• Natasha Causton

    Español 2


    ¿Quién es Señora Causton?


    I am passionate about languages as a way of learning to communicate with people from all over the world. I was born in France and lived in Venezuela as a child so I learned my languages very young and missed not being able to use them here in Vermont, which is why I have become a World Language teacher! I feel that it is necessary for you all to have strong language skills in order to be able to participate fully in this small, interconnected world. I have taught in many other settings but I love working at MUHS and to share my experience with you all. I love to travel!!  I also live in this community and have 3 children (2 at MUHS) so you will probably see me on the soccer field or at the hockey rink!


    Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns about the class. You can get in touch with me by email at ncauston@acsdvt.org or by phone at 382-1278.



    • Please arrive on time and ready to work and engage with the teacher and fellow students in the target language.
    • Please treat everyone with kindness.



    Please have a Spanish binder with paper for the MANY handouts you will receive and use on a daily basis. Please make sure to keep your binders neat and organized at all times. Your binder will need 3 dividers for Handouts/Notes, Tests, Homework/Projects.  Students should access wordreference.com at home. I would also suggest you have note cards that you can use for flash cards.



    Language Acquisition assesses your proficiency based on the following criteria: 

    • Criterion A: Comprehending Spoken and Visual Text
    • Criterion B: Comprehending Written and Visual Text
    • Criterion C: Communicating in Response to Spoken, Written and Visual Text
    • Criterion D: Using Language in Spoken and Written Form


    The grading platform we use is ManageBac. 

    Formative assessments (quizzes, homework, classwork) fall into two categories:

    1. assessed using an MYP rubric -- these scores are reported and used to inform teacher professional judgement of the overall grade, though they do not determine the final grade

    2)   assessed for completion -- these tasks may be reported with a comment only (e.g. “incomplete,” “late,” “completed,” or  “missing”). I may assign a number grade so that students/parents understand how much grammar/vocabulary a student knows and understands, though this does not fall under any rubric and does not determine the final grade.

    Summative assessments (final projects, essays/compositions) are used to determine a student’s final grade. These are graded with IB rubrics. There will be a final exam which will serve two purposes: 1. the sections graded with IB rubrics will be a final summative evaluation; 2. the sections that are not graded using IB rubrics will be used as part of the rest of the final exam as a “placement exam” to continue Spanish study the following year.



    Language learning is a very cumulative endeavor. Each new skill builds on previous skills. It is in the best interest of the student to strive to stay current with the sequence of assignments. 


    All homework will have a due-date—assumed to be the next day unless otherwise stated. Since we often review homework as a class activity it is important to complete your homework each night. 

    Formative work will be accepted for feedback for up to 3 days  after the deadline (typically the deadline for formative work is the next day). If a student does not hand a formative assessment in it will be reported out as “M” for missing, and given a score of a 0. 


    Summative tasks such as unit tests (speaking, reading, listening, written) and dialogues, students 

    • have two weeks from the original date to complete out-of-class assessments. 
    • (if you miss the original day of an in-class assessment) have one week to complete the assessment. Until the assessment is made up, I will comment of “M” for missing in the gradebook and assign a zero. After the two-week time period, if the work has not been completed, the “M” and the score of a zero will be assigned permanently in the gradebook. The student should now focus on the current learning and demonstrating the current proficiencies.  



    Students who score a 3 or below on a given assessment may retake/redo assessments, but it must happen within a two week window from the time the original work is returned to students. I strongly urge students to do this within one week, so as not to be overwhelmed by the past work and the current work. Students will be given the opportunity to reassess a specific assessment once.  If students would like to re-assess, the student must do the following:

    1. complete all missing work from the unit
    2. identify and correct mistakes and/or missing concepts on the original assessment
    3. complete any related practice per the teacher’s request
    4. conference with the teacher, showing completion of missing work, corrections on the original assessment.

    Additionally, no late assignments will be accepted after the end of a marking period. 


    Habits of Work:

    The MUHS Habits of Work are a combination of skills identified by IB in the two Approaches to Learning (ATL) categories called Social Skills and Self-Management Skills, as well as other skills from our research. At the end of each quarter I will report out on habits of work.  This is a subjective score, based on weeks of interaction with the student and observations made by me.


    *For more information please see the MUHS Teaching and Learning Handbook 2019.


    If you know you are going to be missing class, you should get handouts and homework ahead of time. I also expect you can look on the class google docs page with the agenda and find out what you missed prior to the next class. 


