Glastonbury Public Schools Foreign Language

Essential Questions

To question means to lay open, to place open. Only a person who has questions can have [real understanding].

-Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method, 1994, p. 365

What is an "Essential Question"?

These are questions that are not answerable with finality in a brief sentence - and that's the point. Their aim is to stimulate thought, to provoke inquiry, and to spark more questions - including thoughtful student questions - not just pat answers. They are broad, full of transfer possibilities. The exploration of such questions enables us to uncover the real riches of a topic otherwise obscured by glib pronouncements in texts or routine teacher-talk. We need to go beyond questions answerable by unit facts to questions that burst through the boundaries of the topic. Deep and transferable understandings depend upon framing work around such questions. ~Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe, Understanding by Design, Expanded 2nd Edition, p. 106

The Glastonbury Foreign Language Department uses Essential Questions to guide instruction in each language at each grade level. Questions range from "How do we unlock the mystery of travel?" to "What happens when two cultures meet?". Throughout our students' study of a foreign language in Glastonbury, students are encouraged to wonder and question - fostering a life-long quest for knowledge and deeper understand of the world around them.

Ancient Greek Essential Questions

Greek 1 - Who are the Greeks?

Greek 2 - What happens when two cultures meet?

Chinese Essential Questions

Grade 7 - What is culture? What is Chinese culture?

Grade 8 - How are we connected?

Chinese 1 - Who are the Chinese?

Chinese 2 - How do we unlock the mystery of travel?

Chinese 3 - What happens when two cultures meet?

French Essential Questions

Grade 6 - How do we unlock the mystery of travel?

Grade 7 - What is culture? What is French culture?

Grade 8 - How are we connected?

Grade 9 - Who are the French?

Grade 10 - What happens when two cultures meet?

Grade 11 - Who are we? What is self identity? How and why does our identity change?

Grade 12- How are we transformed by our study of languages and cultures?

Latin Essential Questions

Grade 9 - What is a Roman?

Grade 10 - What happens when two cultures meet?

Grade 11 - What is the cultural concept of self in Roman society?

Grade 12 - How are we transformed by our study of Roman language and cultures?

Russian Essential Questions

Grade 7 - What is culture? What is Russian culture?

Grade 8 - How are we connected?

Grade 9 - What happens when two cultures meet?

Grade 10 - Who are the Russians?

Grade 11 - Who are we? What is self identity especially in diverse societies?

Grade 12 - How are we transformed by our study of Russian language and culture?

Spanish Essential Questions

Grade 1 - Who am I? How do we name things in a different language?

Grade 2 - Who am I? Who are my neighbors?

Grade 3 - Who am I? What do we find in our global community?

Grade 4 - Who am I? How are we connected to the Caribbean?

Grade 5 - Who am I? Who are the people of the Americas?

Grade 6 - How are we influenced by travel?

Grade 7 - What is culture? What is Spanish culture?

Grade 8 - How are we connected?

Grade 9 - What happens when two cultures meet?

Grade 10 - Who are the Spanish?

Grade 11 - Who are we? What are the concepts of “self” in Hispanic cultures and in diverse societies? How does self-identity change?

Grade 12 - How are we transformed by our study of other languages and cultures?