The primary objective of the grades 7 and 8 Foreign Language curriculum is to prepare students to communicate meaningfully with others in Mandarin Chinese, French or Spanish about topics and ideas that are relevant to their own personal interests. Students are encouraged to use the target language throughout the class in collaborative and interactive student-centered activities. Students develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills throughout the curriculum. In addition, by using critical thinking skills to make global cross-cultural comparisons, students are encouraged to develop a respect for and an understanding of diverse cultures. Use of technology is an important part of our foreign language curriculum. Through its use, students will participate in interactive activities that strengthen their communication skills and cultural awareness.
Acquiring proficiency in a foreign language requires many years of studying the same language. As students begin the two-year program in Grade 7, they make a commitment to study either Mandarin Chinese, French or Spanish. Students who successfully complete the Middle School program will be eligible to take Mandarin Chinese, French II or Spanish II in high school.
The Grade 7 Mandarin Chinese IA, French IA or Spanish IA curricula provide students with practice in the development of all four language skills. Students will develop listening and oral communication skills by interacting with the teacher and with other classmates. They will ask and respond to questions about relevant topics such as pastimes, sports, school, foods and beverages, and family and places in the community. Students will develop reading skills by scanning authentic materials for cognates and context clues. Students will also read brief passages that are thematically linked to units in the curriculum. They will develop writing skills by writing simple sentences about what they have learned. Students will write responses to questions or invitations, categorically arranged vocabulary lists, and simple paragraphs about themes in the curriculum.
Emphasis is placed on the development of student awareness of Mandarin Chinese-speaking, French-speaking and Spanish- speaking cultures. Throughout the curriculum, discussion of the daily lives and customs of people in the various Chinese, Francophone and Spanish-speaking cultures enhances understanding and appreciation of the Mandarin Chinese, French and Spanish languages.
Mandarin Chinese IA Curriculum Units and Learning Outcomes:
French IA Curriculum Units and Learning Outcomes:
Spanish 1A Curriculum Units and Learning Outcomes:
The Mandarin Chinese IB, French IB or Spanish IB curricula in grade 8 build upon what has been learned in grade 7 and provide students with further reinforcement in the development of all four language skills as well as further opportunities to develop cultural awareness. Through student centered activities, students strengthen listening and oral communication skills by engaging in conversations about relevant topics such as family, homes and household chores, shopping, and planning vacations. They will ask for and express opinions, give and follow directions, accept and decline requests, and provide and obtain information about their daily lives and the lives of people in other cultures.
Students further develop reading strategies by identifying the main ideas in authentic materials and short reading selections in the target language. Writing skills are reinforced as students develop strategies and techniques that will enable them to perform real-life tasks. They will write short pieces such as letters, descriptive paragraphs and dialogues.
Awareness and appreciation of Chinese-speaking, French-speaking and Spanish-speaking cultures is further emphasized in the grade 8 curriculum. Through discussions of information that present different cultural perspectives, students are encouraged to use critical thinking skills to make cultural observations and comparisons.