    Academic Honesty

    I expect you to take responsibility for your own work. Cheating is a serious offense. This includes copying work, letting someone copy your work, talking about the content of an assessment before others have taken it, AND online translators (ie. Google Translate). You may NOT use translators to assist with the writing process. You MAY use bilingual dictionaries or online dictionaries (my preference is wordreference.com) to translate isolated words for use in writing, but text must be composed directly in Spanish by the individual. In Spanish 1, even these should not be used. If I suspect that a student is using a translator he/she will need to complete writing assignments in a supervised environment such as detention. If there is proof of a translator, the students will receive a 0 for the assignment.



    Students will have homework assignments that require them to have access to the internet. These include doing listening activities, conducting authentic research, following the news on Spanish speaking websites, or following a celebrity on twitter. If you do not have access to the internet, please brainstorm ways you/your student can still complete the assignments. The learning center at MUHS is open before and after school for student use. If access becomes a problem, please let me know right away.



    The use of video is a key element in our curriculum, as it is useful for practicing listening comprehension and exploring cultural themes. On occasion these videos may contain material that some parents and students may find objectionable. The teacher will endeavor to advise parents of upcoming movie titles and ratings so that they may inform themselves of content or preview them. Parents—if you have concerns in this regard please contact me.


    Cell Phone Use

    While cell phones are wonders of innovation and can be immensely helpful tools when used appropriately, they have also unfortunately proven to be a routine distraction from learning when abused. To protect our classroom learning environments and our students’ well-being, the Language Acquisition Department has adopted the following approach to cell phones: 


    Unless otherwise directed for the purposes of a specific lesson, or granted an exception due to extenuating circumstances, students will be required to silence and store their cell phones, rear-facing, in a phone organizer upon entering the classroom. There the phones will remain until the end of class, when students will retrieve them. A student who is found to be using a phone they retained, or who retrieves a stored phone during class without permission, will receive a warning and have the phone confiscated (and stored) for the duration of the class period. A student who refuses to turn over a phone upon the teacher’s request, or chronically requires warnings, will be given a disciplinary referral in accordance with the MUHS Student Handbook’s cell phone policy.


    To respect the privacy of students and teachers, recording  and photos are prohibited in the classroom.



    I am available for extra help during flex time. If I am unavailable, please see any of the Language B teachers during their flex times. You will be able to view available times via PowerSchool. All students are expected to sign up for flex time for every flex session. Other Language B teachers are: Ms. Bailey, Mr. Swinhart, Ms. Steele and Mr. Tufts. My schedule is as follows:

    A/Odd/Red Days(Mon/Thurs…)

    1 8:10-9:33 Español 2

    3 9:37-11:00 libre

    11:04-11:10 Advisory

    11:14-11:44 Lunch

    11:46-12: 16 Flex

    5 12:20-1:43 Francais 3 

    7 1:47-3:10 Réunion Colaborativa

    B/EvenGrey Days (Tues/Fri…)

    2 8:10-9:33 Español AP

    4 9:37-11:00 libre

    11:04-11:10 Advisory

    11:14-11:44 Flex

    11:46-12: 16 Lunch

    6 12:20-1:43 Español 1

    8 1:47-3:10 Español


    The only online dictionary we use here at the school:


    Handy grammar explanations and activities:




    Spanish 2 Unit Overview 2019-2020 


    Unit 1 ~ ¿Quién eres/es Usted? La gente (People)- Brief review of Spanish 1

      • Statement of Inquiry: We need to communicate a clear sense of identity and purpose in order to discover our role in the world.
      • Essential Questions: 
        • Factual—What different types of jobs are there? Who am I? 


    • Conceptual—What do my personality and interests tell me about my potential vocation
    • Debatable—What is the best job in the world?


      • Content: Brief review of Beginning Spanish: verbs in present tense; subject pronouns; gustar; ser/estar; interrogative words; personal description; New: professions, present progressive


    • Summatives: Composition: Write about your future ideal profession. (Can be a cover letter or a guidance counselor assignment)


    • Video: Al otro lado o Coco


    Unit 2 ~ Los animales y sus hábitats (Animals and their habitats)

      • Statement of Inquiry: Globalization is affecting the sustainability of animal habitats. 
      • Essential Questions: 


    • Factual—What are some endangered animals and where do they live
    • Conceptual—Why are some animals and their ecosystems endangered
    • Debatable—Are these animals worth saving? Does it affect us when animals go extinct?


