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World Languages

The World Languages Department develops effective communicators with a critical understanding of language and a deep appreciation for culture.

It is the goal of the World Languages Department to achieve proficiency in our students by encouraging them to be open-minded, life-long learners, eager to apply new patterns and adapt to new social norms. We aim to foster kindness, confidence, motivation, resilience and empathy.

Course Offerings

Chinese 1-6

Chinese 1

An intermediate-beginner course open to all students in eighth through twelfth grade who are new to Chinese (Mandarin) or who have had exposure to the language but need to fine-tune their skills. Students are introduced to the basics of Chinese, including gaining facility in the four basic tones, learning to read and write elementary characters and learning basic grammar. Character etymology and radical use will be discussed. Vocabulary and grammar patterns are introduced through theme-based lessons. Culture is an integral part of the course and is introduced through the use of media, adapted readings and class discussions. Emphasis will be placed on the acquisition of four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. The class incorporates the use of audio files and streaming video to develop students’ ability to understand the spoken language. Students are introduced to programs to record and assess their spoken Chinese.

Chinese 2

The focus in Chinese 2 is on the acquisition of new vocabulary and the further analysis of grammar presented in theme-based lessons. Emphasis will be placed on the acquisition of four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing, with particular emphasis placed on oral and aural communication. Continued emphasis will be placed on accuracy with the four basic tones. Culture is an integral part of the course and is introduced through the use of media, adapted readings and class discussions. The class incorporates the use of audio mp3 files and streaming video to develop students’ ability to understand the spoken language. Students are introduced to programs to record and assess their spoken Chinese.

Chinese 3

This intermediate course is a continuation of Chinese 2 and designed to reinforce and develop proficient communication in the language. Students continue to develop their understanding, speaking, reading and writing of the language by synthesizing new vocabulary and previously learned material. Emphasis is placed on the students’ ability to speak and understand Chinese (Mandarin), and on improving their ability to express themselves clearly in written Chinese through theme-based presentations and by acting out topic-based situations using dialogues. Culture is an integral part of the course and is introduced through the use of media, adapted readings and class discussions. 

Chinese 4

This course is designed to enhance the students’ ability to speak, read and write the language, and to continue to learn new vocabulary and grammatical structures appropriate for the advanced learner. Continued focus is placed on the students’ ability to speak and understand Chinese (Mandarin), and attention to culturally appropriate forms of expression are especially emphasized. Students continue to improve their ability to express themselves clearly in written Chinese through theme-based presentations and by acting out topic-based situations using dialogues. Culture and history are integral parts of the course and are introduced through the use of media, adapted readings and class discussions.

Chinese 5

The course is designed to further enhance the students’ ability to communicate in Chinese (Mandarin) in a variety of situations, both formal and informal. Students will continue to acquire new vocabulary and advanced grammatical structures, as well as continue to improve their ability to express themselves clearly in written Chinese through theme-based presentations and by acting out topic-based situations using dialogues. Culture and history are integral parts of the course and are introduced through the use of media, adapted readings and class discussions.

Chinese 6

A course designed to prepare students for college level Chinese. Students are expected to read advanced texts taken from various original sources. Students’ speaking and comprehension skills are strengthened through the study of a variety of conversational situations and and analysis of articles.

AP Chinese Language and Culture

Students in AP Chinese Language and Culture are responsible for learning more advanced vocabulary, complex characters and phrases, and grammatical structures. The ultimate goal of the course is for students to score competitively on the AP Chinese Language and Culture exam. AP practice exams are taken throughout the year. In addition, the course focuses on more advanced essay writing and speeches given in Chinese.
 

French 1-5

French 1

An intermediate-beginner course designed for students in ninth through twelfth grade who are new to French or who have had exposure to the language but need to fine-tune their skills. Vocabulary and grammar patterns are introduced through theme-based lessons. Culture is an integral part of the course and is introduced through the use of media, adapted readings and class discussions. Emphasis is on the acquisition of four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. The class incorporates the use of audio mp3 files and streaming video to develop students’ ability to understand the spoken language. Students are introduced to programs to record and assess their spoken French.

