The study of Romance languages opens new worlds of culture and history for people of all ages to explore. At the same time, it deepens our understanding of English grammar and vocabulary. Middle school students at St. Michael’s thus are truly fortunate to receive skilled academic instruction both in Spanish and Latin.
Middle School Spanish
Spanish is hardly a “foreign” language in southern Arizona, and proficiency speaking and writing Spanish expands one’s opportunities both for employment and recreation in our region. Students at St. Michael’s attend Spanish classes twice a week in sixth grade and three times a week in seventh and eighth grade. Throughout our Spanish curriculum we focus on developing accurate pronunciation, and an understanding of both vocabulary and grammatical concepts. The instruction is on par with first-year high school Spanish. We also offer an accelerated curriculum for native speakers that builds upon their knowledge base of conversational and written Spanish.
Students develop a greater appreciation of Hispanic culture through class projects and school-wide celebrations like Las Posadas. They learn to talk about their likes and dislikes, their personalities, their leisure activities, their families, and their community.
Middle School Latin
Adages aside, Latin is alive and well—at least at St. Michael’s. Students receive daily instruction, beginning in seventh grade, to develop vocabulary, writing, and reading skills. Translating selections of Classical myths, Roman epics, and histories allows middle schoolers to apply basic grammar and vocabulary concepts while gaining insight into the roots of Western civilization. Projects and plays further resuscitate the culture and literature of the ancient civilizations.