In order to prepare our students to function effectively in a global community, we offer many opportunities for students to acquire skills in a second language. At Carter G. Woodson Middle School , foreign language classes are offered to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. Sixth graders may be enrolled in a nine week elective course in either French or Spanish. Seventh graders may enroll in French I/Part 1 or Spanish I/Part 1 for the entire year; they will receive a half a high school credit for the year. Then, as 8th graders, students who were enrolled in a Part 1 foreign language class in grade 7 will take the Part 2 class for the entire school year in order to enter the high school with a full year of foreign language credit. In addition, a nine week elective course in either French or Spanish is offered to grade 8 students. All foreign language classes here at Carter G. Woodson follow curriculum that is aligned with state mandated SOLs. Classes for high school credit follow the same curriculum and use the same textbooks as Hopewell High School .
The Carter G. Woodson French Program consists of two main parts. There is a nine-week exploratory class and yearlong French I class. The Exploratory French program for grades sixth, seventh, and eighth discusses French culture and teaches the French language at the introductory level. This program concentrates on the following subjects in the French language:
- The French Alphabet and how it differs in pronunciation from English
- Greetings and Farewells
- Days of the Week and Months of the Year
- Articles of Clothing
- Francophone nations
- Career Opportunities
- Impact that the French language has on the English language
- Economic ties between France and the United States
The second part of the French Program offers seventh and eighth grade students at Carter G. Woodson the opportunity to take French I for high school credit. French I is divided into two parts, with seventh graders taking French I, Part 1 and eighth graders taking French I, Part 2. This gives the students a more in-depth perspective of the language and the culture of France . Upon completion of French I parts 1 and 2, students receive one high school credit and are prepared for further instruction in the French language.
French I consist of more in-depth study of the subjects covered in the shorter, nine-week exploratory class and includes the following additional items:
- The students keep journals in French.
- Compare and Contrast Francophone Countries
- Compare and Contrast France and the United States
- Learn everyday conversational French such as
- Shopping at the mall or grocery store
- Visiting a French speaking country
- Speaking with peers or adults
- Partake in supplementary learning experiences such as:
- Eating in a French restaurant
- Visiting the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to view art of famous French artists
- Attending the French Film Festival in Richmond
- Attending various plays and concerts pertaining to our studies
- Celebrating French holidays such as Mardi Gras.
Spanish I- Parts “1” (Grade 7) and “2” (Grade 8)
The course work for the first level of Spanish, Spanish I, is spread over two years at the middle school. Seventh grade students are enrolled in Spanish I/Part 1, and grade 8 students are enrolled in Spanish I/Part 2. These courses are designed to provide students with in-depth, sequential learning and necessary repetition in order to begin to develop the four basic skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing that are necessary to continue a course of study in Spanish at the high school and beyond. Students will be able to read and write short descriptive and informative paragraphs and to orally communicate and comprehend in specific situations such as:
- greeting others appropriately
- identifying themselves and others (by name and sometimes by profession)
- spelling names aloud
- exchanging phone numbers
- expressing origin (where they and others are from)
- expressing likes and dislikes
- describing appearance, features, personality, and clothing (including colors)
- identifying the relationships between family members
- expressing calendar dates and birthdays
- describing their classes, school, and school schedule
- identifying locations within a school building
- talking about daily life, such as meals and appointments
- asking and expressing clock time and “at what time” an event takes place
- asking and expressing location (“where”) and destination (“to where”)
- asking questions using interrogative words (Who?, What?, Which?, When?, At what time?, Where?, To where?, How?, Why?, How many?)
In addition to studying the geographical locations of Spanish-speaking countries, some aspects of Hispanic culture such as holidays, music, and the quinceañera are also studied. The curriculum is aligned with state-mandated SOLs. It is recommended that students enrolling in the first level of a foreign language for high school credit have at least a “B” average in English and mathematics. In order to be successful in a high school level foreign language course, students must have good analytical ability, be mature and responsible, and possess excellent study habits.
Elective Spanish, Grade 6
The course work for the nine week elective course in Spanish for sixth grade students includes learning select Spanish greetings, forms of address, farewells, and expressions of courtesy; learning to spell aloud with, and to take dictation of, words spelled with the letters of the Spanish alphabet; identifying words in the English language that are of Spanish origin; counting with cardinal numbers; the Spanish names of classroom objects; and the Spanish words for colors. The curriculum is aligned with state-mandated SOLs.