7th and 8th grade

  • Course Description

                Seventh and eighth grade Spanish marks the first formal study of foreign language for Amesbury students. Previously, Spanish was a part-time experience with the exposure to culture and repetition of common words and expressions. Unlike these earlier grades, the focus is now on constructing (and deconstructing) the language. Also, Spanish will be a graded course, even though it remains scheduled during EAST time period. At the end of eighth grade students will take a final assessment and if a passing grade of 90 or higher is earned, they will be able to enter Amesbury High School Spanish level 2.


                Students should develop and demonstrate competence in basic Spanish in speaking, writing, reading and listening. Vocabulary and mechanics should expand over the duration of the year so that students can adapt to changing situations. Studying foreign language fosters a better understanding of English and improves thinking skills that are useful in other classes.

                Students will take a closer look at Spanish culture and civilization from around the world to our local communities. The teachers will frequently use modern material to keep lessons relevant for students in their everyday lives. 

                Emphasis is placed on thinking in Spanish. When students get a feel for the “Spanish point of view”, they gain instincts that support more learning.

                As future leaders and decision-makers, students should have new opportunities for personal growth beyond the subject area itself that can be applied inside and outside of school. The teachers will manage the learning environment to optimize this taking place.

    Resources and Materials

                Students must bring a 3-ring binder, notebook, and writing utensil to every class. Saving an organized, complete binder at the end of the year provides an excellent resource for your future foreign language classes.  

                All students should feel free to come to Mrs. Burrell or Mr. Plante for extra help. After school extra help will be set on a weekly basis or otherwise an appointment must be set in advance.


                The truest measure of student performance is the demonstration of skills and knowledge in the classroom. Students should enter every class prepared to be active and challenged. They will experience a wide range of educational approaches (games, paired or group work, unit tests, presentation, skits, timed competitive drills, human language puzzles, compositions, daily prompts, spontaneous response, peer instruction, traditional lecture, open and closed notebook quizzes, worksheets, etc). Sometimes these exercises are for practice, other times; they are scored and are the basis of students’ grades.

    Grading Policy:

    The traditional scale used is: A -90 to 100, B -80 to 89, C -70 to 79, D -60 to 69, and F -59 or less.

    Their grades will be averaged with the following criteria:

    Content: 90%  

    Test (3)

    Quizzes (2)

    Participation/Classwork (2)


    Outside of class students will be expected to spend about 10-15 minutes every night reviewing topics discussed in class, sometimes in the form of homework.

    Effort/Conduct: See Grading Policies


    While no list can include every rule, here are some of the more important course policies:

     *Students are responsible for checking in with their teacher upon returning from an absence to stay current with class progress. Failure to do this, results in a zero for any graded work missed during the absence.

     *Compositions are the only work that may be re-done provided there is a good-faith effort on the earlier version (s). Exams can NOT be retaken (except for the compositions portion, if any).

     *Time limits are enforced. Graded work during class must be turned in when collected to receive a grade. Compositions and projects are due on the deadline and are subject to penalty for every day they are late.

                *The application of outside sources (often flawed) that address material not covered in this class is strictly forbidden (and easily detected) and results in an automatic failing grade. Examples are translator websites and software as well as other people who have practiced more advanced Spanish. The use of such resources will result in 0 credit for the assignment.