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Prep School - Foreign Language
F O R E I G N L A N G U A G E
The goal of the Foreign Language Department is to develop the students' listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in a foreign language and to encourage and enrich their understanding of foreign cultures. The department combines a traditional belief in the importance of good grammar with modern methods, stressing the primacy of spoken language. Students at all levels make use of audio-visual equipment. A number of programs, which drill vocabulary and grammar, are available for use on the school's computers. Videotapes of movies and other programs foster good listening skills, a good accent, and interest in the language.
Students in grade 7 take a 6-7 week introductory course in each of the languages offered at the school. Students are introduced to new cultural worlds and begin to feel at ease with the sounds, rhythms, and patterns of the languages. They carry out short conversations in the languages and become familiar with the rudimentary demands of the idioms. Study tactics are emphasized. At the end of the year, students pick the language they wish to make their own.
Students in grades 9 through 12 have a choice of courses in Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese, and Latin. The school's graduation requirement specifies that every student must complete at least three levels of the same language. Capable and interested language learners are encouraged to study two or more languages; the first year of a second language may be elected at any time after 8th grade.
An introductory course open to all students in grades Eight though Twelve. Emphasis on both spoken and written Spanish. Use of videotapes and cassettes to develop students’ ability to understand the spoken language.
A year-long introductory course designed for students with language learning difficulties. Use of scripted video programs to reinforce memorization of vocabulary and to promote the understanding of the spoken language. Students use computer software to facilitate learning of grammatical patterns and to encourage correct spelling. Elements of the Orton Gillingham Method are used in this course.
A year-long course to review and reinforce vocabulary and elementary grammar principles from Level 1A . Introduction of new material to prepare students for Spanish 2. Emphasis on appropriate study habits and learning strategies. Video programs and computer software are an integral part of the course.
A course open to all students who have completed Spanish 1 and Spanish 1B. Continued emphasis on spoken and written Spanish.
An intermediate course designed to reinforce and develop the basic skills of understanding, speaking, reading, and writing the language. The constant learning of new vocabulary is stressed. By the end of the course, students will have learned most of the tenses in the language.
An advanced course giving students the opportunity to increase their vocabulary, strengthen their ability to understand, speak, read, and write Spanish, experience further cultural elements of the Spanish speaking world, and read the literature of the idiom.
A course designed for students with a substantial knowledge of Spanish who are ready to explore the language and literature of Spanish-speaking countries without the added pressure of preparing for AP examinations. Combining grammar review with oral and written analysis and discussion of literary works, the course helps advanced students deepen their appreciation of Hispanic ideas and cultures.
AP SPANISH LANGUAGE
A course designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Spanish Language Exam. Careful analysis of a wide variety of conversational situations and reading and discussion of articles, short stories, plays, poems, and selections from novels strengthen students’ speaking and comprehension skills. Essays and written commentaries develop their ability to write clear and focused compositions in Spanish.
AP SPANISH LITERATURE
The course prepares students for the Advanced Placement Spanish Literature Exam. Students read and examine a wide selection of literary works chosen by the College Board for special attention. Students explore genre categories, poetic conventions, and thematic perspectives, as well as the various historical and social contexts of the works.
An introductory course open to all students in grades 8 though 12. Emphasis on both spoken and written French. Use of videotapes and cassettes to develop students’ ability to understand the spoken language.
A continuation of French 1, emphasizing both written and spoken language and advancing the students’ grasp of grammar and vocabulary.
An intermediate course designed to reinforce and develop the basic skills of understanding, speaking, reading, and writing the language, with selected readings from French literature. The constant learning of new vocabulary is stressed. By the end of the course, students will have learned most of the tenses in the language.
An advanced course giving students the opportunity to increase their vocabulary, strengthen their ability to understand, speak, read, and write French, experience further cultural elements of the French speaking world, and read the literature of the idiom.
A course designed for students with a substantial knowledge of French who are ready to explore the language and literature of France without the added pressure of preparing for AP examinations. Combining grammar review with critical analysis of significant pieces of literature help the advanced students perfect their writing skills, and deepen their appreciation of French ideas and culture.
HONORS FRENCH LITERATURE
A demanding course designed for students who speak and write French with ease and who are ready to explore the language and literature of France without the added pressure of preparing for AP examinations. Grammar review and critical analysis of significant pieces of literature help the advanced students perfect their writing skills and deepen their appreciation of French ideas and culture.
AP FRENCH LANGUAGE
A course designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement French Language Exam. Careful analysis of a wide variety of conversational situations and reading and discussion of articles, short stories, plays, poems and selections from novels strengthen students’ speaking and comprehension skills. Essays and written commentaries develop their ability to write clear and focused compositions in French.
The course is open to all students in grades 8 and above. It introduces students to facts about Roman life and times and concentrates on grammar, vocabulary, and translations.
