World Language Study in Middle School
Beginning a new language in middle school has many advantages:
1. The middle school studentís enthusiasm and willingness to take risks result in a pleasurable and productive adventure in learning.
2. The younger a student is when learning another language, the better are the chances of acquiring a near-native pronunciation.
3. The studentís vocabulary increases tremendously since many English words have the same origins as Spanish and French.
4. The studentís reading comprehension and verbal and math SAT scores improve directly in proportion to the number of years spent studying a particular language. Beginning a new language in middle school enables the student to proceed to higher levels of the language in high school.
5. Grammar instruction in the foreign language reinforces the grammar taught in the English class. This results in a more thorough understanding of the structure of the English language.
6. Foreign language study helps to develop good study skills and organization.
∑ a. Students are required to place all papers and write all notes in the correct sections in a three ring binder.
∑ b. Students are encouraged to try various study strategies based on their individual learning styles.
∑ c. Success in the foreign language class comes only as a result of self-discipline both in classroom attentiveness and in daily study at home.
7. Although there are many advantages in beginning a language in middle school, not all students are ready to take on the rigorous work required in this academic course. This is a three year course of study equivalent to high school level one of the language. Serious consideration needs to be given as to whether the extra academic load will be appropriate for the student at this time.
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