The study of a foreign language is invaluable in broadening the students' sensitivity to and appreciation of other cultures. The acquisition of a second language increases students' intellectual capacities and facilitates their understanding of different patterns of thought.
The immediate goal of the world languages curriculum is to teach communication skills. From the outset, special attention is placed on the development of the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
Advanced Placement courses are offered in French, Latin, and Spanish. Middle School and incoming Upper School students of French and Spanish must demonstrate above-average competency before entering French or Spanish II in ninth grade. Students who show proficiency in the first three years are encouraged to continue their study in Grades 11 and 12. In the fourth and fifth year courses, students focus on the reading of poetry, novels, and plays. Students who are language-proficient may elect to carry two languages.
This course is designed for students who are motivated to achieve a high level of linguistic competence. This course is conducted almost entirely in Chinese, except when English is required for grammar introduction and explanation. Special focus goes to the understanding and application of complex syntax and vocabulary. By the end of the academic year, they should be able to narrate and describe the topics and subjects they are familiar with. They will also develop a deeper understanding of Chinese culture through lectures and field trips.
Students will further expand their vocabulary and grammar in Chinese IV, but the main effort goes to their translation, description, narration and argumentation skills via oral presentation and class discussion. Students are also introduced to Chinese literary works with reasonable difficulty. Reading and discussion of supplementary materials are employed to expand their vocabulary and reinforce previously learned grammar. Selections of Chinese videos are adopted to relate reading and writing to listening and speaking, as well as deepen their understanding of Chinese culture.
This beginner’s class develops the basic structures and vocabulary for understanding, speaking, writing, and reading in French. The course focuses on the development of basic grammatical structures and everyday vocabulary. Classroom activities foster communication and cultural competence through comprehension and grammar exercises, skits, conversation, PBL, and the use of a variety of audio-visual materials. Students will also learn about French culture and French-speaking areas of the world.
Intermediate French A
This course strengthens and furthers structures and vocabulary for understanding, speaking, writing, and reading in French. Classroom activities foster communication and cultural competence through comprehension and grammar exercises, skits, conversation, PBL, and the use of a variety of audio-visual materials (TV shows, videos, music from the francophone world, newspapers and magazines). Open to students who completed Beginner’s French A-B or equivalent.
Intermediate French B
Students of French Intermediate B will review and be introduced to many of the major grammatical constructions of French. Students will approach these constructions, along with new vocabulary, in context to accomplish real-life oriented tasks. The course is composed of various thematic units that utilize authentic material (literature, audio and video clips) from France and the French-speaking world. A variety of exercises and assignments (including PBL) will enable the student to develop all four skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening). Open to students who completed Intermediate French A.
Intermediate French B Honors
Students of French Intermediate B Honors will review and be introduced to many of the major grammatical constructions of French. Students will approach these constructions, along with new vocabulary, in context to accomplish real-life oriented tasks. The course is composed of various thematic units that utilize authentic material (literature, audio and video clips,) from France and the French-speaking world. A variety of exercises and assignments (including PBL) will enable the student to develop all four skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening). Part of the Honors Program, this course is intended to provide a more rigorous and sustained pace meant to prepare students for advanced placement courses down the line. Special attention is paid to composition writing and oral communication on thematic topics. Open to students who completed Intermediate French A (with departmental recommendation).
This course aims to review fundamentals and develop the students’ linguistic competence and intercultural understanding. This advanced course offers a total review of grammatical structures including the subjunctive mood. It emphasizes oral and writing skills, as well as vocabulary development. Throughout this sequence, students will learn to explore connections such as "identités," "partage de la planète," "ingéniosité humaine". Level-appropriate readings as well as PBL reinforce these themes and provide additional structures necessary to support meaningful conversation. This course gives the student the opportunity to reach a high degree of competency in French as well as a wide exposure to the international Francophone community. Open to students who completed Intermediate French B or Intermediate French B Honors.
Advanced French Honors
This course aims to develop the students’ linguistic competence and intercultural understanding. The language skills developed will enable the student to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences. Authentic materials and PBL will be used in order to maximize the student’s exposure to the target language and to model the appropriate use of the language in a range of situations, contexts and purposes while investigating a variety of themes or subjects. French will be the main language of communication in the class between the teacher and the student, as well as among the students themselves. This course gives the student the opportunity to reach a high degree of competency in French as well as a wide exposure to the international Francophone community. This course is conducted exclusively in French. Open to students who completed French Intermediate B Honors (with departmental recommendation).
