Mabry has a very strong foreign language study program, offering Spanish, French, German and Latin. The first year of study concentrates on the learner acquisition of basic oral, written, listening and reading skills and comprehension. The German and Latin programs of study are offered before school. The Spanish and French courses are offered during the normal school day. All language courses are the full first year of language study from the high school. Therefore, these are rigorous high school courses being offered in middle school.
The typical topics covered in beginning language study are greetings, expressing emotions, making requests, asking and giving basic directions, and asking and responding to questions regarding basic topics such as self, family, school, daily activities, weather, etc. Practice allows students to develop proficiency with respect to proper pronunciation, intonation and writing mechanics. Through the study of culturally authentic materials, students learn to interpret verbal and non-verbal cues to understand simple messages in the target language.
Study of the target culture allows students to understand the customs and traditions of other people and to make connections and comparisons between the target culture and the native culture. At Mabry, foreign language teachers use a variety of realia including, but not limited to dialogues, skits, poetry and songs to teach language construction and to pass on to students more about the targeted cultures.
posted on: June 10, 2005