French 2

French 2 focuses on the acquisition of new vocabulary and further analysis of grammar presented in theme based lessons. Emphasis is on the acquisition of four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing, with particular emphasis placed on oral and aural communication. Culture is an integral part of the course and is introduced through the use of media, adapted readings and class discussions. The class incorporates the use of audio mp3 files and streaming video to develop students’ ability to understand the spoken language. Students are introduced to programs to record and assess their spoken French.

French 3

This intermediate course is a continuation of French 2 and designed to reinforce and develop proficient communication in the language. Students continue to develop their understanding, speaking, reading and writing of the language by synthesizing new vocabulary and grammatical structures with previously learned material. By the end of the course, students learn most of the tenses in the language so they may express themselves in a wide variety of authentic situations. Culture is an integral part of the course and is introduced through the use of media, adapted readings and class discussions.

French 4

An advanced elective course giving students the opportunity to further develop, improve and refine their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Emphasis continues to be placed on aural skills and speaking fluency with additional emphasis on reading and academic writing in the target language. A variety of assessments allow students to experience opportunities to demonstrate their proficiency in French in authentic situations. Aspects of culture are emphasized through fragments of literature, cultural readings and class discussions.

French 5

 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 responsibility 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.

AP French Language

This advanced course designed to prepare students for the AP French Language exam. Careful analysis of a wide variety of conversational situations and the 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.
 

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.

Japanese 1-5

Japanese 1

An intermediate-beginner course designed for students in ninth through twelfth grade who are new to Japanese or who have had exposure to the language but need to fine-tune their skills.This course emphasizes the memorization of the Japanese "hiragana" and "katakana" alphabets, around 30 kanji characters, as well as basic vocabulary that are used in theme based grammar patterns. Listening, speaking, translation and essay writing are also emphasized. The class incorporates the use of audio mp3 files and streaming video to develop students’ ability to understand the spoken language. Students are introduced to programs to record and assess their spoken Japanese.

Japanese 2

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.

Japanese 3

In this course, a solid foundation is established in grammar and conjugation patterns, vocabulary retention and particle use on which students will build as they enter intermediate level Japanese. Students 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 chart their progress in Japanese through fun games such as “Japanese Jeopardy,” Japanese SAT II practice exams and “anime” films throughout the year.

Japanese 4

An advanced elective course that gives students the opportunity to increase their vocabulary, strengthen their ability to understand, speak, read, and write Japanese and experience further cultural elements of Japan. A greater emphasis is placed on theme-based conversations and essay-writing skills.    

Japanese 5

In this advanced elective course students prepare for college-level Japanese. Over 500 vocabulary words and 250 kanji compounds are 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 are challenged through translation projects, a cooking project and Japanese film classics throughout the year.

AP Japanese Language and Culture

Students in this course are 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 are taken throughout the year. In addition, the course focuses on more advanced essay writing and speeches given in Japanese.

Latin 1-5

Latin 1

An intermediate-beginner course designed for students in ninth through twelfth grade who are new to Latin or who have had exposure to the language but need to fine-tune their skills. Latin I introduces students to the basic principles of Latin morphology and grammar. Students learn how to decline nouns and adjectives in the first and second declensions; how to conjugate first conjugation verbs in the indicative and imperative moods; and how to read and translate from both Latin to English and English to Latin. Students also learn basic facts about the life and times of the Ancient Romans and begin to read a prose adaptation of Virgil’s Aeneid.

Latin 2

Students learn additional uses of nouns, adjectives and adverbs, as well as numerals and pronouns. Latin morphology and grammar is reinforced through a continued reading of a prose adaptation of Virgil’s Aeneid and through both Latin to English and English to Latin translation exercises.
 

