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Upper School Foreign Language Courses
Upper School students must earn a minimum of three credits of the same language taken in succession. Use the links below to jump directly to course descriptions for a particular language.
This course emphasizes French speaking and listening skills development. All lessons have cultural objectives designed to offer students a look at various aspects of French life. In addition to the text, students will have the opportunity to experience and learn about French culture through “hands-on” activities that include cooking, craft projects, and observations of current and historical events. Prerequisites: None
This course places an emphasis on idiomatic expressions of the language. It is an audio-lingual course designed to increase the student’s ability in the use and comprehension of the spoken and written language. It leads to the completion of the study of French grammar. Students learn how to give more information about themselves by describing people, leisure activities, food, sports, and their daily routine. Activities also include declamation of poems, games, and casual conversation. Additionally, students examine the culture of France and its regions and the francophone countries. Videos of contemporary films and popular music further develop the student’s understanding of the spoken language. Prerequisite: French 1 or instructor approval
This course consists of mastery of French grammar. Students learn to describe a typical daily routine, to discuss nature and vacation activities in more detail, and to talk about jobs and working around the house. Additionally, the students learn how to make travel plans. Grammar includes the imperfect, future, conditional, and subjunctive tenses along with a comprehensive study of pronouns. Students begin to read literary works and write longer compositions. This course includes an in-depth study of French art, beginning with the impressionist revolution and continuing with the impressionist’ influence on modern art. This unit coordinates with the Upper School art teacher and includes a visit to a local museum to view works in person. The culminating project is a presentation on a modern French artist along with a creation of a work of art in the style of the artist studied. This is presented in French and students must show they understand the artist and his/her influences along with mastery of the grammar necessary to do the presentation. Students study contemporary culture through magazines, music videos, and internet sites. Prerequisite: French II
This course places an emphasis on the art of conversation in French, with more difficult readings of selected literary works, creative and analytical writing, review of grammar, oral presentations on specific topics, and recitation. Students study French music and cinéma and do a Socratic Seminar as a conversational unit. Students read an entire book in French (Le Petit Prince), as well as excerpted versions of other novels. Videos of classic literary works are used to further develop both the student’s understanding of the spoken language and the culture of the respective time period. The student’s analytical and writing skills are developed through composition. Students continue to study contemporary culture and issues of the francophone world through the use of magazines, music videos, and internet sites. Prerequisite: French III
This Twelfth grade course instructs students on all past perfect tenses, extensive vocabulary, and daily practice reading, writing, and speaking French. The course is the equivalent of a third-year college course. Prerequisite: Departmental recommendation. This class is offered when demand permits.
This course introduces students to common phrase and sentence patterns of Latin through model sentences and reading passages. Present, Imperfect, and Past Perfect verb tenses are introduced in the first semester of Latin I. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd declension noun forms and other language features are introduced in the context of reading passages. Students will identify English derivatives from 350+ learned vocabulary words and phrases and their connection to Latin. All students take level 1 of the National Latin Exam in March and become members of the Junior Classical League. Students have the opportunity to participate in statewide competitions with other schools throughout the academic year. Prerequisite: None
This course is a study of Latin language through reading passages which are based as closely as possible on historical characters and situations in two different parts of the Roman Empire in the first century A.D.: Roman Britain and Egypt. Students will evaluate Greco-Roman culture’s influence on American culture, as well as on nations and cultures throughout history, specifically in terms of daily activities, gender roles, religion, slavery and patronage, and foreign diplomacy. New grammar features include the 4th and 5th declension noun forms, pluperfect verb tense, relative clauses, indefinite pronouns, participles, and an introduction to the subjunctive mood. All students take level 2 of the National Latin Exam in March and become members of the Junior Classical League. Students have the opportunity to participate in statewide competitions with other schools throughout the academic year. Prerequisite: Latin I
This course is a study of the Latin language through reading passages that are based on historical characters and situations in Rome. The class covers the origins of Rome, the Roman Forum, Rome and Judea, Roman religion and philosophy, and the organization of the Roman army. The increased complexity of language in the readings prepares the student for reading original Latin texts. The grammar features in Latin III include all forms of subjunctive mood uses, deponent verbs, passive verb forms, and the future tense. Students in Latin III will take either the poetry or prose form of the National Latin Exam, participate in statewide competitions, and take leadership positions in our chapter of the National Junior Classical League. Prerequisite: Latin II
In Latin IV, students will finish Unit 4 of Cambridge Latin Course and begin work in the college level Wheelock’s Latin textbook in order to prepare for college credit. The grammar features in Latin IV include indirect statement, active and passive voice of all verbs and infinitives, subjunctive mood use, gerund and gerundive forms. The reading passages are based on Roman law courts and political structure and feature prominent literary figures. Students will read and translate original Latin works including poetry from Ovid’s retelling of myths in the Metamorphosis, as well as from Horace, Catullus, Seneca, and the Bible. Prerequisite: Latin III
This Eighth or Ninth grade course is an introduction to the Spanish language and culture. Its purpose is to enable students to begin to acquire proficiency in Spanish through a linguistic, communicative, and cultural approach to language learning. Emphasis is placed on the development of listening, speaking, reading, writing skills, and on acquisition of the fundamentals of applied grammar. Students will be exposed to conversational expression of feelings, ideas, and opinions in Spanish; spoken and written Spanish comprehension; oral and written presentation of information and ideas to an audience in Spanish; social patterns within Hispanic culture(s); and Spanish language usage within and beyond the school setting. Prerequisites: None
This course places an emphasis on idiomatic expressions of the language. It is an audio-lingual course, designed to increase the student’s ability in the use and comprehension of the spoken and written language. It includes creative work such as compositions, declamations of poems, and plays. It leads to the completion of the study of Spanish grammar. Prerequisites: Spanish I
This course engages students in communication with spoken and written Spanish language. Students will continue to familiarize themselves with different perspectives of the target language culture through experiences with its products and practices. Through the study of thematic vocabulary and more grammatical structures, students will be able to imitate appropriate gestures, intonation, and common idiomatic expressions through social interaction. The course continues to build on the four aspects of communication: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Prerequisites: Spanish II
This course continues to develop communicative competence by interacting orally and in writing, understanding oral and written messages in Spanish, and making oral and written presentations in Spanish. Students will communicate on a variety of topics at a level commensurate with their study, using more complex structures in Spanish and moving from concrete to more abstract concepts. They comprehend the main ideas of the authentic materials that they read and are able to identify significant details when the topics are familiar. Students develop the ability to discuss, in Spanish, topics related to historical and contemporary events and issues. Prerequisites: Spanish III
This Course is designed to integrate and develop proficiency with the understanding of Spanish culture. This course emphasizes the development of advanced skills such as listening comprehension, speaking, reading, writing, and advanced vocabulary and linguistic structures in order to achieve proficiency. This course uses interdisciplinary topics to encourage aspects of critical thinking, such as comparison, contrast, inference and conclusions. Prerequisites: Departmental recommendation. This class is offered when demand permits.