Upper School World Languages

Department:  Upper School

The goals of the World Languages department are to encourage and train students to become proficient in their chosen language, as well as instill in students a love of learning World Languagess. Proficiency includes not only all four language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) but also proficiency in the target language's literature, art, politics, history, and cultures. As a school, we aim to prepare our students to become citizens of the world by acquainting them to new modes of thinking and living. By this, we mean to develop in our students an ability to think critically and flexibly about ideas and issues that affect the global citizen everyday. For this purpose, our program offers different languages such as Latin in Middle School, and Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese in Upper School. Our US program also offers an advanced program which culminates with an AP course or elective advanced literature and culture courses that mirror the demands of a third-year language class in university.

Chinese
French
Spanish

Chinese 1
This course is an introduction to the Mandarin Chinese language. It is designed with beginning learners in mind. It introduces students to Chinese with extensive practice, use of visuals, and interactive activities. By integrating all four of the language skills (reading, speaking, listening, and writing) from the beginning, students are better prepared to become proficient speakers of the language. Students build a strong foundation of correct pronunciation, tones, and simplified hanzi (Chinese characters). Basic grammar principles, writing and listening exercises, and speaking activities are integrated into each unit. In addition to grammar and vocabulary, students learn about Chinese culture and are encouraged to think critically with essential questions. Themes introduced include greetings, family, dates & time, hobbies, and visiting friends. The relationship between the Chinese language and culture is highlighted through art, music, film, current events, and activities from the Chinese speaking world.

Chinese 2
This course is a continuation of the study of the Mandarin Chinese language. It is designed with second-year learners in mind. By integrating all four of the language skills (reading, speaking, listening, and writing) students continue to learn to become proficient speakers of the language. Students build on their foundation of hanzi (Chinese characters), and they learn several hundred more. Additional basic grammar principles, writing and listening exercises, and speaking activities are integrated into each unit so that students learn to express themselves in a progressively more sophisticated way. In addition to grammar and vocabulary, students learn about Chinese culture and are encouraged to think critically with essential questions. Themes introduced include making appointments, studying Chinese, school life, shopping, and transportation. The relationship between the Chinese language and culture is highlighted through art, music, film, current events, and activities from the Chinese speaking world.

Chinese 3
This is an intermediate-level Chinese course, designed with third-year learners in mind. By integrating all four of the language skills (reading, speaking, listening, and writing) students continue to learn to become proficient speakers of the language. Students build on their foundation of hanzi (Chinese characters), and learn several hundred more. Intermediate grammar principles, writing and listening exercises, and speaking activities are integrated into each unit so that students learn to express themselves in a progressively more sophisticated way. In addition to grammar and vocabulary, students learn about Chinese culture and are encouraged to think critically with essential questions. Some themes that are introduced include weather, dining out, asking directions, social gatherings, and health. The relationship between the Chinese language and culture is highlighted through art, music, film, current events, and activities from the Chinese speaking world.

Chinese 4
The fourth-year course builds upon Level 3, and is designed to help students achieve upper-intermediate Chinese proficiency skills. This also prepares students for the demands of a third-year university language course or the rigors of a pre-AP course. Students are required to learn and use more advanced vocabulary and idioms. They learn several hundred more simplified hanzi (Chinese characters), and how to use them in increasingly sophisticated sentences. Greater emphasis is placed on speaking with fluency, grammatical correctness, and rich expression. Students are required to use the target language almost exclusively in the classroom. Emphasis is placed on the ability to narrate stories, synthesize information, and give strong presentations. Students regularly respond to writing prompts, and then discuss them in class. All assignments continue to foster students’ interpretive, interactive, or presentational skills.

Chinese 5
Chinese 5 builds on the foundation of AP Chinese, and extends students’ proficiency through gradually more sophisticated readings, discussions, and writing assignments. The first term introduces adaptations of classics, such as The Secret Garden, The Monkey’s Paw, and Great Expectations, adapted into fully localized Chinese versions of the original stories. The second term begins with of a selection of abridged versions of 15 award-winning short stories and novellas written by contemporary Chinese writers, reflecting the everyday life of ordinary Chinese people. The third term focuses on unabridged post-1990 short stories by prominent writers such as Su Tong and Yu Hua, whose novels Raise the Red Lantern and To Live served as the basis for internationally acclaimed films. These short stories collectively reflect the zeitgeist of modern China.

