Breadcrumb

Modern and Classical Languages

Note on advanced study: An advanced study option is available beginning in the second year of language study. These courses explore the material offered at each level in depth and may interest students who have a special interest in or facility for the language. Advanced courses are generally conducted predominantly in the target language. Enrollment in Advanced language courses is subject to departmental approval.

Mandarin

Chinese I

This course introduces the standard (Mandarin) Chinese phonetics system (Pinyin), basic grammatical structures, and functional daily language use. The course emphasizes the training of all four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) and develops an understanding of socio-linguistics and the socio-cultural factors that are important to cross-cultural communication. Students will also learn how to type Chinese. [One credit.]

Chinese II

This course continues to emphasize the training of all four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) begun in the first year. Students will also develop a more sophisticated understanding of socio-linguistics and the socio-cultural factors that are important to cross-cultural communication. Besides continuing to work with basic grammatical structures and functional daily language, students will learn and practice Chinese calligraphy. [Prerequisite: Chinese I. Advanced study available. One credit.]

Chinese III

This course reinforces what has been taught in Chinese II and continues the development of the four major language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) by introducing new and more sophisticated language structures and vocabulary. Students develop conversational skills by participating in discussions and role-playing. Compositions in Chinese are a regular part of the curriculum. [Prerequisite: Chinese II. Advanced study is available. One credit.]

Chinese IV

This course reinforces what has been taught in Chinese III and continues the development of the four major language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Intensive conversation, writing, and translation are required. This course places a particular emphasis on building vocabulary. Writing skills progress to include descriptions, storytelling, and the integration of extended vocabulary and sentence structure. [Prerequisite: Chinese III. Advanced study is available. One credit.]

AP Chinese Language and Culture

This course introduces advanced language structures, grammar functions, and related cultural knowledge. The class is conducted entirely in Mandarin. The readings broaden the range of students’ vocabulary and their understanding of the content, as well as improving students’ language skills. The course is designed to provide students with opportunities for deeper and broader cultural understanding. Supplementary materials will also be used to help students prepare for the AP Chinese Language and Culture exam. [Prerequisites: Chinese IV Advanced or III Advanced with departmental approval. One credit.]

Chinese Cultural Studies

This course is an immersion in Chinese culture, including social life, thought, history, current events, literature, music, and fine arts in Chinese-speaking communities worldwide. It is designed to deepen students’ cultural and linguistic understanding and helps students further develop their Chinese language skills by applying their knowledge to real world experiences. Developing appreciation and awareness of Chinese cultures is an integral theme throughout the course. In semester one, emphasis is placed on the major cultural and social developments that are relevant to an understanding of modern China, spanning from prehistory to the twentieth century. The second semester gives students an in-depth look at the lifestyles of modern Chinese people and the philosophies that guide their lives. The readings include stories, essays, and plays, mostly by leading writers of recent decades. The course also includes movie adaptations of these writings, radio and TV broadcasts. Students will produce research projects based on specialized readings or different topics. The research projects will be presented both orally and in written form throughout the two semesters. This course has a Curricular Travel component to China during Spring Break. While there, students will engage in a real-world immersion experience in Chinese life, language and culture by traveling to the Chinese-speaking world and focusing on a community service project. This course is most appropriate for non-native Chinese students who have successfully completed AP Chinese Language and Culture. [Prerequisites: Chinese IV Advanced or departmental approval. One credit.]

Spanish

Spanish I

This course introduces elementary grammatical concepts, present and past tenses, basic sentence patterns, and a number of idiomatic expressions. Major units emphasize practical daily situations, such as greeting people, expressing opinions, talking about the weather, counting and telling time, traveling, shopping and discussing family relationships. This course also presents a variety of cultural material. [One credit.]

Spanish II

This course further develops reading, aural comprehension, speaking and writing skills by introducing several new major language structures. These include the imperfect tense and the contrast between the two past tenses, as well as direct and indirect pronouns. Students acquire a broader vocabulary base of new words and expressions, often working in small groups to maximize use of the language and studying authentic material from the target languages, such as newspapers, films, and websites. Students complete projects relating to Spanish geography, politics, society and culture. [Prerequisite: Spanish I. Advanced study is available. One credit.]

Spanish III

This course emphasizes oral, written, and listening facility, bringing students to a higher level of language proficiency. Students learn additional and more sophisticated grammar and vocabulary; read advanced material such as newspaper editorials, literary prose and poetry; and compose essays in the target language. This course further explores the customs, history, geography and culture of countries where Spanish is spoken. [Prerequisite: Spanish II. Advanced study is available. One credit.]

