Your Spanish class can be an exciting, rewarding experience, if you are prepared for class and follow some basic rules and requirements. One key to being a successful Spanish student is a positive attitude. Your interest in new information, a willingness to participate in class activities, and to complete your assignments will help you be a better student.
I will give assignments that are geared to your level. If you don't understand, ask questions when the assignment is given. Success on each assignment will give you a better feeling about yourself, will build your self confidence, and will prepare you for up
coming assignments. Use the abilities that you have, try your best, and have a great year in Spanish. I am looking forward to working with you.
STEPS TO HELP YOU BE SUCCESSFUL
1. Attendance: Attend school regularly and be in class on time. New information is planned for your classes each day. Missing classes prevents you from benefitting from explanations and class participation, especially in a foreign language class. If you do have to miss be sure to find out what you missed before you leave or immediately upon your return to class. The material that we learn today may be the foundation for what we do tomorrow.
2. Organization: Take good notes and review or re-write them within a twenty four hour period. If you do have to miss class be sure to find out what you missed before you leave or immediately upon your return to class. The material that we learn today may be the foundation for what we do tomorrow.
3. Preparation: Fill out and keep up a school organizer so that you know what your assignments are and when due dates are for tests, projects, etc... Also be sure to bring daily materials needed everyday.
4. Attitude: You will have a better classroom experience if you maintain a good, positive attitude and are willing to cooperate with other people and classroom rules. Be courteous. Think of others in the class as well as your own learning environment.
5. Listening Skills: Listen to instructions and follow directions. Show courage, and ask questions if you don't understand an assignment. Always look over assignments before you leave class and ask questions when an assignment is given rather than when it is due.
6. Complete Your Assignments: Start your assignments right away. Complete them and turn them in on time. Take pride in your work. It is a great feeling when you do a great job.
There are three keys to success in learning a second language and these need to be reinforced at home as well as at school:
*The first key is long-term memorization of vocabulary.
Vocabulary is the foundation for everything that we do in Spanish. This class leverages the fact that people learn foreign languages by collecting words and phrases in their memory, like items in a basket. The more items one masters, the more effective one will be at speaking Spanish and the easier it will be for one to become fluent. You cannot function in the language if you don’t know the words to use. Vocabulary needs to be learned when it is assigned so it can be properly reinforced through classroom usage. Vocabulary quiz scores will indicate short-term retention of the vocabulary. Your son / daughter should be periodically reviewing past vocabulary words on their own in order to keep them fresh in their mind and to insure long-term retention (it would be nice if the textbook did this for the student, but the reality is that it doesn't do it enough). It has been my experience that if students are conscientious in mastering the vocabulary, everything else in the course will appear much easier and will fall into place.
*The second key is willingness to use the language.
The goal of this class is to learn how to communicate in the language, however; actually putting the things we learn to use can be a scary thing. Using the language in ways consistent with what we have learned will help reinforce concepts and vocabulary and give meaning and enjoyment to what we have learned. Current brain research emphasizes the importance of using the things that you have in rote memory to extend or create, thus making the information your own and moving it toward long term retention. In other words, use it – retain it, don’t use it – lose it.
*The third key is consciously doing and completing EVERY homework assignment.
It is one thing to watch or listen to someone else manipulating the language in order to reinforce vocabulary and syntax, but it is another thing all together to do it yourself. The homework is the student's first chance to practice the vocabulary and grammatical concepts that are taught in class for themselves. It is a CRUCIAL part of the learning process. The homework is corrected the next day in class so each student will have the opportunity to learn from what they have done correctly and what they have done incorrectly. Doing the homework with "relatively accuracy" is crucial because it is the means by which the student learns the material. To just write things in that are incomplete or do not make sense, nullify any benefit to be gained from the assignment. The homework is graded on a basis of relative accuracy and thus the homework grade should always be 100%.
Please encourage and monitor your student's homework (memorization of vocabulary and written assignments), and grades. Student grades are posted on-line using the Aeries system so that you may check their progress at any given time. Grades on Aeries are updated at least once a week. There is a link to the Aeries log-in portal above and to the left. Due to departmental policy, all exams and quizzes will be stored at school. Please drop by to see your child's work. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to give me a call or e-mail. Our communication is critical to a successful experience.