World Languages In Grade VII

(Four 50-minute periods per week)

In Grade 7, students choose among the study of French, Mandarin or Spanish.
French I at Shady Hill is a study of the French culture through its language. The four language skills – listening, speaking, reading and writing – are developed concurrently throughout the year through the use of sheltered immersion combined with a mastery approach. Students must demonstrate a high level of competence with any given set of skills before moving on. As a result, by the end of the first trimester, French is well on its way to becoming the primary language of the classroom.

The goals for the first year student are: to develop a broad basic vocabulary surrounding life at home, at school and in the community; to explore the differences between American and French cultures in everyday interactions; to compare and contrast various aspects of basic French and English rules of grammar and forms of verbal expression; to become aware of and increasingly comfortable generating an authentic accent; and ultimately to develop real communicative competencies in the target language.
To further these goals, students engage in a wide range of activities and projects and interact with a broad variety of published and teacher generated materials, including videos, songs, games, realia, art/writing projects and skits.

Spanish I at Shady Hill is an introduction to Hispanic cultures through its language. The four language skills –listening, speaking, reading, and writing – are developed concurrently throughout the year with an emphasis on speaking and listening. By the end of the first trimester, Spanish is well on its way to becoming the primary language of the classroom. During the first year, the focus will be on Chapters 1-4 of the Descubre textbook. With this text, the language is taught in context with numerous supplementary materials that support the development of each skill. The goal in the first year is to provide students with a strong grammatical foundation and a broad range of vocabulary. This will allow them to express themselves in the target language while talking about: everyday activities, life at school and in the community, the family, and pastimes. We will do this through filmed skits, individual family tree projects and verbal presentations. Through the cultural readings and video components of the text, students are able to explore the differences between American and Hispanic cultures in everyday situations. At home students will continue to develop their skills with the Descubre online workbook. With the features of a traditional workbook, students will practice reading and writing skills; additionally, students will practice speaking and listening skills. Many of the activities provide instant feedback. This real-time feature enables students to see which areas need their attention and to work at their own pace.

Mandarin I at Shady Hill is a study of Chinese culture through its language. The four language skills – listening, speaking, reading and writing –are developed concurrently throughout the year through the use of sheltered immersion combined with a mastery approach. Students learn to read and write the simplified character system utilized throughout Mainland China. Additionally, they learn the four tones of Mandarin as well as the Romanization system of pinyin. Students must demonstrate a high level of competence with any given set of skills before moving on. As a result, by the end of the first trimester, Mandarin is well on its way to becoming the primary language of the classroom.

The goals for the first year student are: to develop a broad basic vocabulary surrounding life at home, at school and in the community; to explore the differences and similarities between American and Chinese cultures and the cultural diversity that exists within China and Taiwan; to compare and contrast various aspects of basic Chinese and English rules of grammar and forms of verbal expression; to become aware of and increasingly comfortable generating an authentic accent; and ultimately to develop real communicative competencies in the target language.

To further these goals, students engage in a wide range of activities and projects and interact with a broad variety of published and teacher generated materials, including videos, songs, games, realia, art/writing projects, and skits. Resources include the Chinese in Focus textbook, workbook, online supplemental material, Chinese CDs and films, children’s books, magazine articles, and teacher-generated materials.
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