Middle School World Language Department
Philosophy: The World Language Department emphasizes proficiency in the four communicative skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, as well as awareness of the differences between native and target cultures. Students in the Intermediate and Middle Schools receive exposure to cultural distinctions and learn models for basic communication. Students in the Upper School strengthen proficiency skills through the formal study of vocabulary, grammar, and syntax. Advanced students expand their communicative skills to include reading comprehension of literary texts and writing exercises designed to encourage individual expression. Aspects of contemporary life in the target culture provide a thematic schema for this process. In the two-year Latin program, students learn to read Latin and to apply knowledge of vocabulary and grammar for understanding English today. Elements of Roman history and culture offer enrichment. Rosetta Stone is used as a lab component in Upper School courses to enrich the student’s communication skills.
The curriculum for Spanish 6 introduces the student to the particulars of the Spanish language. By looking at principles of sentence structure, verb conjugations, and parts of speech, students gain valuable skills for success in Latin I and in modern language study at the high school level. This success-oriented course will include age- and skill-appropriate activities designed to enhance students’ understanding of Spanish culture and the importance of global communication skills. The text used for the course is Spanish Is Fun by Amsco. FRENCH 6
In the sixth grade, the students will start their exposure to the French language and culture. Using a variety of media, they will study the alphabet, the numbers, greetings, and some foods in French. They will also learn some basic vocabulary words and grammar rules.FRENCH 7
Foreign language students in the middle school learn beginning skills for successful second language acquisition at the high school level and gain insights for becoming better citizens in a multicultural world. This success-oriented course includes age- and skill-appropriate activities that focus on process rather than memorization of content. The curriculum is organized around meaningful themes related to student life. Teaching strategies are student-centered and include vocabulary games, technology activities, role-play, cooking, art, and music. The text used for this course is Discovering French Bleu, Première Partie.
Required for all seventh graders, this semester course includes the study of basic vocabulary and grammar, conjugation of verbs in four tenses in the active voice, declension of nouns and adjectives of the first three declensions, and the reading and translation of passages in simple Latin. Emphasis is placed on Latin used in English today and on modern derivatives from Latin roots and prefixes. A survey of Roman culture includes lessons on classical mythology, Roman history, and daily life in the ancient world. Cultural units include Roman sports and entertainment, festivals, the house, family life, and meals. A “Roman Day” in the spring allows students to actively participate in several aspects of Roman culture. The testing program features vocabulary quizzes 1-2 times per week. Chapter tests assess skill mastery in vocabulary, grammar structures, and translation. LATIN II
Required for all eighth graders, this semester course concentrates on extending the study of verbs, nouns, and grammar begun in Latin I. Grammar study expands to include thorough understanding of participles, infinitives, fourth and fifth declension nouns, personal, relative, and interrogative pronouns, and irregular and comparative adjectives, as well as basic subjunctive tenses and uses. Emphasis is placed on reading Latin passages taken from ancient authors. Study continues to focus on etymology of English words derived from Latin, and cultural themes include Roman history, art and civilization, and famous people from this period. The basic text is Wheelock’s Latin. The testing program differs from the format established in Latin I in that the text is composed of numerous short chapters. The students have a weekly vocabulary quiz and a weekly grammar quiz on each short chapter, with no major tests.
**Eighth grade students who meet requirements may advance to French I or Spanish I**
French I 500
This course equips students with basic tools for second language acquisition. Daily practice in the primary skills of communication--listening, speaking, reading, and writing--fosters understanding of French vocabulary, grammar, and syntax. Cultural activities highlight the similarities and differences between French and American life. In addition to traditional methods and resources which are used by the teacher, Rosetta Stone gives students an invaluable tool to strengthen those fundamental communication skills. Chapter tests assess listening, reading and writing skills.
Spanish I 504, *531
This course introduces the student to the concept of studying a foreign language and to basic Spanish grammar. Vocabulary drawn from everyday life is enhanced through idiomatic study in an effort to highlight cultural differences. All four communicative skills—listening, speaking, reading, and writing—receive equal attention. In addition to traditional methods and resources which are used by the teacher, Rosetta Stone gives students an invaluable tool to strengthen those fundamental communication skills.