The Foreign Language Department develops the skills needed for effective communication in the target language. This is accomplished by increasing the student’s ability to speak, listen to, read, and write the language with increasing accuracy, as well as to bring about a better knowledge of the people, geography, culture, and literature of the countries that speak the language. Since a very high percentage of the top American colleges and universities require three years of one language or two years of two foreign languages for admission, R-MA requires the same for its Advanced College Prep Diploma. At R-MA we offer a language seal to recognize advanced language students who complete four years in one language or a combination of five years in two languages. All students at each level take the National Spanish Exam for national recognition of their achievements.
First-year Spanish helps the student attain proficiency in the skills of listening, reading, writing, spelling and speaking. Students learn the sounds, stress patterns and intonation of the language. They study basic grammar and vocabulary. They take part in everyday conversations and learn to read and write simple questions and answers. They learn about the geography, customs, culture and some exposure to the art, literature and history of the twenty-one Spanish-speaking countries.
Second-year Spanish helps the student expand his/her proficiency in the skills of listening, reading, writing, spelling and speaking. Following a comprehensive review of Level I topics, the study of grammar is expanded to include the past, future and conditional verb tenses as well as reflexives and the passive voice. The vocabulary builds on the Spanish One vocabulary, while advancing to some more complex and commonly used/needed themes especially associated with the next level of verb tenses. Students continue to learn about the geography, customs and culture of Hispanic countries. The objective of this class is to achieve proficiency in the present and past tenses and other grammar topics from Spanish I, as well as become very familiar with more advanced verb tenses and patterns in order to approach functional communication in Hispanic countries and in preparation for the next level, Honors Spanish III.
Honors Spanish III
Honors Spanish III is designed to enable students to achieve an intermediate level of communicative competence in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The goals are to enhance all four language areas and culture to enable the student to communicate on an appropriate level when visiting a Spanish speaking country and to provide a solid foundation for further study at high school and college levels.
Advanced Placement Spanish IV/V
In AP Spanish Levels IV and V, the student looks to build on his or her competence in the four main skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing towards greater fluency. Listening and speaking skills are enhanced by the banning of English from the classroom and by using more advanced audio and video footage. In reading, the student progresses to Spanish literature and current news articles from the Internet, newspapers and magazines. In writing, the student learns to refine his or her writing and reduce grammatical errors. The student is by now familiar and comfortable with the cultural aspects of Spanish-speaking countries, but widens his or her knowledge of current events. The goals are to increase fluency in all four language areas and culture so that the student can communicate effectively when visiting a Spanish-speaking country. The goal is furthermore to provide a sound foundation for further study at the high school and college level.