Spanish IV Advanced

Spanish IV Advanced provides language practice in speaking, writing, listening comprehension, and reading. It serves primarily as preparation for AP Spanish Language and Culture. Students refine their language skills, acquire an advanced and nuanced vocabulary, and deepen their understanding of complex grammar. They also broaden their knowledge of Hispanic culture. Readings include a variety of authentic, unabridged written texts in Spanish, such as journalistic writing, essays and other works of literature, as well as films, songs, and visual art. Students complete a variety of written and spoken work tailored to authentic everyday experience, entirely in the target language. Major units include topics related to Identity, Daily Life, Society, and History. [Prerequisite: Spanish III. One credit.]

AP Spanish Language and Culture

This course provides rigorous practice in reading, writing, speaking, and listening for the purpose of gaining proficiency in Spanish. Students also study advanced grammar and vocabulary, read and discuss original texts of varying genres and styles, write compositions, give oral reports and gain cultural knowledge through videos, songs, and internet research. Debates, Harkness discussions, recordings, and other conversational activities build fluency. Language proficiency is built within the context of the six themes prescribed by the AP curriculum: Global Challenges, Beauty and Aesthetics, Science and Technology, Family and Community, Personal and Public Identities, and Contemporary Life. This course is conducted entirely in Spanish to build proficiency in the language while assisting students in preparing for the required AP language examinations. [Prerequisites: Spanish IV Advanced or III Advanced with departmental approval. One credit.]

Contemporary Civilization and Culture of Latin America

Through the study of the history and formation of today’s Latin American countries, students gain the background information that forms the base for their views of contemporary culture. The course provides students with an opportunity to study how Latin American cultures may differ from their own, giving them a better understanding of their own worldview. Many of the areas studied have vast gaps between rich and poor, and many areas are still mired in poverty due to racial, social, and political factors. In semester one, students are presented with a historical and cultural overview of Latin America. They explore the manner in which a history of conflicts and events has shaped the modern political and social structures in Latin America. Students have many opportunities to improve their verbal skills through oral presentations. Semester two builds on the topics studied in the fall by selecting a particular country in Latin America on which to focus. Students work to create an iBook on the selected country as their final project. This course has a Curricular Travel component to Latin America during Spring Break. This course is most appropriate for students who have successfully completed AP Spanish Language and Culture. [Prerequisites: Spanish IV Advanced or departmental approval. One credit.]

AP Spanish Literature and Culture

AP Spanish Literature and Culture is a college-equivalent course available for students who wish to pursue advanced language studies with a close examination of canonical works in Spanish, Spanish- American, Latino, and Chicano literature. The course provides an introduction to the major literary movements in the field of Hispanic literature. Students read original, unabridged works from the fifteenth century through the twenty-first century. The course includes a review of literary analysis, including genre-specific approaches, literary terms and some relevant literary theories. Students also study the socio-cultural contexts in which the course texts were written and many possible thematic links among them. There is a secondary emphasis on approaches to the visual arts of the Hispanic world and their connection to literary works studied in the course. Students develop their presentational, interpretive and interpersonal language skills through assignments in class and at home, including critical writing, listening and discussions. The class is conducted entirely in Spanish. This course is most appropriate for students who have successfully completed AP Spanish Language and Culture. [Prerequisites: Spanish IV Advanced or departmental approval. One credit.]

Fall Semester - Conversación y cultura del mundo hispano (Conversation and Culture of the Hispanic World)

In this semester-long intensive conversation course, students hone their speaking and listening abilities as they examine advanced vocabulary and linguistic structures in authentic contexts. Students further develop their speaking skills through real-life situation-based discussions, debates, performances, and oral presentations. Students work to develop the lexicon necessary to be comfortable in a multitude of pertinent real world scenarios. Students also further refine their reading, writing, and literary analysis capabilities through in-depth study of culturally relevant legends, myths, folkloric histories, songs, journalistic articles, literary works, and short films of various Spanish-speaking countries. Students investigate and assess the linguistic nuances found in these texts and describe their historical foundation and social implications. Through investigation of cultural traditions, students analyze and examine the origins and contemporary significance of principal cultural celebrations and traditions. The course is taught entirely in Spanish. [Prerequisite: Spanish III. Half credit.]

