Middle School World Languages

All students except for English Language Learners (ELLs) take a world language at JW. In the spring of 5th grade students choose to either begin French in 6th grade or continue with Spanish. The curriculum for each course comprises several standards based thematic units and the linguistic goal for spring of 8th grade is Intermediate Low on the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. Below is a description of an Intermediate Low speaker.

Speakers can successfully handle a limited number of uncomplicated communicative tasks by creating with the language in straightforward social situations.  Conversation is restricted to some of the concrete exchanges and predictable topics necessary for survival in the target language culture.  These topics relate to basic personal information covering, for example, self and family, some daily activities and personal preferences, as well as to some immediate needs, such as ordering food and making simple purchases.  At this level, speakers are primarily reactive and struggle to answer direct questions or requests for information, but they are also able to ask a few appropriate questions.  These speakers express personal meaning by combining and recombining into short statements what they know and what they hear from their interlocutors.  Their utterances are often filled with hesitancy and inaccuracies as they search for appropriate linguistic forms and vocabulary while attempting to give form to the message.  Their speech is characterized by frequent pauses, ineffective reformulations and self-corrections.  Their pronunciation, vocabulary and syntax are strongly influenced by their first language, but, in spite of frequent misunderstandings that require repetition or rephrasing, they can generally be understood by sympathetic interlocutors, particularly those accustomed to dealing with non-natives.
Below are the thematic units for Spanish and French. Most are posed as questions and the duration of units varies in length from three weeks to three months. Language function drives the units that also include culture and authentic text. The classes are student-centered and are conducted in the target language.


Grade 6 Units
  • ¿Por qué nos interesa Segovia? - La nina de Segovia y su ciudad (La niña de Segovia and her city)
  • ¿Por qué me gusta mi casa?  - ¿Cómo es mi casa y qué hago en casa? (What's my home like and what do I do there?)
  • ¿Qué hago en mi escuela? - ¿Cómo es mi escuela? (What's my school like?)
Grade 7 Units
  • ¿Qué son mis responsabilidades en casa y en mi escuela? - ¿Por qué tengo quehaceres y qué son? (Why do I have chores and responsibilities and what are they?)
  • ¿Cómo es mi comunidad y cómo puedo ser responsable para cuidarla? - ¿Qué puedo y qué debo hacer para ser buen miembro de mi comunidad? (What can I and what should I do to be a good member of my community?)
Grade 8 Units
  • El mundo dentro de mi clase - ¿Cómo es? (What's the world of my classroom like?)
  • Las islas Galápagos - ¿Qué tienen de especial estas islas? (What's special about these islands?)
  • Las leyendas mexicanas - ¿Qué es una leyenda y qué nos explican? (What's are legends and what do they tell us?)
  • Lecciones del pasado - ¿Cómo voy a contarlas? (How am I going to talk about events of the past?)


Grade 6 Units
  • La Rentrée – Comment est –ce que je peu communiquer dans ma classe de Français avec ma classe et mes copains? (How can I communicate with my classmates in French class?)
  • Moi, Ma Famille et Mes Activités – Comment es- que je parle de les choses très importantes pour moi? (How can I talk about things that are important to me?)
  • La Nourriture - Qu’est-ce que je voudrais manger chez moi et au restaurant? (What would I like to eat at home and in a restaurant?)
  • Les Cajuns et le Mardi Gras: En Haut La Terre, En Bas La Terre – Qui sont Compère Bouki et Lapin? (Who are the characters Compère Bouki and Lapin in Cajun folklore?)
  • Les Animaux: Bon Appétit M. Lapin – Comment son les animaux que j’aime? (How can I talk about the animals that I like?)
Grade 7 Units
  • Ma famille, mes amis, et moi -- Comment sont les gens importants dans ma vie? (What are the people who are important to me like?)
  • Nos affaires -- Quelles affaires importantes est-ce qu'on a et pourquoi? (What do I have that are important to me and why are they important?)
  • Ma ville -- Comment est ma ville et qu'est-ce qu'il y a dans ma ville?  Où est-ce qu'on va dans ma ville? Quelles sont des similarités et des différences entre les villes et les villages français et les villes et villages américains? (What’s my town like? Where can I go in town? What are similarities and differences between towns in France and those in the US?)
  • Chez moi -- Comment est ma maison/mon appartement?  Qu'est-ce que je fais chez moi? (What's my home like? What do I do there?)
  • Paris -- Qu'est-ce qu'il y a à Paris?  Quels sont les endroits les plus importants et populaires à Paris? (What are the most important and popular places in Paris?)
  • Le shopping et les vêtements -- Qu'est-ce qu'on porte et où est-ce qu'on achète des vêtements? (What do you wear for various occasions and where do you go shopping for clothes?)
Grade 8 Units
  • Québec - Où est Québec (province et ville), quelle est son histoire et pourquoi est-ce que l'on y parle français et anglais? (Where is Quebec, what is its history and why do they speak French and English there?)
  • Les Canadiens et leurs legendes - Quelle est l'importance de la culture autochtone (amérindienne)? (Why is the Amerindian culture important in Canada?)
  • L’Ours et Milo et Otis - Comment est-ce que je peux parler de la nature nord-américaine?  Comment est-ce que je peux raconter des événements du présent et du passé?   Comment est-ce que je peux dire ce qui va se passer dans le futur proche? (How can I talk about the North American natural world? How can I narrate in the present, past, and near future?)
  • La nourriture- Comment est-ce que je dois choisir ce que je veux manger?  Comment est-ce que je peux exprimer mes désirs culinaires?  Comment est-ce que l'on mange en France et comment est-ce que c'est différent d'ici?  ? (How should I choose what I am going to eat? What differences exist in how France and the US think about food and eating? How can I express what I want to eat? What should I do to prepare for my trip? How can I talk about personal hygiene?)
  • Que dois-je faire pour me préparer pour ma journée?  Comment est-ce que je peux parler de l'hygiène personnelle? (How should I choose what I am going to eat? What differences exist in how France and the US think about food and eating? How can I express what I want to eat? What should I do to prepare for my trip? How can I talk about personal hygiene?)
  • Un feuilleton mélo - Comment est-ce que je peux parler de mes relations personnelles? (How can I use to talk about personal relationships?