World Language faculty bring their love of languages to life by creating an atmosphere of challenge, variety, cooperation and hands-on learning experiences. Students of varied learning styles and cultural backgrounds are encouraged to communicate, read, write and understand key elements of their chosen language.
In the French program, reading, speaking, and writing skills are developed using methods such as music, videos, short stories, art, and simple conversations. As they grow in their understanding of French, students are able to read engaging novels and tell their own stories with surprises and drama, using high frequency vocabulary.
Seven Hills believes that speaking and writing come naturally to those who have listened to French over an extended period. For this reason, most of the class time is spent using French to explore topics of interest to students. One of the main instructional methods is “story-asking,” a form of storytelling in which the teacher asks the students to decide what will happen in the story. Stories must be funny and creative, and students understand what the teacher is saying through props, drawings, gestures, and other visuals.
A highlight of our program is the 7th grade trip to France. Students are immersed in French language, history, and culture as they see the sights, are welcomed into French homestays, and work alongside locals on service projects while improving their language skills. We visit Carcassonne, Provence, and Paris.
Sixth grade Spanish students are provided with a solid foundation of the language when they start Middle School. The program includes: developing reading skills, listening in the target language, speaking to increase language proficiency, and writing sentences, small paragraphs and essays.
Seventh graders are provided further language exposure to continue developing their reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills. Grammar and verb usage in present, preterite and imperfect tenses are mastered. Seventh grade Spanish students have an opportunity to travel to Costa Rica in February. The program involves cultural and linguistic immersion, home-stay, service-learning, STEAM, partner school interaction, the exploration of the cloud forest, volcanoes, local flora and fauna, and ocean activities.
Eighth graders are immersed in conversation. Through TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) and other language methodologies, students have the opportunity to speak exclusively in Spanish. Thematic units are used to promote the use of Spanish in real life situations.
Spanish students are exposed to language and culture through an eclectic approach, including:
• Cooperative learning activities
• Online resources
• Language apps
• Cooking traditional dishes in the classroom kitchen
• Videos to develop cultural appreciation
• Dictados to reinforce vocabulary and spelling
• Dancing and singing
• Practice of pronunciation
• Engagement in conversation to individualize instruction
• Verb conjugations
• Guest speakers
• Culture, history and geography of Spanish speaking countries
• Holiday exposure (Día de los Muertos, Navidad, and Cinco de Mayo)
• Essay writing preparation