Middle School
MS Curriculum

Modern Languages

Middle School students may choose from among French, Spanish, Chinese and Latin for their foreign-language instruction.
The programs emphasize oral and comprehension skills, with the target language accepted as the normal medium of communication in the classroom. Middle School students are also introduced to more complex grammatical concepts in written work. Cultural studies are an essential part of the Middle School modern languages program. Students take great pride in their evolving command of a foreign language, and their exposure to other cultures makes them more tolerant, more aware and more appreciative of the world around them.

Chinese Courses

List of 3 items.

  • Chinese 6

    This introductory course is for those students who wish to begin their study of the Mandarin dialect of Chinese in the Middle School. In the early stage of the course, students will learn to read and write pinyin (the phonetic representation of Chinese sounds), and will then move on to learning the techniques of writing simplified Chinese characters and recognizing different structures of character composition and their radicals. By year’s end they will learn to write or recognize about 125 characters. The approach will be thematic, and new material will be incorporated by means of basic conversations and simple texts. Elements of Chinese culture will be integrated into the course. A textbook and interactive website will form the central core of the course, supplemented by audio-visual and web based resources which will be used for home and class work.

    Text and Workbook: Discovering Chinese Pro, Volume 1, Lessons 1 – 12, Simplified Chinese. Website Subscription: Discovering Chinese Pro
  • Chinese 7

    This is the second course in the three-year Middle School sequence of Chinese language study. Students will continue developing the skills that were established in Chinese 6, with more complex conversational and grammatical forms introduced at a faster pace. Basic pinyin, character writing and grammatical structures are reviewed when new units are introduced, enabling students to solidify their prior knowledge of the Chinese language while learning new material. By year’s end, students will learn to write or recognize approximately 150 additional characters and know how to input characters electronically for presentations and correspondence. Students will expand their basic communication skills through speaking tasks and will read and write short passages on familiar and personal topics. Chinese history and culture will continue to be introduced to help students develop a broader understanding and appreciation for their study of the language.

    A textbook and interactive website will form the central core of the course, supplemented by audio-visual and web based resources which will be used for home and class work.

    Text: Discovering Chinese Pro, Volume 2, Lessons 13 – 24, Simplified Chinese. Website subscriptions: Discovering Chinese Pro and FluentU
  • Chinese 8

    This is the final course in the three-year Middle School Chinese language sequence. The approach remains thematic, and new material will be incorporated by means of basic conversations and longer and more complex texts. Students will continue to work on Chinese communicative skills, including speaking tasks that use new grammatical forms and vocabulary and will learn to write or recognize approximately 200 additional characters. Students will expand their skills, reading, writing and speaking short passages on familiar and personal topics. Authentic Chinese resources will be introduced. In addition to the text materials, Chinese readers and web-based resources will also be utilized in class and for home study. Chinese history and culture will continue to be incorporated into the lessons discussions to help students develop a broader understanding and appreciation for their study of the language and culture of China.

    Textbook, Workbook, and Character Workbook: Integrated Chinese, Level 1, Part 1, Simplified Characters, 3rd Edition. Chinese readers: To be advised. Website Subscription: FluentU

French Courses

List of 3 items.

  • French 6

    This is the first course of a three-year sequence, after which students enter French II in the Upper School. Four units are covered in this first year and touch on themes familiar to the students: greeting people, school, family and friends, and food. These themes are presented in an engaging manner that encompasses not only basic vocabulary and grammatical structures, but also phonetics, a narrative in a roman-photo format, as well as articles on culture from all parts of the Francophone world. A workbook provides written practice for vocabulary and grammar while an activity book provides exercises related to oral materials. Each unit includes video and online resources to engage the students in the current French world. Materials developed by the teacher, including student projects, will supplement the curriculum. Oral production of French is emphasized from the beginning of the course.
     
    Text: Textbook, workbook and Supersite: D’accord 1
  • French 7

    This is the second course in the three-year Middle School program. An additional four thematic units are presented this year: sports and leisure time activities, holidays and celebrations, vacation and travel, and finally, house and home. The materials and their structure are the same as in French 6 and build on the already established skills. More complicated grammatical constructions are introduced including more irregular verbs, direct and indirect object pronouns and the past tenses. This gives the students greater ability to express themselves in both oral and written communication. Oral communication uniquely in the target language becomes a more achievable goal and expectation. Projects and assessments can begin to include increasing amounts of oral presentation. More sophisticated reading material can also be introduced.