    • Content: Farm and wild animal vocabulary; description (including review of body parts + new) comparisons (equal and más/menos); diminutives and augmentatives; superlatives
    • Summatives: Animal Presentation: Create a slideshow about an animal from the Spanish-speaking world (Latin America, Spain, Equatorial Guinea). Present about what the animal looks like, what it eats, where it lives, and about its situation in the world. Compare your animal’s habitat (healthy or unhealthy) to an animal living in an opposite habitat (healthy vs. unhealthy).
    • Video: Jungle documentary


    Unit 3 ~ Vamos al Mercado (The Market)

      • Statement of Inquiry: Language spoken in the market has a clear purpose and reflects the conventions and perspectives unique to each culture.
      • Essential Questions: 


    • Factual—What are some products found in Spanish-speaking markets? What are the origins of these products
    • Conceptual—How do I interact in markets of different Spanish-speaking countries in order to have a positive transaction? What are the social conventions?
    • Debatable—Are small, traditional markets valuable in the modern, global world?


    • Content: Market and food vocabulary; begin preterit tense with regular ar/er/ir verbs and verb “ir”; direct object pronouns
    • Summatives: Criterion D: Write about a trip (real or fake) that they made to a Hispanic market with a friend. Write about what you saw, bought, etc.; Criterion C: Market Day Role-Play; Criterion D or C: Video visit of a market: record a video of yourself visiting a local supermarket or small market and talk about what you see or what they saw (student choice). Use direct object pronouns.  Compare this market to a Hispanic market.


    Unit 4 ~ ¡Buen viaje! (Trips)

      • Statement of Inquiry: Travel invites authentic interaction and provides an opportunity to exchange ideas and to learn about world heritage.
      • Essential Questions:  
        • Factual—How do I interact competently and authentically with others when traveling


    • Conceptual—What experiences can I have only through travel? What can I learn through travel
    • Debatable—Does travel open your mind? Does travel change you?


    • Content: Travel vocabulary, especially hotel and trains; much practice of preterit tense (regular and irregular preterit verbs)
    • Summatives: Criterion D: Describe a trip you took to Ecuador in a composition or Patrimonio Cultural Project; Criterion A: Students will listen to some audiolingua.com files about trips that people have taken. They will respond to questions about the listening source; Criterion C: Have an improvised dialogue at a train station, a hotel, an airport, etc...
    • Video: Viva Cuba o Al otro lado


    Unit 5 ~ La rutina diaria  (Daily Routine)

      • Statement of Inquiry: Our daily routines reflect our personal and cultural expression. 
      • Essential Questions:


    • Factual—What is my daily routine in comparison to others
    • Conceptual—How is my routine a reflection of cultural norms and values
    • Debatable—Is routine necessary for happiness?


      • Content: Reflexive verbs used with daily routine and personal hygiene; continued practice of preterit verbs (stem changing –ir verbs in preterit); introduction of imperfect verbs with habitual/routine past actions
      • Video: Segments of Corazón apasionado, or other telenovelas




    Unit 6 ~ La niñez  (Childhood)

      • Statement of Inquiry: Sharing personal histories and exploring ritual and play fosters empathy and appreciation for others. 
      • Essential Questions: 


    • Factual—What made your childhood unique
    • Conceptual—How do others experience childhood
    • Debatable—Was life better as a child?


    • Content: Childhood and useful vocabulary (school/sports/home/etc.); all verbs in imperfect; contrast between uses of imperfect and preterit; indirect object pronouns; Oral: “Cuando yo era niño/a” (when i was a kid)
    • Video: Valentín o No se aceptan devoluciones
    • Summatives: Criterion D: Write a composition about when you were a child and/or Write a children’s book (Criterion C: share about your book, answering class questions); Criterion B: Read a Hispanic children’s book or story and answer questions about main ideas and supporting details (la bella Griselda).


    Unit 7 ~ ¿Cómo celebramos? Las Fiestas- (Celebrations and Festivals)

      • Statement of Inquiry: Understanding festivals and celebrations as cultural expressions develops our empathy and provides insight into the traditions, beliefs and values of other cultures. 
      • Essential Questions: 
        • Factual—What are the festivals, holidays and celebrations that continue to influence the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world


    • Conceptual—How is a festival an expression of culture?
    • Debatable—Can you authentically celebrate the holiday of another culture (ie. cinco de mayo)?


    • Content: More practice of present and past tenses; indirect object pronouns (para el día de su santo le di un...)
    • Video: La Quinceañera
    • Summatives: You are an exchange student. Present to the clas about your favorite holiday from your country. 


    (updated 8/24/19)