Our challenging standards-based curriculum emphasizes the development of essential skills, the understanding of important concepts, and the ability to apply learning to real-world problems.
Our curriculum includes courses of study for all students in English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, world languages, music, visual arts, physical education, and health. In addition, students take grade-specific trimester courses in technology, research, and study skills which are designed to support their integrated learning experience.
The ASMS sixth through eighth-grade French curriculum engages students by means of interactive, student-driven activities such as impromptu role play and skit creation and by means of maintaining high motivation using varied student groupings to create an authentic need for communication. Students’ listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills are further supported by the frequent use of engaging multimedia tools. In 6th grade, in addition to student assimilation of the basics necessary for simple communication, instruction aims at the development of study methods and techniques that allow students to become increasingly independent in efficiently learning vocabulary and conjugations. Later grades focus on students’ capability to initiate and sustain conversation using a broad variety of idiomatic expressions and more sophisticated syntactic constructions. Cultural study is interwoven throughout the curriculum. At the conclusion of their French middle school experience, students take an in-house foreign language proficiency exam in order to help determine optimal placement in either regular or advanced language courses available to them in high school.
Sixth-grade French begins with an introductory unit designed to provide students with anchor words for the correct pronunciation of French sounds, to familiarize them with various methods of creating mental connections for improved lesson retention, and to aid them in adopting specific methods which help them independently use their tablet as an effective study resource. Thereafter, most units focus on the Storytelling method. Using this method, students naturally acquire new vocabulary and new grammar structures. By year’s end, students are able to understand and say the most commonly used French words. They will also be able to conjugate regular ER-verbs, the irregular verb AVOIR, and will recognize the verb ETRE. They will be able to express the degree to which they like and dislike a variety of topics. They will be capable of obtaining and exchanging information about various topics (families, weather, birthdays, etc.). As the year comes to an end, they will be exposed to the verb ETRE and to personal description.