GRADE EIGHT WORLD LANGUAGE
Eighth grade students at Daniel Wright participate in Spanish language classes daily. The curriculum addresses each of the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages — communication, cultures, connections, comparisons and community. The current middle school program is in process of revision as students arrive from K-6 with increasing levels of proficiency in Spanish. The middle school program continues to develop skills in each mode of communication – interpretive, interpersonal and presentational with the intent of developing the skills that students will need to articulate to a high school language program. Students who successfully complete the K-8 program of language study will place into level 2 high school classes allowing them sufficient time in their high school program to complete the AP Spanish Culture and Language course.
Spanish classes focus on communication and cultural awareness. Students learn to speak, listen, read, and write through paired practice, small group work, and role-plays. Emphasis is placed upon being able to use language in meaningful, real-life situations. The focus is on what students can do with the language and languages classes are taught almost entirely in Spanish. By the end of the year, students will have been introduced to skills, knowledge, and attitudes that will help them live and work in an increasingly global society.
Performance Goals – Novice High/Intermediate Low
By the end of eighth grade, students will be able to communicate using sentences and strings of sentences on familiar topics. They will understand the Spanish that their teacher uses when speaking about familiar topics, but will also begin to understand the main ideas of authentic written texts or conversations with short, simple messages that focus on familiar topics. They will be able to handle short social interactions by asking and answering questions.
Unit 1: Daily Routines
Essential Question: What is an ideal schedule?
Students will consider their daily schedules throughout the week and will compare their routines to those of others around the world. They will then be able to prepare a presentation that shares an ideal daily schedule, one that takes into account the things they must do as well as the activities that are important to them.
Unit 2: Family and Memories
Essential Question: What is family? How do we remember others?
Students will talk about their relationships and will be able to say why family and pets are important. They will describe the physical and personal characteristics of their family, and pets. They will talk about what they do with their families commenting on family celebrations focusing on how all cultures have traditions such as Day of the Dead to honor the memory of loved ones.
Unit 3: Dining Out
Essential Question: What role does food play in our lives?
Students will continue to explore the culinary world of the target culture. They will be able to order and discuss meals in restaurants. They will consider just how adventurous they are willing to be as they select culinary experiences that are of interest to them. They will consider the role of tapas in Spanish culture and will have the chance to prepare and sample various tapas.
Unit 3: Housing and Shelter
Essential Question: What is a home? What role do you play in your home?
They will talk about their home and where they live and compare their homes to those of others in the target culture. They will look at images of houses and bedrooms of children around the world and comment on similarities and differences. They will also consider the role they play in their families and communities commenting on how they demonstrate responsibility to others.
Unit 4: Clothing Makes the Man
Essential Question: What does clothing say about who we are?
Students will discuss their habits as consumers. They will inventory their favorite possessions and discuss their shopping habits — favorite brands, where items are made, where they shop and what influences their decision to purchase an item. They will comment on fashion trends in different cultures.
Unit 5: Vacation Time – Destination Galápagos
Essential Question: What is an ideal vacation?
Students will take a virtual trip to the Galápagos Islands as they consider a variety of vacation experiences and decide what makes for a great vacation destination. They will begin by completing a survey to determine their ideal vacation in terms of locations, weather and activities. Working in small groups they will use that data to comment on past vacations and compare their habits to those of the target culture. They will pick an ideal vacation destination where the target language is spoken and will comment on where they went and what they did there. They will also work in small groups to give an overview of a vacation they took to the Galápagos and will attempt to convince others that their experience was the best one. Finally, they will consider the benefits of ecotourism for destinations like the Galápagos.