Heritage Language Programs - Spanish

Cross Keys High School Spanish for Native Speakers

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Address: 1626 N. Druid Hills Rd., Atlanta, GA 30319

Telephone: 678-874-6102

Contact person

Name: Ada Aleman

Title: Chairperson World Languages Department

Address: 1626 N. Druid Hills Rd. Atlanta, GA. 30319

Email: ada_m_aleman@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us

Telephone: 678-874-6102

Languages/dialects taught: Spanish

Grades taught: 9-12

Program Description

Purposes and goals of the program: The purpose of our program is to enrich the linguistic and cultural experience of our native Spanish speakers. Students who take our courses come from varied backgrounds and levels. They are challenged to achieve a high level of proficiency in Spanish and to go on to take the Advanced Placement Spanish Language course and the Advanced Placement Spanish test in Literature. It is also our goal to instill in students a feeling of pride for Latino heritage.

Type of program: Students who take Spanish for Native Speakers I and II, improve in all four language skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking). In these two courses they become familiar with Spanish and Latin American history, culture, and literature. We encourage students to take the AP Spanish Language and Literature course. Many of them continue to pursue this program. In 2008 we had 17 students take the AP Spanish Language Exam: 9 scored a perfect 5, 7 scored 4, and only student did not receive university credit.

Program origin: The program was founded in the fall of 1997.


Parents’ expectations for the program: Parents hope that their children will maintain their language and culture.


Instructors’ and administration’s expectations for the program: Students improve their bilingual skills.


Students: Of the 898 total student enrollment, 68% is made up of native Spanish speakers. Most of our Spanish heritage speakers are first-generation immigrants, who have been in the country two or more years. We have a small percentage of second-generation immigrants. The program’s largest population of students comes from Mexico. The second largest are native to Central American countries. We also have a small group of students who come from Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia.

How the program identifies heritage speakers: We interview students and give all students a placement test to determine their language proficiency.

Students’ expectations of the program: Students hope to improve their Spanish language skills and become bilingual, so that they can obtain better jobs.


Number of instructors in the program: 2

Languages in which instructors are proficient: Spanish, English, French

Professional development opportunities instructors have: DeKalb County offers many opportunities for professional development during the school year and in the summer. AP teachers attend summer institutes.


Total contact hours per week: 7.5 hours per week, 5 days per week

Student grouping: Spanish Native Speakers I for beginning level, Spanish Native Speakers II for Intermediate, AP Spanish Language and AP Spanish Literature for Advanced levels.

Time devoted to teaching language: 45 minutes a day on average

Time devoted to teaching culture: 45 minutes a day on average

Language skills

Heritage language skills: Listening, speaking, reading, writing, translating, and interpreting skills


Aspects of culture taught: Geography, history, customs, arts, dance, traditions, festivals


Methodologies and instructional strategies used in the program: Standards-based education, SIOP strategies, differentiated learning strategies


Title, year, and the publisher of the textbook series used: El Lenguage que Heredamos (Wiley 2005), Tu Mundo (McDougal Litell), Nuestro Mundo (McDougal Littel), Album, Sorpresas (Thomson Heinle).

Other materials used for instruction: Abriendo Puertas, Triángulo (Wayside Publishing), Radio Naciones Unidas online, RTVE.ES online Video of News programs

Technology used for instruction: Students use the computer lab and an LCD projector connected to video, VCR, DVD, and computers


Assessments used to evaluate students’ progress: Weekly quizzes, chapter tests, mid-term tests, Rinal exams, student self-assessment instrument, teacher observations, performance-based tasks or assessment, and portfolios


How the program develops home/school connections or promotes parent involvement: Sequoyah Middle School is the feeder school.

Other support the program receives: Students receive Carnegie Units for World Languages requirements. Students in AP Spanish Language receive college credit if they score a 3 or above on the AP exams.

Financial support the program receives: US government, local, state government

Other support the program receives: Junior Achievement has a Latino Initiative program in place, and they offer job shadow programs and field trips to our student population.

Assistance or funding the program would like to receive: Scholarships for Latino students

Special challenges

Challenges the program has experienced: Parental involvement is very low at our school:

• Students are placed in ESOL programs that take up their entire class schedule, and this does not allow them to take Spanish for Native Speakers classes.
• Because we only have two teachers and a limited number of class, some students are placed in French classes for their language requirements.

Insights: Our Spanish Native Speakers students realize that maintaining their language and culture is an asset in a global community. They become aware that being bilingual is a valuable tool for their success.

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