The mission of our middle school Spanish program is to provide students with the communication skills to understand and connect with other world cultures and communities and to develop functional oral and written communication skills and an understanding and appreciation of other cultural perspectives and practices.
Our students come to understand that
- language is at the core of all human interaction
- language (whether native or foreign) is an important instrument for knowledge, communication, understanding, and achievement in our interconnected global society
- language learning fosters cross-cultural understanding; decreasing ethnocentric views
Our curriculum focuses on five guiding principles aligned with national standards:
1. Communication: Using knowledge and language skills for functional communication
– Students will understand that language is a multi-layered system of communication
– Speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills are developed by using the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes of communication
– Language learning involves taking risks
– The audience for which the language is used is an important consideration when learning a language
2. Cultures: Students gain knowledge of other cultural perspectives and practices when engaged in language study.
– Culture shapes how we see ourselves, others, and the world
– Culture and language are inseparable
– Knowledge of culture drives meaningful communication.
– The perspective, practices, and products of a people define their culture
– Culture and language are interrelated and influence how people behave
– Culture and language evolve – bound by people, time, and place
3. Connections: Proficient users of another language other than their native language have the ability to access a broader knowledge of other disciplines, a wide range of learning strategies and experiences, and a deeper knowledge of linguistic and cultural similarities and differences.
– Language learning offers opportunities to uncover big ideas in and about other disciplines
– Strategies used to learn another language can be transferred to other areas of learning
4. Comparisons: You can gain new insights about oneself and others by comparing and contrasting target languages and cultures.
5. Communities: Proficiency in other languages enriches experiences and prepares one to participate more fully as a citizen in our global society; particularly in multilingual communities.