Years 9 and 10 Band Description
The nature of the learners
At this level, students bring to their learning existing knowledge of the Spanish language and the cultures of Spanish speakers and a range of learning strategies. They are increasingly aware of the world beyond their own and are engaging with youth-related and social and environmental issues. They require continued guidance and mentoring but work increasingly independently to analyse, reflect on and monitor their language learning and intercultural experiences. They are considering future pathways and options, including the possible role of Spanish in these.
Spanish language learning and use
This is a period of language exploration, vocabulary expansion and experimentation with different modes of communication (for example, digital media, collaborative performance and group discussions). Learners become more confident in communicating in a wider range of contexts through greater control of language structures and increased understanding of the variability of language use. They use Spanish to communicate and interact; to access and exchange information; to express feelings and opinions; to participate in imaginative and creative experiences; and to create, interpret and analyse a wider range of texts and experiences. They use Spanish more fluently, with a greater degree of self-correction and repair. They reference the accuracy of their language use against a stronger frame of grammatical knowledge. They demonstrate understanding of language variation and change and of how intercultural experience, technology, media and globalisation influence communication.
Contexts of interaction
Learners interact with peers, teachers and other Spanish speakers in immediate and local contexts, and with wider communities and cultural resources via virtual and online environments. They may access additional experience of the Spanish language and the cultures of the Spanish speaking world through interschool events, or community events such as film festivals or cultural performances.
Texts and resources
Learners use texts designed for language learning, such as textbooks, teacher-generated materials and online resources. Learning is enriched by exposure to a range of authentic materials designed for or generated by young Spanish speakers in a variety of Spanish-speaking regions, such as video clips, magazine features, television programs or advertisements. Students take some responsibility for sourcing additional materials to support their own learning.
Features of Spanish language use
Learners use more complex language in spoken and written forms. They adjust tone, expression and intonation to shade meaning and to convey emotions. They expand their knowledge and control of grammatical elements such as verb tenses (imperfecto, futuro simple, condicional) and direct and indirect object pronouns. They use a range of cohesive devices to sequence and describe events in detail and to complete communicative tasks that involve planning, performance, and collaborative and independent work. Their language production includes elements of interpreting, creating, evaluating and performing. They engage in critical analysis of texts such as advertisements and media reports, identifying how language choices reflect perspectives and cultural contexts.
Learners examine the processes involved in using a different language, recognising them as cognitive, cultural and personal as well as linguistic. They explore the reciprocal nature of intercultural communication: how moving between different languages and cultural systems impacts on ways of thinking and behaving; and how successful communication requires flexibility, awareness and openness to alternative ways. They develop the capacity to ‘decentre’ from normative ways of thinking and communicating, to consider themselves through the eyes of others, and to communicate in interculturally appropriate ways.
Level of support
Support at this level of learning includes provision of rich and varied stimulus materials, continued scaffolding and modelling of language functions and communicative tasks, and explicit instruction and explanation of the grammatical system. Learners are provided with opportunities to discuss, clarify, practise and apply their knowledge. Critical and constructive teacher feedback combines with peer support and self-review to monitor and evaluate learning outcomes (for example, portfolios, peer review, digital journals).
The role of English
Spanish is used in more extended and elaborated ways. English continues to be used when needed for substantive discussion, explanation and analysis. This allows learners to talk in depth and detail about the experience of learning Spanish and about their thoughts on culture, identity and intercultural experience, supporting discussion of concepts such as ‘stereotypes’, ‘difference’, ‘diversity’ and ‘values’. It allows for a degree of expression and reflection that is beyond learners’ communicative capabilities in Spanish.