Fall Semester - Spanish Literature and Cultures

This semester elective presents notable works of literature of the Spanish-speaking world, with an emphasis on short works of fiction, drama and poetry. The readings include both works that present universal themes and those that reflect specific historical realities. As a result, students gain an introduction to major socio-cultural developments in Spain, Spanish America, and Spanish-speaking communities in the United States, which form the backdrop and context for the authors’ writings. Students also gain an understanding of notable literary styles employed by Spanish-speaking authors, such as the picaresque, personal testimony, and magical realism and the fantastic. Students also learn literary terms in Spanish as part of the course. Course themes may include interpersonal relationships, cultural encounters, religions, the construction of gender, struggle, and oppression, and technologies, ethics, and alienation. The course will provide opportunities for students to hone their reading, speaking, writing, and listening skills in Spanish and to practice interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational modes of communication. Typical class work will include class discussions, debates, presentations, performances, reflection assignments, formal writing, and creative projects. [Prerequisite: Spanish III or departmental approval. Half credit]

Spring Semester - Temas actuales del mundo hispano (Current Events of the Hispanic World)

In this semester-long current events, culture and conversation course, students focus their attention on learning intensively about Latin America and events that have occurred and will occur during this semester. Students begin by learning to identify the location and leadership of all Spanish-speaking countries/territories in North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa. Review of the colonization of these countries prepares students to further delve into the “whys” of what happens in these countries. Furthermore, students become “experts” on 2-3 countries and share information about these countries through journalistic articles. Students further develop their oral proficiency skills through real-life situation-based discussions, debates and oral presentations. Students work to develop the lexicon necessary to be comfortable in a multitude of pertinent real world scenarios including grammar reviews as necessary. The course is taught entirely in Spanish. [Prerequisite: Spanish III. Half credit.]

French

French I

This course introduces elementary grammatical concepts, present and past tenses, basic sentence patterns, and a number of idiomatic expressions. Major units emphasize practical daily situations, such as greeting people, expressing opinions, talking about the weather, counting and telling time, traveling, shopping and discussing family relationships. This course also presents a variety of cultural material. [One credit.]

French II

This course further develops reading, aural comprehension, speaking and writing skills by introducing several new major language structures. These include the imperfect tense and the contrast between the two past tenses, as well as direct and indirect pronouns. Students acquire a broader vocabulary base of new words and expressions, often working in small groups to maximize use of the language and studying authentic material from the target languages, such as newspapers, films, and websites. Students complete projects relating to French geography, politics, society and culture. [Prerequisite: French I. Advanced study is available. One credit.]

French III

This course emphasizes oral, written, and listening facility, bringing students to a higher level of language proficiency. Students learn additional and more sophisticated grammar and vocabulary; read advanced material such as newspaper editorials, literary prose and poetry; and compose essays in the target language. This course further explores the customs, history, geography and culture of countries where French is spoken. [Prerequisite: French II. Advanced study is available. One credit.]

French IV Advanced

This course focuses on comprehension, conversation, and listening skills, emphasizing recognition and use of complex grammar and new vocabulary in everyday speech. To increase proficiency, students participate in class discussion, listen to and watch authentic media, compose essays of many kinds, including opinion and creative pieces, and confront practical, everyday scenarios. Students read articles and short stories and participate in debates to gain awareness of relevant social issues. Students utilize a wealth of online resources, including TV5Monde, France 24, and Bien-Dire to maximize their linguistic and cultural understanding, to stay abreast of current events, and to effectively communicate in the target language. [Prerequisite: French III. One credit.]

AP French Language and Culture

This course provides rigorous practice in reading, writing, speaking, and listening for the purpose of gaining proficiency in French. Students also study advanced grammar and vocabulary, read and discuss original texts of varying genres and styles, write compositions, give oral reports and gain cultural knowledge through videos, songs, and internet research. Debates, Harkness discussions, recordings, and other conversational activities build fluency. Language proficiency is built within the context of the six themes prescribed by the AP curriculum: Global Challenges, Beauty and Aesthetics, Science and Technology, Family and Community, Personal and Public Identities, and Contemporary Life. This course is conducted entirely in French to build proficiency in the language while assisting students in preparing for the required AP language examinations. [Prerequisites: French  IV Advanced or III Advanced with departmental approval. One credit.]

Le Monde Francophone (The French-speaking world)

Language is not just about grammar. Language is a means of communication, of expressing oneself. What role does language play in identity? In this advanced French course, students will better understand the French-speaking world through readings, film, exploration of current events, and direct contact with French speakers around the globe. Students will study the people and cultures of this global language. The first semester of this year-long course will focus on the relationships between North Africa (what is often referred to as “The Maghreb”) and France. The long history between Morocco, Algeria, and France is a rich one, full of violent episodes and peaceful ones. The influx of North African immigrants to France has created fascinating cultural dilemmas, especially as second and third generation French citizens still question their own identity. Through art forms, national education programs and politics, students will learn more about colonization and its aftereffects, as well as the current challenges of living in dual languages and cultures. Most important, students will learn to interpret the information in order to apply it to other global situations, perhaps some in their own countries. For the second semester, our focus will shift toward Western Africa (Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire) and then on to the Americas: a region with a very rich Francophone presence. As our studies lead us through Canada, the Caribbean and South America, students will learn about history, differing cultural attitudes and the reasoning behind them, and the extent to which language is linked to identity. This course has a Curricular Travel component during Spring Break to Morocco or Guadeloupe. This course is most appropriate for students who have successfully completed AP French Language and Culture. [Prerequisites: French IV Advanced or departmental approval. One credit.]

