In Pre-K through grade 6, Spanish takes an exploratory approach; students are exposed to the sounds of the language, basic vocabulary which keeps building with every subsequent grade, and cultural practices and traditions.
At the Middle School level, students learn to understand language and to express their own messages to communicate real ideas for real purposes. Students gain a novice level proficiency through vocabulary/grammar, listening, reading and writing activities. They also learn about the countries where Spanish is the main language, using materials authentic to those countries to facilitate this process. Instruction follows the guidelines set forth by the Standards for Foreign Language Learning -- to help students develop competencies in Communication, Culture, Connections to other disciplines, Comparisons between primary language and Spanish and Communities outside the classroom.
This level of preparation in middle school facilitates entry into Spanish Level 2 upon entering high school. Students graduating eighth grade and planning to continue with Spanish in high school have a high success rate of placing out of Spanish 1 and therefore directly entering Spanish 2 in 9th grade.
By building a solid foundation and early exposure to another language, students are encouraged to become lifelong learners.