Some 8th graders to enter high school with a language boost

Amy Lisenbe/Nevada Appeal

Amy Lisenbe/Nevada Appeal

Now they know they enjoyed lunch at "The Crazy Chicken."

Some 49 eighth grade Carson Middle School students spent Tuesday morning at their future alma mater, Carson High, testing out of Spanish 1.

After having taken the first year of the language in middle school and tested for aptitude at the CHS library, the eighth grade students were accompanied by a quartet of mom chaperones and treated to a late-morning lunch at El Pollo Loco.

"These are all accelerated students," said Carson Middle School Spanish instructor Beth Bates. "They're all high achievers and they all showed a great propensity for learning a new language.

"Yeah, this year was fun."

Eighth grader Krista Baumgartner, 14, said the course gave her a little bit of a "head start" on other students not only on their high school language requirement, but for the next level of learning.

"Yeah, I think we got a preview of what it's going to be like (in high school) - more than the other students," she said.

Instructor Bates agreed.

"We were talking in (class) the other day about how hard they thought the first chapter was at the beginning of the year," she said. "And then they realized they could step it up and learn it all.

"I think it gave them a good look about what life in high school is going to be like - and, hopefully, it's not going to be all that scary academically."

One group of eighth grade boys sitting together at the Mexican restaurant, inhaling chicken breasts and loading black beans on tortillas, characterized Spanish 1 as "easy."

"No problem," said Kenny Hickenbottom, 14. "I mean, yeah - there were challenges, but it wasn't so hard."

"Like grammar," said instructor Bates. "Spanish is a language that makes sense - moreso than English; but when I asked them to conjugate a verb, it was like 'what?!'"

Eighth grader Cole Dufresne, 14, said total mastery of the language would come in time, acknowledging the large percent of native Spanish speakers who also attend Carson High.

"Yeah, I guess when I can talk with (those who are fluent) - that'll be good," he said. "But that's not yet."

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