A Three-Tiered Approach to Learning a World Language
Learning a World Language is an exciting venture for students in the GRACE school system. Instruction begins in the primary grades and in some cases, early childhood! Classes in the primary grades focus on basic vocabulary. As students progress through the grades, the grammar concepts of the language are introduced. In middle school, students begin to put all the individual threads into a basic tapestry as a foundation of their developing language mastery.
Learning a second language involves a three-tiered approach. Along with speaking the language, students develop skills in reading and writing in the focus language.
Middle school students at St. John the Baptist School are assessed at the conclusion of each chapter. They will complete the chapter test which stresses vocabulary and grammar concepts.
Their second assessment is an oral assessment. In sixth and seventh grades, they will work with a partner and are given a script in English. After 10 minutes of practice, they will take their English script and present the conversation to the class in Spanish. The oral assessment reaches its climax in eighth grade where students are given a scenario and immediately act out that scenario in Spanish.
The final assessment is a written assessment. In sixth and seventh grades, students are constantly writing sentences using assigned verbs and the chapter content. The seventh graders will slowly work their way up to writing a well-developed paragraph and a simple essay. In eighth grade, they are assigned a chapter essay. By the end of the year, students will be writing essays of 250 words.
Using this three-tiered approach to learning a second language has proven to be very beneficial in preparing students for continuation of their foreign language study in high school.
Contributed by Ms. Gayle Fritsch, Middle School Spanish
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