart: Spanish Through Art, as a CLIT course to enhance language acquisition in Year 8 and in Year 10, The Politics of Art, which studies the most important expressions of political art in the Twentieth Century, from Picasso’s Guernica ad Nazi propaganda to Diego Ribera’s communist murals and even Banksy and graffiti in the USA.
Tell us about Spanish at Blackheath High School.
Spanish is taught from Year 8 to Year 13. The recent changes at GCSE and A-Level teaching prepares students more thoroughly and enables them to become more proficient and ready for further education. At Blackheath High School, Spanish continues to grow and is the most popular language at GCSE now.
What are the benefits of studying this Spanish?
Spanish is a global language. It is the third most spoken language in the world and the most spoken language in the Americas. It is the official (or co-official) language in Spain, most countries in Central and South America, and several Caribbean countries too. It is a useful language to know when doing business with Spanish or Latin American firms, and a great way to strengthen your CV and improve your career prospects. In the United States alone, there are over 50 million people who speak Spanish as their native or second language.
Spanish is considered one of the easiest languages for a native English speaker to learn. The grammar and pronunciation are different from English, but simpler and more consistent. Because English acquired almost 30% of its vocabulary from Latin, you will immediately recognize and understand many Spanish words that share the same roots. You can communicate a lot with simple grammar, so even before you have reached a high level of comprehension you will be able to communicate and express yourself.
What are the benefits of studying Spanish at Blackheath High School?
At Blackheath High School, Spanish enhances the learning of the students especially thanks to the strong Hispanic element of two of our enrichment courses. Once a month, we also bring together our many Spanish native speakers with GCSE and A-Level students in our Magdalena Culture Club. Every year, we run a cultural workshop in October and have 10 bursaries for a study trip to Valladolid in Spain.
Is there a particular aspect of the course that students tend to enjoy?
Learning to dance salsa or flamenco, make piñatas, sing in Spanish (karaoke), make Gaudi style mosaics or carnival masks… the list is endless!