The Foreign Language program in the middle school provides a communicative based curriculum that is closely aligned with the Board of Regents' goals for secondary education and the New York State Syllabus for Modern Languages. The program emphasizes a communicative rather than a linguistic approach to foreign language. Teachers present the vocabulary and grammatical structures necessary to facilitate the students' use of language as a tool to accomplish a specific communicative purpose in a particular situation. An additional emphasis on cross-cultural skills is intended to foster an understanding of those countries in which the target language is spoken.
In the seventh and eighth grades, the students are introduced to the language, its sound system, vocabulary and the grammatical structures that are necessary for communication. This is accomplished through authentic, communicative tasks. Students often participate in pair and group activities structured to fill information gaps and express opinions on a variety of everyday situations of interest to adolescents. Attention is paid to enhancing their listening and speaking skills. They read authentic documents while scannng for specific information. Writing skills are developed to enable the students to request and provide information and express their opinions in short notes to peers and adults.