MODERN AND CLASSICAL LANGUAGES
Department Chair: Mrs. Anne Pearson
Regardless of whether the chosen language is modern or classical, the goal is proficiency in all four language acquisition skills – reading, writing, listening and speaking – as well as a better understanding of the history and culture of peoples for whom the language is primary.
This is the foundation Spanish course. Using the four areas of language acquisition: reading, writing, speaking, and listening, students will gain command of basic phrases, vocabulary, and grammar, such as the present tense and simple future. The course also covers a diverse range of cultural topics from food to geography to art.
Spanish II Intermediate
Students will work on cementing their command of the present indicative and will be introduced to the preterite indicative. Spanish 2 Intermediate has a strong focus on improving study skills necessary for language acquisition. Students will be introduced to new cultural topics each term and will further their understanding of the material through class work, project based learning, and interactive games.
Spanish II Honors
This is an accelerated class for students taking a second year of high-school Spanish. Students will improve their command of all four areas of language acquisition – reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Spanish 2 Honors will move more quickly through grammatical topics, and emphasize speaking, listening, and vocabulary acquisition. Students will reinforce their knowledge of the present indicative, learn the preterite indicative, the imperfect indicative, and the imperative mood. Cultural topics that reinforce the grammar are also a component of the course.
In Spanish 3, students reinforce their knowledge of the preterite and imperfect indicative and learn how to compare and use the two alternating tenses correctly. Students also deepen their understanding of the imperative mood, and learn new topics such as the future tense. New cultural topics will be introduced each term to further understanding of the material through class work and project based learning.
Honors Advanced Spanish
In Honors Advanced Spanish Students will learn new grammar such as the future and conditional tenses. They will improve their command of all four areas of language acquisition – reading, writing, speaking, and listening – through renewed and extensive focus on oral proficiency, and extemporaneous language production. Boys will be introduced to new cultural topics each term and further their understanding of the material through class work, project based learning, and primary source materials.
Spanish Language and Culture
Spanish Language and Culture is intended for students in the fourth or fifth year of high-school level Spanish. This course works to take Spanish out of a textbook and focuses students on cementing previous grammatical knowledge and vocabulary as well as expanding it. Students improve their abilities to express themselves in Spanish through writing and speaking in a variety of situations and contexts. They improve reading and listening skills through class discussions, research projects, and presentations. This class has a strong cultural component and the grammar and vocabulary are taught in a different cultural context each term using films as a supporting element.
This course focuses on Spanish and Spanish-American literature and the civilization of Spain. Students read selections from the great Spanish masterpieces, use advanced Spanish grammar, and fine-tune listening and speaking skills.
Latin Language and Literature I & II
In these courses, students are able to choose the literature they wish to study. Works in the past have included selections from Ovid, Cicero, Catullus, Livy, Vergil, and Pliny, among others. Both original texts and translations are used.
This course introduces motivated students to the basics of Mandarin Chinese. The workload is intense, and students must be prepared to adapt to an unfamiliar set of characters and intonations. Students develop fundamental writing and pronunciation skills. Lessons topics covered are: greetings, family, dates and time, hobbies. Daily instruction includes drilling in the four target skills of speaking, listening, writing, and reading.
This course continues to enhance the fundamental writing and speaking skills of the first year, and further broaden students’ knowledge of Chinese culture. Students are actively engaged in oral exercises to improve their pronunciation, and continue to build on their foundation of characters. Lesson topics covered are: visiting friends, making appointments, school life, shopping, transportation, and giving directions. Instruction is solely in Chinese.
Rigorous practice of spoken and written Chinese in more complex communication activities are complemented by intensive drills to fine-tune pronunciation, expand vocabulary, and internalize more complex grammatical constructions. Short stories and other supplementary reading materials are employed. Special emphasis is given to developing a greater fluidity and flexibility in expression and response based on various situations. Students continue to expand their understanding of Chinese culture. Instruction is solely in Chinese.
An introduction to French, this course balances the spoken and the written language. Dialogues, cultural reading, pattern drills and writing exercises are used to improve the four skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking.
This course continues to develop the four basic language skills, with a shift toward more difficult reading and to the writing of paragraph essays. French II is taught largely in French.
At this level, there continues to be an emphasis on reading, writing, speaking, and listening with an introduction to readings from important French authors. For example, Le Petit Prince is one of the regular short novels that is read at this level.
Emphasis in this course is on literature, composition and the civilization of France. Students are required to discuss major literary works in French. Students are also taught the correct terminology to analyze literature. Lengthy oral exposes are presented by the students to the class. Selections from the great 19th and 20th century French authors in a variety of genres portray French life and culture.
Although Latin is not spoken regularly today, Latin words abound in English in derivative forms, in abbreviations, in mottoes, and even in their original forms. Along with Greece, Rome is considered the cradle of Western Civilization, influencing government, literature, and art down through history. The study of Latin improves a student’s grasp of both English grammar and vocabulary, improves attention to detail, and broadens his understanding of one of the planet’s most powerful empires.
Latin I introduces the basics of Latin grammar and the differences between English, a positional language, and Latin, an inflected language. Although emphasis is placed on the ability to read and interpret, students will also speak and write in Latin. Grammatical elements include nouns of the first and second declensions, verbs in the present, future and perfect tenses. Students study the early history of Rome and her famous ancestor, Aeneas.
This course continues basic Latin, adding the remaining three tenses, the passive voice, and the third declension of nouns. Constructions include the ablative absolute and indirect statement. Students learn about the seven kings and heroes of the early Republic.
Students will complete the acquisition of the most common grammatical structures, including the subjunctive mood. Students learn about the late Republican period, Julius Caesar, and the war in Gaul.