The Horseheads Central School District believes that the study of a second language prepares the student to function in a multicultural world where the Internet and globalization make language study a necessity. Students can choose to take French or Spanish beginning in their seventh-grade year.
Level IA is offered in both languages in Grade 7. This is a beginning level language course. This course addresses the New York State Languages Other than English Standards of Communication and Cultural Understanding.
Students learn the alphabet, numbers, days of the week, months of the year, weather expressions, and other basic vocabulary, expressions, and basic grammatical structures such as the conjugation of present tense verbs. Students learn to provide and obtain information and to socialize about everyday topics such as family, meals, and leisure activities. They learn to listen to and read brief messages and advertisements for basic information, and they learn to initiate and engage in very basic dialogues about themselves and their family. Students also learn to write short compositions about familiar topics.
Students learn where the target language is spoken as well as basic geography of the countries. They also learn about holidays and festivals celebrated in the countries.
Level IB is offered in both languages in Grade 8. This course continues to address the New York State standards. At the end of the course, students take the New York State Second Language Proficiency Exam, which includes speaking (interviews with the teacher), listening, reading, and writing.
In Level IB, students learn how to provide and obtain information about topics such as shopping, the house, body parts and illnesses, and travel. They also continue with basic verb conjugations and are introduced to some irregular verbs. Students practice the four communication skills of listening, reading, speaking, and writing in the language. Students engage in basic conversations about familiar topics, and they listen to and read authentic materials from the target culture.
Students compare and contrast cultural norms between the USA and the target language culture.
Upon successful completion of Level IB in Grade 8, students are placed in Level II in Grade 9 in order to meet state and local requirements for graduation.
Students are evaluated in a variety of ways, including regular quizzes on vocabulary and grammar and unit exams that include listening, reading, writing, and culture upon completion of a topic. Students are also evaluated on their speaking skills through one-on-one interviews with the teacher as well as online interviews.
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