Latin 3

This intermediate course is a continuation of Latin II. In Latin III students learn how to navigate advanced concepts in Latin morphology and grammar, including 4th and 5th declension nouns, additional pronouns, participles and participial phrases, infinitives, indirect statement, and subjunctive mood usage and formation. Topics in morphology and grammar are reinforced by readings that vary throughout the year, from adapted excerpts about the early history of Rome from Livy’s Ab Urbe Condita, to a wide range of prose and poetry passages from essential Golden and Silver Age Latin authors. In the second semester students engage in an intensive study of Roman daily life and culture, including Greek and Roman mythology, as they prepare for the National Latin Exam in March.

Latin 4

In the first half of Latin IV, students conclude their study of the language’s advanced morphology and grammar topics, including uses of the subjunctive mood, irregular and deponent verb formation and usage, and gerunds and gerundives. These concepts are reinforced through a wide range of readings from both prose and poetry. After engaging in intensive preparation for the National Latin Exam in March, students begin to read selections from authors Virgil and Caesar, who are featured in AP Latin, while learning how to identify rhetorical devices and scan the meter of Latin poetry. Toward the end of the year students also prepare for the SAT II Subject Test in Latin.

Latin 5

Latin V begins with a review of all morphology and grammar topics from Latin I - IV.  Students then spend the school year enjoying the literature of four of Rome’s greatest authors: Cicero, Catullus, Ovid and Petronius. Seniors enrolled in Latin V initiate an independent project inspired by the work of one of these four authors.

AP Latin Literature

In this advanced course, students read and examine literary works chosen by the College Board. 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. This course prepares students for the AP Latin Literature exam.

Spanish 1-5

Spanish 1

An intermediate-beginner course designed for students in ninth through twelfth grade who are new to Spanish or who have had exposure to the language but need to fine-tune their skills. Vocabulary and grammar patterns are introduced through theme-based lessons. Culture is an integral part of the course and is introduced through the use of media, adapted readings and class discussions. Emphasis is on the acquisition of four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Spanish 2

Spanish 2 focuses on the acquisition of new vocabulary and further analysis of grammar presented in theme-based lessons. Emphasis is on the acquisition of four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing, with particular emphasis placed on oral and aural communication. Culture is an integral part of the course and is introduced through the use of media, adapted readings and class discussions.

Spanish 3

This intermediate course is a continuation of Spanish 2 designed to reinforce and develop proficient communication in the language. Students continue to develop their understanding, speaking, reading and writing the language by synthesizing new vocabulary and grammatical structures with previously learned material. By the end of the course, students learn most of the tenses in the language in order to express themselves in a wide variety of authentic situations. Culture is an integral part of the course and is introduced through the use of media, adapted readings and class discussions. 

Spanish 4

This is an intermediate-advanced elective course which gives students the opportunity to further develop, improve and refine their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Emphasis continues to be placed on aural skills and speaking fluency with additional emphasis on reading and academic writing in the target language. A variety of assessments allow students to experience opportunities to demonstrate their proficiency in Spanish in authentic situations. Aspects of culture are emphasized through fragments of literature, cultural readings and class discussions.

Spanish 5

This is an advanced Spanish elective course which explores the language and culture of a variety of different Spanish speaking countries through film. The films are selected for quality, cultural and historical content, industry prestige and appeal to students. Exposure to authentic dialogues and vocabulary and grammar in context improves listening comprehension and authentic speaking skills. A variety of printed ancillaries further develop reading comprehension. Students explore social and political issues throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Students are expected to discuss central topics and themes in the target language in an effort to achieve practical fluency and a general knowledge of cultural differences varying from region to region. 

AP Spanish Language

This advanced course is designed to prepare students for the AP 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. The AP Spanish Literature and Culture course is designed to introduce students to the formal study of a representative body of literature, written in Spanish, from Spain, Latin America and the United States. The course provides students with ongoing and varied opportunities to develop proficiency in Spanish across a full range of skills, with emphasis on critical reading and analytical writing. It also encourages students to reflect on the many voices and cultures included in a rich and diverse body of literature written in Spanish. 

AP Spanish Literature

This advanced course prepares students for the AP 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.