AP Chinese
AP Chinese helps students achieve upper-intermediate proficiency in Mandarin Chinese listening, speaking, reading, and writing, with the overall aim of successfully taking the AP Chinese Exam. Students regularly engage with authentic listening and reading tasks. They learn several hundred more simplified hanzi (Chinese characters), and how to use them in increasingly sophisticated sentences. Emphasis is placed on the ability to narrate stories, respond to email messages, engage in conversations, and give cultural presentations. Students regularly respond to writing prompts, and then discuss them in class. Themes that are discussed include Chinese festivals, Chinese history, travel, health, social issues, and environmental topics. Many additional aspects of Chinese culture are explored, particularly as they enhance the students' ability to communicate effectively.

French 1
This course is an introduction to the French language, and is designed with beginning learners in mind. It introduces students to French with lots of practice, visuals, and interactive activities. By integrating all four of the language skills (reading, speaking, listening, and writing) from the beginning, students are better prepared to become proficient speakers of the language. Students learn useful phrases and vocabulary and practice basic skills such as greetings, introductions and talking about themselves and others. Unit vocabulary themes include family, school, days and months, numbers, food, telling time and more. Basic grammar principles, writing and listening exercises, and speaking activities are integrated into each unit. In addition to grammar and vocabulary, students learn about Francophone cultures and are encouraged to think critically with essential questions. The relationship between the French language and French culture is highlighted through art, music, and activities from the Francophone world.

French 2
This course is a continuation to the introductory study of the French language, and is designed with second-year learners in mind. It introduces students to Spanish with lots of practice, visuals, and interactive activities. By integrating all four of the language skills (reading, speaking, listening, and writing) from the beginning, students are better prepared to become proficient speakers of the language. Students learn useful phrases and vocabulary and practice basic skills such as talking about themselves and others in a progressively more sophisticated way. Unit vocabulary themes include sports, traditions, work, food, health, art and social changes. Basic grammar principles, writing and listening exercises, and speaking activities are integrated into each unit. In addition to grammar and vocabulary, students learn about Francophone cultures and are encouraged to think critically with essential questions. The relationship between the French language and French culture is highlighted through art, music, and activities from the Francophone world.

French 3
This is an advanced French course designed to prepare students for the demands of a third-year university language course. Students will be required to learn and use advanced vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. We will review major grammatical structures in an effort to master each use. For this, regular practice at home will be expected. Great emphasis will be placed on speaking with fluency, grammatical correctness, and rich vocabulary. Several writing assignments will be required to practice formal and informal writing. Class will be conducted in French and students are required to use French in the classroom. Out of class reading, written and oral assignments will be required. Those will focus on relevant literary, cultural, artistic, and historical topics to practice the language at a more sophisticated level.

French 3 Honors
This is an advanced French course designed to prepare students for the demands of the pre-AP and the AP language courses. Students will be required to learn and use advanced vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. We will review major grammatical structures in an effort to master each use. For this, regular practice at home will be expected. Great emphasis will be placed on speaking with fluency, grammatical correctness, and rich vocabulary. Several writing assignments will be required to practice formal and informal writing. Class will be conducted in French and students are required to use French in the classroom. Out of class reading, written and oral assignments are assigned. Those will focus on relevant literary, cultural, artistic, and historical topics to practice the language at a more sophisticated level.

French 4
This is an advanced French course designed to prepare students for the demands of a third-year university language course. Students will be required to learn and use advanced vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. We will review major grammatical structures in an effort to master each use. For this, regular practice at home will be expected. Great emphasis will be placed on speaking with fluency, grammatical correctness, and rich vocabulary. Several writing assignments will be required to practice formal and informal writing. Class will be conducted in French and students are required to use French in the classroom. Out of class reading, written and oral assignments are assigned. Those will focus on relevant literary, cultural, artistic, and historical topics to practice the language at a more sophisticated level.