A continuation of Latin 1. Acquisition of new vocabulary, further analysis of grammar, and reading and translation of passages to reinforce structures.
A continuation of Latin 2 with significant attention to Latin elements in the English word stock and grammar, and to the historical relationship between the two idioms. Students read and analyze passages from writers of the classical period, listen to and discuss music with Latin texts, and explore and present to the class those aspects of Roman civilization closest to their own interests in history, architecture, literature, science, technology, law, and government.
The course finishes the foundation of basic Latin vocabulary and grammar through a study of the works of ancient authors. A better understanding of good writing in English is a major goal of the course.
AP LATIN LITERATURE
The course prepares students for the Advanced Placement Latin Literature Exam. Students read and examine literary works chosen by the College Board for special attention. Students develop their ability to translate, explicate specific words and phrases in context, and analyze characteristic or noteworthy features of an author’s mode of expression, use of imagery, figures of speech, sound, or metrical effect.
The memorization of the Japanese hiragana and katakana script (used for Japanese and foreign “loan” words respectively) will be emphasized at the beginning of the year. Fun and interactive language games will assist in long-term retention. Basic vocabulary will be introduced in theme-based lessons throughout the course. Students will learn approximately 250 vocabulary words and 40 kanji characters spanning a wide range of topics. Students will receive a solid foundation in basic Japanese sentence patterns, and particles (similar to English prepositions and function words). Verbal skills will be practiced through theme-based interviews, where students will ask and answer questions on their background, family/relatives, likes/dislikes, daily routines, etc. The year end project will be a self/family introduction project either typed, or written, in paragraph form. Classic Japanese anime movies such as Totoro and Spirited Away will add to the fun factor.
A continuation of Japanese 1 designed to activate the material learned in the previous course. Students engage in role-playing, free-association, and videotaped dramas to exercise their reserves of acquired Japanese. Emphasis is on the acquisition of new vocabulary and grammatical patterns, and drills on the nuances of verbal tenses.
A solid foundation will be established in grammar and conjugation patterns, vocabulary retention, and particle use on which students will build as they enter intermediate level Japanese. Students will learn approximately 350 vocabulary words and 100 kanji compounds. Course material is based on a variety of texts and authentic sources, balancing grammar, translation, and essay writing with verbal skills and communication activities. In addition, students will chart their progress in Japanese through fun games such as "Japanese Jeopardy," Japanese SAT II practice exams, and "anime" films throughout the year.
Building on the skills acquired during Japanese 3, students will be introduced to more advanced grammatical patterns. Students will learn or review approximately 400 vocabulary words and 200 kanji compounds. Course material is based on a variety of texts and authentic sources, introducing vocabulary and grammar patterns in greater context. Moving beyond translation, a greater emphasis is placed on theme-based conversations and essay writing skills. Students will continue to chart their progress in Japanese through fun language games, Japanese SAT II practice exams, Japanese films, and creative projects throughout the year.
In this course students will prepare for college-level Japanese. Over 500 vocabulary words and 250 kanji compounds will be introduced or reviewed. Course material is based on a variety of texts and authentic sources, introducing advanced grammar and combination patterns. Emphasis is placed on communicating with greater fluency on a variety of conversational topics, as well as incorporating the vocabulary/kanji and grammar patterns in more advanced essays. In addition students will be challenged through translation projects, a cooking project, and Japanese film classics throughout the year.
AP JAPANESE LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
This course will have a similar format and content as Japanese 5. However, the students will be responsible for learning more advanced vocabulary and complex kanji characters. The ultimate goal of the course is for students to score competitively on the AP Japanese Language and Culture exam. AP practice exams will be practiced throughout the year. In addition, the course will focus on more advanced essay writing and speeches given in Japanese.
Students are introduced to the basics of Mandarin, including gaining facility in the four tones, learning to read and write elementary characters, and learning basic grammar. Listening comprehension will be emphasized.
Open to students who have completed Chinese 1. Students will continue to improve their listening and speaking abilities, while also increasing their familiarity with the written Mandarin language. Character etymology and radical use in modern Mandarin will be discussed.
CHINESE 3/CHINESE 4
These courses are designed to emphasize the students' ability to speak and understand basic Chinese (Mandarin), to continue to familiarize them with the four tones used in Chinese Pingying. In addition, students will learn to write Chinese Characters. By the end of the semester in Chinese 3, students are expected to act out everyday situations by using simple dialogues in Chinese.
The course is designed to emphasize the students’ ability to communicate in Chinese (Mandarin) under various situations. Over 300 vocabulary, including compound words, as well as the advanced grammatical structures will be taught throughout the course. More formal expressions will be introduced to students. The course will also strengthen students’ reading comprehension skills.
A course designed to prepare students for college level Chinese. Students will be expected
to read advanced text taken from various authentic sources. Student’s speaking and
comprehension skills will be strengthened through a study of a variety of conversational
situations and the analysis of articles.