Fall Semester - Advanced Topics in Linguistics: French Phonetics

In this semester-long, advanced-level course, we leave grammar, writing, and reading behind and work strictly on pronunciation and listening skills. Through close study of liaisons and enchaînements, as well as rhythmic groups and general intonation, students will learn about the basic flow of spoken French and work to incorporate this into their speech. Study of the International Phonetic Alphabet (vowel, consonant, semi-vowel sounds, etc.) solidifies their confidence in the proper pronunciation of any word in spoken French. Students are graded on written, spoken, and listening assignments. Independent work is an important component of this course. A research project in English or French covering dialects and pronunciation differences of spoken French throughout the world is the culmination of the semester. [Prerequisite: French III. May be taken concurrently with other French courses. Half credit.]

Spring Semester - Advanced Topics in Communication: French Conversation

In this semester-long, advanced-level course, students will hone speaking and listening skills through many different scenarios: informal discussion, prepared performances, debates, theatre, interactive video, etc. Intensive building of vocabulary and accompanying structures will help to increase the students’ comfort level in a variety of situations. Time will also be devoted to body language and gestures, helping students to understand and use nuance. Students will be placed in many different situations with constantly changing variables so that they are able to express themselves more clearly and concisely and in the proper register, be it formal or informal. [Prerequisite: French III. May be taken concurrently with other French courses. Half credit.]

Latin

Latin I

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of Latin grammar, syntax, and vocabulary and emphasizes the development of sound reading and composition skills. Ancillary topics include a survey of Roman history from the early legends of its Trojan ancestry and its founding by Romulus to the establishment of the Empire under Augustus; a thorough study of Greek and Roman mythology with special emphasis on the stories of gods and heroes; a close look at Roman culture and technology and their enduring influence on the West and an introduction to the archeology of ancient Greece and Rome, including Troy and Athens. Students also develop English vocabulary skills through the study of Greek and Latin roots. A wide range of technological platforms will facilitate teaching, learning, and research.. [One credit.]

Latin II

This course finishes the study of the fundamentals of Latin grammar, syntax, and vocabulary begun in Latin I, introduces the subjunctive mood and its advanced constructions, and emphasizes further development of sound reading and composition skills. Ancillary topics include a survey of Roman history from the establishment of the Empire to the fall of Rome, a review of Greek and Roman mythology with special emphasis on the stories of heroes, and a close study of the geography of the ancient Mediterranean. The course continues the development of English vocabulary skills through Greek and Latin roots, as well as the study of Roman culture, technology, and archeology--including the sites of Pompeii, Ephesus and Knossos—begun in Latin I. A wide range of technological platforms will facilitate teaching, learning, and research. [Prerequisite: Latin I. Advanced study is available. One credit.]

Latin III

This course immerses students in the unabridged prose and verse of genuine Romans, reviews the important concepts of Latin I and Latin II, and introduces new grammatical and syntactical elements as they appear in the readings. Developing reading fluency is the primary goal. Texts include selections from Catullus, Petronius, and Martial. Students will research the history, culture, geography, mythology, and private life that relate to the authors under discussion and will present their findings by teaching classes and leading discussions individually and cooperatively. A wide range of technological platforms will facilitate teaching, learning, research, and presentation. [Prerequisite: Latin II. Advanced study is available. One credit.]

Latin IV Advanced

This course explores the literature, history, and culture of the first century BCE, arguably ancient Rome’s most complex, chaotic, and compelling period. Original sources, including Vergil’s Aeneid, Caesar’s Commentarii de bello Gallico, and Cicero’s orations In Catilinam reveal not only the trials of the late Republic, but also the triumphant birth of the Empire and the Golden Age. In addition to reading selections from these works, students will research the political and cultural life of the period, especially private life, and will present their findings by teaching classes and leading discussions individually and cooperatively. A wide range of technological platforms will facilitate teaching, learning, research, and presentation. Students who wish to take the AP Latin exam may prepare independently with the instructor. [Prerequisite: Latin III Advanced or departmental approval. One credit.]