French 4 Honors
This is an advanced French course designed to prepare students for the demands of the pre-AP and the AP language courses. Students will be required to learn and use advanced vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. We will review major grammatical structures in an effort to master each use. For this, regular practice at home will be expected. Great emphasis will be placed on speaking with fluency, grammatical correctness, and rich vocabulary. Several writing assignments will be required to practice formal and informal writing. Class will be conducted in French and students are required to use French in the classroom. Out of class reading, written and oral assignments are assigned. Those will focus on relevant literary, cultural, artistic, and historical topics to practice the language at a more sophisticated level.

French Literature and Culture
This is an advanced French course designed to extend the development of language skills through the exploration of literature and culture from the French-speaking world. Students will be required to learn and use advanced vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. We will review major grammatical structures in an effort to master each use. For this, regular practice at home will be expected. Great emphasis will be placed on speaking with fluency, grammatical correctness, and rich vocabulary. Several writing assignments will be required at home to practice formal and informal writing. Class will be conducted in French and students are required to use French in the classroom. Out of class reading, written and oral assignments will be required. Those will focus on relevant literary, cultural, artistic, and historical topics to practice the language at a more sophisticated level.

AP French
This is an advanced French course designed to prepare students to take and pass the AP French exam at the end of the year. In this rigorous course, students will be required to learn and use advanced vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. We will review major grammatical structures in an effort to master each use. For this, regular practice at home will be expected. Great emphasis will be placed on speaking with fluency, grammatical correctness, and rich vocabulary. Several writing assignments will be required at home to practice formal and informal writing. Class will be conducted in French and students are required to use French in the classroom. Out of class reading, written and oral assignments will be required. Those will focus on relevant literary, cultural, artistic, and historical topics to practice the language at a more sophisticated level.

Spanish 1
This course is an introduction to the Spanish language, designed with beginning learners in mind. It introduces students to Spanish with lots of practice, visuals, and interactive activities. By integrating all four of the language skills (reading, speaking, listening, and writing) from the beginning, students are better prepared to become proficient speakers of the language. Basic grammar principles, writing and listening exercises, and speaking activities are integrated into each unit. In addition to grammar and vocabulary, students learn about Hispanic cultures and are encouraged to think critically with essential questions. The relationship between the Spanish language and the Spanish culture is highlighted through art, music, and activities from the Hispanic world.

Spanish 1a
This course is an introduction to the Spanish language that has been designed to move at a more gradual pace than the Spanish 1 course. The course introduces students to Spanish with lots of practice, visuals, and interactive activities. By integrating all four of the language skills (reading, speaking, listening, and writing) from the beginning, students are better prepared to become proficient speakers of the language. Basic grammar principles, writing and listening exercises, and speaking activities are integrated into each unit. In addition to grammar and vocabulary, students learn about Hispanic cultures and are encouraged to think critically with essential questions. The relationship between the Spanish language and the Spanish culture is highlighted through art, music, and activities from the Hispanic world.

Spanish 2
This course is a continuation to the introductory study of the Spanish language. This course is designed with second-year learners in mind. By integrating all four of the language skills (reading, speaking, listening, and writing) students continue to learn to become proficient speakers of the language. Basic grammar principles, writing and listening exercises, and speaking activities are integrated into each unit so that students learn to express themselves in a progressively more sophisticated way. In addition to grammar and vocabulary, students learn about Hispanic cultures and are encouraged to think critically with essential questions. The relationship between the Spanish language and Spanish culture is highlighted through art, music, and activities from the Hispanic world.

Spanish 2a
This course is designed as the second year continuation of the Spanish 1a introduction, following a similar  pacing and design to that introductory course. It continues to introduce students to Spanish with lots of practice, visuals, and interactive activities. By integrating all four of the language skills (reading, speaking, listening, and writing) from the beginning, students are better prepared to become proficient speakers of the language. Students learn useful phrases and vocabulary and practice speaking in increasingly sophisticated ways. In addition to grammar and vocabulary, students learn about Hispanic cultures and are encouraged to think critically with essential questions. The relationship between the Spanish language and Spanish culture is highlighted through art, music, and activities from the Hispanic world.