This course is designed to prepare students to take the AP French Exam. Another important goal of the course is to provide students with a deep and broad understanding of French culture. This course will represent the culmination of students’ French Studies in high school and will help them get ready to take upper level French courses in college. At this point, they have already learned the structures necessary to communicate in French. In AP French, students review and refine those grammatical structures while learning new vocabulary to communicate in French on a variety of topics. AP French emphasizes all aspects of language: listening, speaking, reading, writing and culture. This course is conducted exclusively in French.
This course is designed to enhance the students' communication and oral skills in French. Students will be able to improve their ability to interact with native and non native speakers as well as broaden their knowledge of the francophone world and its cultures. This course is highly interactive and requires the students’ active participation in every class. Students will participate in projects, role-plays, interactive activities, games and much more to develop their speaking and listening skills. Students will be exposed to a variety of authentic cultural material such as songs, audio-visual materials, and much more.
In this course, students learn the beginning stages of Latin grammar, vocabulary, and Roman culture, which includes the acquisition of vocabulary and understanding of grammatical structure. Students learn English vocabulary influenced by Latin roots and explore the many ways the Roman Empire continues to shape our modern world. The goal is to give students a solid foundation for further study in Latin.
Intermediate Latin A
This course begins the study of intermediate Latin grammar and syntax. Its chief aim is to enable students to read Latin passages of increasing length and complexity with confidence. In addition to the grammatical aspects, this course will explore various topics in Roman history and culture. Open to students who completed Beginner’s Latin A-B or equivalent.
Intermediate Latin B
Students continue a methodical study of the Latin language as they first take a careful review of Latin grammar and vocabulary, and then proceed to translate Latin literature by the end of the year. Throughout the year, students develop strategies to help them translate extended passages, first from adapted literary texts, and then from authentic, unadapted sources. As they translate, students will learn about Roman history, mythology, and culture, viewing the Roman world more clearly through each new text. By the end of the year, students move from prose to poetry, beginning to analyze what makes Latin literature artistic. Authors studied may include Cicero, Petronius, Catullus, and Ovid. Open to students who completed Intermediate Latin A.
Intermediate Latin B Honors
Students hold a fast pace as they study the history, culture, and literature of the Late Roman Republic and Early Roman Empire. In this course, students will complete their study of intermediate Latin grammar and syntax while simultaneously beginning their study of Latin prose and poetry from original sources. This course begins with texts from authors of the Late Republic including Catullus, Cicero, and Sallust, and ends with authors from the Early Empire including Ovid and Petronius. Open to students who completed Intermediate Latin A (with departmental recommendation).
This advanced Latin course encourages students to read Latin prose and poetry at a high level while also focusing on the grammatical and vocabulary structures underlying the text. Through a careful study of sentence structure, students proceed methodically through translations, building upon and applying skills from previous years. As they translate, students also begin to develop skills in literary criticism, analyzing not only how an author chooses to write, by why he/she writes that way, and how it impacts us today. Authors studied may include Apuleius, Ovid, Vergil and Caesar. Open to students who completed Intermediate Latin B or Intermediate Latin B Honors.
Advanced Latin Honors
This advanced Latin course offers students the opportunity to delve more deeply into Latin literature. The students’ work will incorporate an increased focus on literary criticism, grappling with cultural and literary issues that provide a nuanced view of the Roman Empire and its social world. Through close reading of texts, students evaluate how authors play with form and technique, intertextuality, views of marginalized or non-Roman persons, and methods of persuasion. Latin authors studied may include Apuleius, Ovid, Vergil, and Caesar. Open to students who completed Intermediate Latin B Honors (with departmental recommendation).
AP Latin is equivalent to an upper-intermediate level college course in Latin focusing on the in-depth study of selections from two important works in Latin literature: Vergil’s Aeneid and Caesar’s Gallic War. Students cultivate their understanding of classics through preparing and translating readings and considering themes in the context of ancient literature as they explore concepts like literary techniques, Roman values, war and empire, leadership, views of non-Romans, history and memory, and human beings and the gods.
