Lake Washington School District: Spanish 1 Curriculum

Course Design

This communicative Spanish 1 course is designed for middle and high school students as a year-long course with 4 units. Each unit is meant to last about 1 quarter or 8-10 weeks. Units are thematic and aligned to AP World Languages themes. Units were designed using a backwards planning model (Understanding by Design, McTighe & Wiggins, 2005), first considering unit goals and essential questions, then performance assessments, then core learning experiences and resources. All or most World Language Standards are braided throughout each unit. Units are vertically designed and build on one another. They are meant to be taught in the order presented.


Lake Washington School District teachers collaborated closely with Laura Terrill, French teacher and curriculum design expert.  These units and templates are built off the principles and examples in the Keys to Planning for Learning: Effective Curriculum, Unit, and Lesson Design, by Clementi & Terrill (2017). We highly recommend referring to the Keys to Planning for Learning book, available through ACTFL, for more learning and deeper understanding of the intent and pedagogical underpinnings of this curriculum.


Pedagogy and Teaching Methods

The power of these units lie in their design around ACTFL's Guiding Principles. All units are designed to be taught 90%+ of the time in the Target Language (TL) using comprehensible input strategies. Core Resource Activity Guides outline suggested methods and activities for making content comprehensible in the TL. For more ideas on strategies we recommend these resources:

  • Common Ground: Second Language Acquisition Theory Goes to the Classroom (Henshaw & Hawkins, 2022)
  • Enacting the Work of Language Instruction (Glisan & Donato, 2017)