8th Grade

World Languages

Eighth grade Latin moves at a faster pace, preparing students for upper-school-level work.  With their understanding of pronouns, adjectives, adverbs and verbs, they begin to translate with more precision, focusing on the works of Roman authors, historians, and poets.  They learn more Latin expressions that have been absorbed into English (i.e. habeas corpus, sub poena, etc.), create a graphic novel version of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and design travel brochures for ancient Rome based on their own research.  They also hunt for signs of Roman architecture on the East Side and visit the ancient art gallery at the RISD museum.

French speakers learn past and future conjugations, expand their understanding of contextual vocabulary, and begin to write complex sentences. Students are continually reading, writing, and speaking to develop both their understanding of the structure and pronunciation of French. They take the ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL).


In connection with their study of the Rwandan genocide in History, students look at the history of colonialism in Africa, and the role that language plays in cultural power struggles.

In Spanish, students build their conversational vocabulary, learning to ask and answer questions, and seeking out real-world opportunities to use Spanish.  They learn the vocabulary needed to plan a trip: how to make reservations, check in for a flight, and clear security, as well as how to get around once they’re on the ground.  As part of this unit, each student chooses a Spanish-speaking country, looks up options for accommodations there, and calculates expenses while factoring in currency exchanges.  (They also get practice haggling, just in case they want some souvenirs.)

Additionally, students regularly delve into conversations about topics that arouse their passions–sports, daily routines, and fashion.  Todo en Español, naturalmente.

Language and Technology

iPads help MS Latin students Explain Everything

Middle school Latin language students have been using a mobile app (Explain Everything, https://explaineverything.com) to learn and share core vocabulary in class.


Emilia Peña-Disla

Middle School Spanish


Emilia Peña-Disla

University of Rhode Island – B.A.
University of Rhode Island – M.A.

Karim Sow

Middle School French and Middle School Spanish


Karim Sow

University of Niger – B.A.

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