World Languages

Chairperson: Mrs. Tina Donohue

Knowledge of a foreign language establishes a personal level of communication and facilitates the exchange of ideas and information on shared beliefs and a variety of issues. In today’s global society this skill is critical for the well being of our nation. Second language learners will appreciate more readily the values and ways of life of other cultures.

The goal of the world languages instruction program is to enable students to attain a measurable degree of communicative competency and proficiency in each of the four skills: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. The program will prepare young people to demonstrate practical, meaningful, and culturally sensitive use of the language as students, travelers, citizens, and workers in the world. It is hoped that students will use the language to interact positively and more effectively with the world in which they find themselves.

Spanish Level I

In Spanish I, students are introduced to the learning of a foreign language and the study of another culture. The aim is, first, to develop communication skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) in Spanish and second, to instill in students an awareness, understanding, and appreciation of another culture. Students learn elementary vocabulary in context, as well as structures that facilitate basic communication. Emphasis is on acquisition of vocabulary related to familiar themes and building simple sentences in the present tense. The class is conducted in Spanish so that students become accustomed to following directions and interacting in Spanish. The course introduces the students to Spanish/Hispanic culture through an overview of geography, holidays, and daily activities throughout the Spanish-speaking world, including the United States.

Honors Spanish Level I

The honors course offers students a more challenging first year experience and a more in-depth examination of the Spanish/Hispanic culture. Placement by the Academic Dean and the teacher.

Spanish Level II

In Spanish II, students continue to develop communication skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) and to expand their knowledge of Spanish/Hispanic culture and its contributions to life in the United States. More spontaneous and personal communication is stressed. The vocabulary and structures learned in Level I are reinforced and refined. Emphasis is on building complex sentences, with the introduction of past tenses, developing pronoun use, and appropriate use of idiomatic expressions. Students explore aspects of Spanish culture expressed through historical as well as contemporary events and figures.

Honors Spanish Level II

The honors course offers students additional readings and more sophisticated requirements in the development of their communication skills. Prerequisite: a high grade in an earlier language course and approval of the teacher.

Spanish Level III

The course of study in Spanish III further develops the students’ ability to understand, speak, read, and write Spanish. The class is conducted in Spanish with activities designed to maximize meaningful and culturally-appropriate communication. Accuracy and fluency in the formation and usage of past, present, and future tenses, as well as the subjunctive mode, are stressed. Reflecting the cumulative nature of foreign language study, students at this level must be able to draw on knowledge acquired in the first two years of Spanish to become independent learners. Particular emphasis is placed on flexibility in the use of idiomatic expressions, grammatical structures, and a knowledge of cultural norms that apply to a variety of everyday situations. Students will explore both Latin American and Spanish cultures, including historical and contemporary characteristics, literature, art, music, and social issues. Prerequisites: a final average of at least 80 in Honors Spanish II, 82 in College Preparatory Spanish II and approval of department chairperson.

Honors Spanish Level III

The honors course offers students a greater challenge with accuracy and fluency, additional readings, and a higher level of independent thinking. Prerequisite: a final grade of 85 or above in a previous honors language course and approval of the teacher.

AP Spanish IV

The level IV Spanish course emphasizes the use of language for active communication and requires advanced skills in composition, conversation, and reading in Spanish. Grammar and idioms presented in previous years are reinforced through their application in the above areas. Students are routinely assigned written projects in Spanish based on topics under discussion. Through both classroom practice and independent tape/video productions, students are encouraged to express themselves accurately and resourcefully in Spanish. Classroom conversation is conducted in the target language. The curriculum is designed to develop fluency in reading and speaking, using texts from a variety of disciplines such as science and technology, sociology, history, art, and literature. Students who elect to sit for the AP examination in May will need to spend outside time in preparation for the examination. Prerequisite: 85 in Honors Spanish III and approval of the department chairperson.

Honors French I

French I introduces students to the learning of a foreign language and the study of another culture. The aim is first, to develop communication skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) in French and second, to instill in students an awareness, understanding, and appreciation of another culture. Students learn elementary, useful vocabulary in context, as well as structures that facilitate basic communication. Emphasis is on acquisition of vocabulary related to familiar themes and building simple sentences in the present tense. The class is conducted in French so that students become accustomed to following directions and interacting in French. Through readings and role-play, students explore customs and cultures of the French-speaking world and develop an awareness of their own cultural background.

Honors French II

In French II students continue to develop communication skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) and to expand their knowledge of francophone cultures. More spontaneous and personal communication is stressed. The vocabulary and structures learned at Level I are reinforced and refined. Emphasis is on building complex sentences, with the introduction of past tenses, developing pronoun use, and appropriate use of idiomatic expressions. Students explore aspects of French culture expressed through historical events and figures.

Honors French III

The course of study in French III aims to further develop students’ ability to understand, speak, read, and write in French. The class is conducted in French with activities designed to maximize meaningful and culturally-appropriate communication. Accuracy and fluency in formation and usage of past, present, and future tenses, as well as the subjunctive mode, are stressed. Reflecting the cumulative nature of foreign language study, students at this level must be able to draw on knowledge acquired in the first two years of French to become independent learners. Particular emphasis is placed on flexibility in the use of idiomatic expressions, grammatical structures, and a knowledge of cultural norms that apply to a variety of everyday situations. Students examine important historical trends in the various cultures of the French-speaking world. Prerequisites: a final average of at least 85 in French II and approval of teacher.

AP French IV

The level IV French course emphasizes the use of language for active communication and requires competent skills in composition, conversation, and reading in French. Grammar and idioms presented in previous years are reinforced through their application in the above three areas. Students are routinely assigned written projects in French based on topics under discussion. Through both classroom work and independent tape/video productions, students are encouraged to express themselves accurately and resourcefully in French. Classroom conversation is conducted in the target language. The curriculum is designed to develop fluency in reading and speaking, based on texts from a variety of disciplines such as science and technology, sociology, history, art, and literature. Students who elect to sit for the AP examination in May will need to spend outside time in preparation for the examination. Prerequisites: 85 in French III and approval of the teacher.

ESL (ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE)

The English as a Second Language (ESL) course is a program designed for the non-native speaker who requires support to develop the level of English language proficiency essential to academic success in an American high school. ESL is part of a student’s daily schedule of classes. Units tailored to the students’ needs are designed to provide them immediate communicative skills for their classes, their interaction at home with their host families, and for use in the wider community. In addition to developing their competence in the four skill areas (listening, speaking, reading, writing), lessons offer students insights into American culture with the goal of increasing their understanding and appreciation of their host country. Units of instruction include, but are not limited to, topics such as banking, shopping, classroom language and behavior, holidays and celebrations, historical events and important personages, the fine arts, and scientific symbols and language.