This is a comprehensive introductory course to both the Spanish language and the cultures where the Spanish language is spoken. This course is modeled on the communicative approach where emphasis is placed on using the language for meaningful purposes in authentic situations and developing the learner's competence to communicate in the target language. While it is still important to study vocabulary and produce the language, the approach is directed toward the exploration and deeper understanding of the language. The overarching objectives of this course are to develop basic communicative skills in Spanish as a second language and to develop knowledge about the cultures of Spanish-speaking countries.
Intermediate Spanish A
This course at the intermediate level allows students to build confidence when speaking in the target language and improve listening comprehension. Throughout the course, the students expand their vocabulary and their understanding of new grammar concepts, which enables them to express themselves in written communication and increase reading comprehension. Communication is key in class and Spanish is expected to be used at all times. Immersing themselves in the language during class replicates what students would do if they were in a Spanish-speaking country. Open to students who completed Beginner’s Spanish A-B or equivalent.
Intermediate Spanish B
This course builds upon the basic course content of Spanish I and II with more complex grammar and thematic vocabulary aimed at strengthening language skills. It focuses on real communication in meaningful contexts that develop and consolidate speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills, while expanding cultural competency. The various components of the program throughout the year emphasize an interactive, proficiency-oriented approach to the study of Spanish language and culture. The ultimate goal is to increase communicative competency and strengthen confidence in self-expression. For this reason, Spanish will be the primary means of communication in this course. Open to students who completed Intermediate Spanish A.
Intermediate Spanish B Honors
The Honors course expands the students’ abilities to speak, read, write and understand Spanish using more advanced grammar and vocabulary. The rapid pace of the course while covering the material requires the students to review grammar and vocabulary from Spanish I and II on their own so that they may focus more intently on the use of complex sentences. New vocabulary and grammar is applied in analyzing and discussing cultural topics using a variety of communication methods. Only Spanish is spoken in class. Open to students who completed Intermediate Spanish A (with departmental recommendation).
This course continues to strengthen skills by reviewing the grammar covered in Spanish I-III and increasing active vocabulary. o The students apply what they learn to reading and writing about a variety of topics. In addition, speaking and aural comprehension skills are emphasized, and the students converse and express ideas solely in Spanish. These skills will be enhanced through short stories, poetry, and other original Spanish texts that lend themselves to discussion of current events in science, technology, art literature, politics and popular culture. Students will compare and make connections to their own experience and share those connections and experiences through a variety of communicative methods. Open to students who completed Intermediate Spanish B or Intermediate Spanish B Honors.
Advanced Spanish Honors
As a continuation of third-year Spanish, in which the students have been exposed to all the major grammatical construction of the Spanish language, the students use these constructions, along with new vocabulary, to to access authentic material (literature, the press, audio and video clips) from Spain and Latin America organized around contemporary issues such as the environment, the uses of science and technology, and the challenges facing those in the workforce. A variety of exercises and assignments will enable the student to develop the skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening, especially those used in Advanced Placement Spanish. This course is conducted exclusively in Spanish. Open to students who completed Spanish Intermediate B Honors (with departmental recommendation).
AP Spanish Language and Culture AP
Spanish Language and Culture is the equivalent of a third-year (fifth and sixth semesters) college Spanish-language course. Throughout the year, the students will use a variety of written texts and audio-visual materials to explore Spanish and Spanish-speaking American cultures. Six general themes will help guide this exploration: Families and Communities, Contemporary Life, World Challenges, Beauty and Aesthetics, Science and Technology, and Personal and Public Identities. Comprehension of the material, reinforced by a review of Spanish grammar and active vocabulary building, is only the initial step in the course. The students will apply their interpretative and analytical skills to synthesize information from two or more sources as they express through speaking and writing their observations and reflections on the cultures of Spanish-speaking countries. Classes are conducted in Spanish.
This Conversational Spanish course is designed to enhance the students' communication and oral skills in Spanish. Students will be able to improve their ability to interact with native and non native speakers as well as broaden their knowledge of Spanish-speaking countries and their cultures. This course is highly interactive and requires the students’ active participation in every class. Students will participate in projects, role-plays, interactive activities, games and much more to develop their speaking and listening skills. Students will be exposed to a variety of authentic cultural material such as songs, audio-visual materials, and much more.