    Text: Textbook, workbook and Supersite: D’accord 1
  • French 8

    This is the third course in the three-year Middle School program. As in the previous two years, four more thematic units will be introduced. The themes include more on the home and chores, food in all its cultural diversity in France, health as well as daily routines of French life, and technology. The grammar of the two previous years is reinforced and additional irregular forms of verbs are stressed. Students continue to refine their understanding of the uses of the past tense and the conditional is added, as are reflexive verbs. They begin to learn to make comparisons and to control all the object pronouns. By this point the class is conducted almost exclusively in French and it is expected that the students communicate for the most part in French. Students will also begin to expand their horizons as they study more about the French-speaking world outside of France. They will begin to work on projects that reflect this diversity.

    Text: Textbook, workbook and Supersite: D’accord 1

Spanish Courses

List of 5 items.

  • Spanish 5

    The curriculum of fifth grade Spanish focuses on the awareness and skills of global citizenship, stressing cultural and ecological diversity in the Spanish speaking world and beyond. This course engages students in Spanish through a wide range of expressive media, especially dramatic arts, crafts, and music. In the Spring, students plant a garden plot. The progression of student activities, designed to build linguistic skills, develops a solid basis of grammatical knowledge through the year. In addition to teacher-created materials, the fourth grade text, Spanish is Fun - book and workbook -serves as a reference guide throughout the year: Students of Hackley's fourth grade Spanish course should keep their books and others should acquire this text.

    Text: Espanol Santillana 1A - Practice Workbook
  • Spanish 6

    This is a continuing course in the Middle School Spanish language sequence. Students in this course learn through many language-learning techniques including a greater use of language in “real” contexts, mini-dramas, memorization, and audio-visual materials. Grammar and vocabulary are learned within the context of the students’ daily activities at school and at home. They learn to communicate their ideas using both regular and irregular verbs in the present tense. They master many basic grammatical structures such as agreement of gender and number of articles, nouns and adjectives; and they also learn essential vocabulary pertaining to greetings, school activities, weather, professions, eating habits. In addition to studying linguistics, students continue to learn about various cultural and historic aspects of the Spanish-speaking world.
     
    Text: Textbook, workbook and Supersite: Descubre 1
  • Spanish 7

    This course, conducted mainly in Spanish, reviews and expands upon the grammar and vocabulary presented in the previous year. Students learn many idiomatic expressions, verb conjugations in the immediate future and the recent past, new irregular verbs, reflexive verbs, direct and indirect object pronouns, and sufficient vocabulary to support the continued growth of oral and written expression in the target language. In addition to linguistic study, students continue to learn about various cultural and historic aspects of the Spanish-speaking world.
     
    Text: Textbook, workbook and Supersite: Descubre 1
  • Spanish 8

    This course, conducted primarily in Spanish, emphasizes speaking and listening skills while developing more advanced reading and writing skills. The aim of this course is to equip students for the transition to Upper School Spanish II or Spanish III. Grammar will include continued study of object pronouns, reflexive, irregular and idiosyncratic verb usage and the addition of several new tenses. Additionally, students continue to study further thematic vocabulary. Historical and cultural components also will be incorporated as will a first taste of literature and cinema [level appropriate/time allowing].

    Placement in Upper School Spanish III or Spanish II is dependent on assessments during the year, February examination results, and the recommendation of both teacher and Head of Department.

    Texts: Textbook, workbook and Supersite: Descubre 2
  • Accelerated Spanish 8X

    This course, conducted in Spanish, emphasizes speaking and listening skills while developing more advanced reading and writing skills. The aim of this course is to equip students for the transition to Upper School Accelerated Spanish III or Spanish III. Grammar will include continued study of object pronouns, reflexive, irregular and idiosyncratic verb usage, and the addition of many new tenses, as well as the imperative and subjunctive moods. Students continue to study further thematic vocabulary. Historical and cultural components also will be incorporated as well as appropriate literature and cinema, time allowing.

    Placement in Accelerated Spanish 8X is dependent on assessments during the year, February examination results, a placement test, and the recommendation of both teacher and Head of Department.

    Placement in Accelerated Spanish III or Spanish III is dependent on assessments during the year, February examination results, and the recommendation of both teacher and Head of Department.

    Texts: Textbook, workbook and Supersite: Descubre 2