I do not have a middle school curriculum developed yet, but I do have certain resources that are designed for middle schoolers. Click the Middle School tab in my Teachers Pay Teachers store to see those resources.
The following units would be approachable for middle schoolers: Hybrid Identity Unit for Heritage Speakers – Mi identidad híbrida, El bilingüismo: 8-day unit for heritage speakers,Traducción e interpretación: 5-day unit for heritage speakers, Mi nombre: a Writer’s Workshop for Heritage Speakers Bundle, Proyecto de la comida: a “family favorite” recipe, and Heritage Speakers Unit: Cultura por todo el mundo hispanohablante. Depending on your group of students, you may need to modify the tasks a bit.
I often get asked about how I include grammar into my course. The truth is, you won’t find explicit grammar instruction in any of my resources and materials. This is not something that has proved to be beneficial for my heritage students. Memorizing grammar concepts has not stuck with them, but using the language for tasks like writing essays has boosted their confidence and given them practical skills that can transfer to their English Language Arts class.
Even though I don’t do traditional grammar instruction, I will sometimes include correcting written sentences as a class, mentor sentences, and/or pop-up instructions as I see fit. For example, if I notice many students are making the same mistake in their writing assignment, I might spend five minutes teaching students about why it should be “he comido” instead of “ha comido.” I think pop-up grammar is more effective because it comes up organically in context. I definitely think it can be good to point out grammar concepts to students in context, but I don’t include it in my materials so that is something you would need to be able to add in for your class as you see fit.
When it comes to grammar for heritage students, it’s important to take a look at the bigger picture. If preparing them for the IB test or the AP test is the goal, then explicit grammar instruction is not necessary. Reading, writing, listening, and speaking are the main categories on those tests, not identifying verb tense and parts of speech. At this stage in a student’s life, engagement in topics that relate to self-esteem, happiness, and Latinx issues is so much more useful for where my students are headed in general.
The majority of them will not be Spanish teachers someday, and those that do decide to take that career path will have to take courses in college that will teach them explicit grammar. When I tried to teach nitty-gritty grammar concepts, they were not engaged at all. When I lost my student’s attention, I also lost the opportunity to teach them anything else that day. This led me to content-based instruction. After much trial and error, using their Spanish skills in tasks like authentic writing and free voluntary reading is a much better use of our time.
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