Español 6th, 7th, and 8th grade

¡Bienvenidos! Welcome! The new 2018-2019 school year is here and in Spanish class I hope to make it a fun year of learning a new language. Now, that might sound scary to some of you, but here is what I would like for you to keep in mind....everyone in the world speaks the same language. That's right, we all say the exact same things about our lives, school, family, food, fun, etc., no matter where in the world we live. So instead of thinking of it as learning a new language, think of it as simply expanding what you already know, or, just increasing your vocabulary and expressive abilities. In fact, since many languages share a root language such as Latin, you will find many words that are exactly the same or very, very, similar in Spanish and English. Here are some examples: control, doctor, factor, dentista, pastor, etc. Also, many words in Spanish, while not sharing the exact same word in English, can be found in English in some form by digging just a little. Let me explain what I mean. I will give you 6 Spanish words. Then I will give you the English translation. Then, I am going to show you an English word that will help you memorize the meaning because of a common Latin root. Ready? Here we go...

1. árbol: means "tree". We see this word hidden in English words such as "arboreal" (an animal that dwells in trees) and the word "arboretum" which is a special garden or green place where trees grow. See what I mean?

2. luna: means "moon". We see this word in English words such as "lunar" which means something having to do with the moon. Let's look at the word "lunatic". Most of you know that this word usually refers to a crazy person. You have heard the expression "That person is looney", meaning that that person is crazy. Even we have seen this expression in the cartoons "The Looney Toons". So how did I start talking about the moon, and then go off talking about crazy people? Here's why. A "lunatic" was traditionally a person deemed as crazy and who would howl at the moon at night. See the connection?

3. sol: means "sun". Obviously, we see this connection in our English word "solar". Remember, we had a solar eclipse last year!

4. Escribir: means "to write". We see this word hidden in our English words "script", "scribe" , "description", "prescription", and I am sure there are more. I'll let you think about the other words, but I will mention the word "prescription". When you get a prescription, it's because the doctor has to write you that prescription. See it? The "escrip" in this word comes from the exact same Latin word from where our modern Spanish word escribir (to write) is derived.

Let's do 2 more then I'm done....promise.

5. Viento: means "wind" (air that moves). We see this word hidden in the English words "vent", "ventilation", "ventilator". I'll let you do the explaining here.

6. Garganta: means "throat". We see this word hidden in a fun word we use frequently..."gargle" . When you gargle you use your throat. The "garg" in the word gargle comes from the same Latin word that gives us our modern Spanish word garganta.

So you see?? It's really all the same. I will show you more and more how this Latin, English, Spanish connection works. You will see it all the time in Spanish class and this will make retaining those Spanish words so much easier because many times you will already know an English word that contains that Spanish word in one way on another.

Starting with something you are already familiar with will give you a firmer foundation to build on once we start learning additional vocabulary and more complex aspects of the Spanish language. Of course, not all words are going to be familiar like this but there are many and these ones are a good starting point to easing yourself into the Spanish language.

Then comes grammar.... Don't freak out. Spanish grammar often follows the exact same rules as English. That is is your starting point...what you already know. But then, there are those concepts that are way off the wall compared to English and some things are downright backwards! (I don't actually allow you to say that Spanish is backwards in class. We don't say Spanish is backwards. We say Spanish is Spanish!) In any case, I hope you have fun. It is a challenge, but that's what makes life interesting.

In addition to the language itself, you will be introduced to the fascinating world of Latin America. And it’s not all tacos and burritos my friend! Latino culture is a smorgasbord of exotic and fun music, dance, breathtaking landscapes, vibrant human beings, and oh so delicious food such as tamales, plátanos fritos, gallo pinto, tortilla casera, pupusas, and of course chocolate and coffee! ¡Nos vemos en clase!