Friday, January 25, 2013

Costa Rica Homestay & Adventure Trip!

The Costa Rica trip is back for the 2013-2014 school year! During February vacation, Ms. Bassett and Ms. Toro will lead a group of 18 Spanish students to Atenas, Costa Rica. We will be using the company Sol Abroad to help with travel arrangements ( 

Students will travel to Costa Rica's Pacific coast and visit one of its most famous national parks, white-water raft down the Rio Savegre, zipline in Arenal, and realax in the hot springs of La Fortuna. Half of this tour will be spent in the small town of Atenas, where students will attend language classes, play soccer and take salsa lessons with the locals, and perfect their cooking skills with their host mothers. Preference will be given to rising juniors and seniors who are enrolled in Spanish during the 2013-2014 school year.

Please see Ms. Basset for the initial itinerary with pricing. Enrollment will begin on February 4th. Students must deliver the "student enrollment sheet" and a check to Ms. Basset in room 508 to sign up.

There will be an information session for students on Tuesday, January 30, at 2:35 in Ms. Bassett's room. Please come to find out more about this exciting trip!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Are you entering the high school next year?

Many parents and students often wonder what the requirements are for the high school. If you or your child will be coming in as a freshman to Arlington High School next year, you will soon be asked to make your course selections. Teachers are an important part of this process, as they can advise students on the appropriate level of the course they should take (Honors? Curriculum A?). You should definitely consult with your teacher before making any course selections. The following is a general guideline for what to expect from your language courses in the high school:

World Language Requirements at Arlington High School:
Students at the high school level are required to take two years of the same language in order to meet the graduation requirement. Students are encouraged to continue with the language they are studying in the middle school. Teachers will make recommendations as to the level, but most students will be recommended for either level 2 Honors or 2 Curriculum A (see placement criteria). Students who are not currently studying a language in the middle school should choose to enter level 1 of any of the five languages offered at the high school: French, Italian, Latin, Mandarin, or Spanish. All students have the option of choosing an additional language as an elective.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Program of Studies, 2013-2014

The revised program of studies for the World Language department at AHS is now available HERE.

We continue to offer French, Latin, Mandarin, and Spanish, but are announcing three new course offerings for the 2013-2014 school year:
  • Italian 1: This is an introductory course designed for first-year students with little or no background in Italian. This course aims to develop basic proficiency in aural understanding, speaking, reading, and writing. Pair and group activities will provide students with ample opportunities to use the target language in different settings and contexts. Cultural awareness will be stressed through videos, on-location video footage of native speakers, readings and projects. Upon successful completion of this course, students may move either to Italian 2A or Italian 2H, pending grades and teacher recommendation. *Students have the option of earning Honors Credit through more challenging research and project work.
  • Latin Language & Culture 1A & 1B: This course and Latin Language and Culture 1B will offer students the opportunity to explore cultural topics in depth while following the Latin 1 syllabus at a slower pace. A wide variety of activities will be used to teach and reinforce Latin grammar and vocabulary, as well as English prefixes and roots derived from Latin. Students use the knowledge of Latin vocabulary to broaden their English vocabulary base, and improve their literacy skills in English. Students will be encouraged to select both courses. Enrollment in this course requires the approval of the Director of World Languages.
  • Spanish for Heritage Speakers/Español para Hispanohablantes: This course addresses the needs of students who have grown up in a home where the dominant language spoken is Spanish. These students may understand the language and speak it at different levels. Students will have the opportunity to work with native or bilingual speakers in order to improve or strengthen all skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. There will be a particular emphasis on developing literacy in Spanish. Heritage speakers will acquire the necessary requirements to enter upper level and AP Spanish courses. *Students have the option of earning Honors Credit through more challenging research and project work.

    Este curso responde a las necesidades de los estudiantes que han crecido en un hogar donde la lengua dominante hablada es el español. Puede que estos estudiantes entiendan el idioma y lo hablen en diferentes niveles. Los estudiantes tendrán la oportunidad de trabajar con hablantes nativos o bilingües con el fin de mejorar o fortalecer todas las habilidades: escuchando, hablando, leyendo y escribiendo. Habrá un énfasis especial en el desarrollo de la alfabetización en español. Los hablantes de lengua heredada adquirirán los requisitos necesarios para entrar en niveles superiores y el curso de Español AP. *Los estudiantes tienen la opción de obtener “Honors Credit” por hacer investigaciones exigentes y otros proyectos.
We will continue to offer the following language courses online through the Brigham Young University Independent Study program: Arabic, American Sign Language, German, Japanese, and Russian. Please see the program of studies for more information.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Arlington Education Foundation Awards $3,000 Professional Development Grant

The Arlington Education Foundation (AEF) has awarded a $3,000 grant to the World Language department to support professional development. This grant allows teachers to participate in workshops through the Bureau of Education and Research (BER) focusing on two key areas: teaching in the target language through Total Physical Response Storytelling (TPRS) and differentiation strategies to support all learners in the world language classroom. All teachers write professional goals each year, and for many, increasing the use of the target language and differentiating more effectively were areas they wanted to focus on. Without this grant, teachers would not be able to attend these high quality workshops. We are very grateful and are looking forward to learning effective strategies that will continue to improve the quality of instruction in our classes. 

Thank you AEF!