Spanish 3
This is an advanced Spanish course designed to prepare students for the demands of a third-year university language course. In this rigorous course, students will be required to learn and use advanced vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. We will review major grammatical structures in an effort to master each use. For this, regular practice at home will be expected. Great emphasis will be placed on speaking with fluency, grammatical correctness, and rich vocabulary. Several writing assignments will be required to practice formal and informal writing. Class will be conducted in Spanish and students are required to use Spanish in the classroom. Out of class reading, written and oral assignments will be required. Those will focus on relevant literary, cultural, artistic, and historical topics to practice the language at a more sophisticated level.

Spanish 3a
This course is designed with third-year learners in mind. It builds upon knowledge gained in Spanish 1a & 2a as a continuation and recycling of knowledge acquired in these previous years adding new vocabulary, structures and expressions. It introduces students to Spanish with lots of practice, visuals, and interactive activities. By integrating all four of the language skills (reading, speaking, listening, and writing) from the beginning, students are better prepared to become proficient speakers of the language. Students learn useful phrases and vocabulary and practice speaking in increasingly sophisticated ways. Unit vocabulary themes include health, transportation, art and social changes. Students will be expected to expand their vocabulary range to include more sophisticated terms, use advanced language expressions, verb tenses and grammatical concepts such as the imperfect and the subjunctive mood. The goal of Spanish 3a is to provide students with the opportunity to acquire a more advanced level of communication at a beneficial lower pace. In addition to grammar and vocabulary, students learn about Hispanic cultures and are encouraged to think critically with essential questions. The relationship between the Spanish language and Spanish culture is highlighted through art, music, and activities from the Hispanic world.

Spanish 3 Honors
This is an advanced Spanish course designed to prepare students for the demands of the pre-AP and AP language courses. In this rigorous course, students will be required to learn and use advanced vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. We will review major grammatical structures in an effort to master each use. For this, regular practice at home will be expected. Great emphasis will be placed on speaking with fluency, grammatical correctness, and rich vocabulary. Several writing assignments will be required at home to practice formal and informal writing. Class will be conducted in Spanish and students are required to use Spanish in the classroom. Out of class reading, written and oral assignments will be required. Those will focus on relevant literary, cultural, artistic, and historical topics to practice the language at a more sophisticated level.

Spanish 4
This is an advanced Spanish course designed to prepare students for the demands of a third-year university language courses. In this rigorous course, students will be required to learn and use advanced vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. We will review major grammatical structures in an effort to master each use. For this, regular practice at home will be expected. Great emphasis will be placed on speaking with fluency, grammatical correctness, and rich vocabulary. Several writing assignments will be required at home to practice formal and informal writing. Class will be conducted in Spanish and students are required to use Spanish in the classroom. Out of class reading, written and oral assignments will be required. Those will focus on relevant literary, cultural, artistic, and historical topics to practice the language at a more sophisticated level.

Spanish 4  Honors
This is an advanced Spanish course designed to prepare students for the demands of the pre-AP and AP language courses. In this rigorous course, students will be required to learn and use advanced vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. We will review major grammatical structures in an effort to master each use. For this, regular practice at home will be expected. Great emphasis will be placed on speaking with fluency, grammatical correctness, and rich vocabulary. Several writing assignments will be required to practice formal and informal writing. Class will be conducted in Spanish and students are required to use Spanish in the classroom. Out of class reading, written and oral assignments will be required. Those will focus on relevant literary, cultural, artistic, and historical topics to practice the language at a more sophisticated level.

Spanish Literature & Culture
This is an advanced Spanish course designed to extend the development of language skills through the exploration of literature and culture from the Spanish-speaking world. In this rigorous course, students will be required to learn and use advanced vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. We will review major grammatical structures in an effort to master each use. For this, regular practice at home will be expected. Great emphasis will be placed on speaking with fluency, grammatical correctness, and rich vocabulary. Several writing assignments will be required to practice formal and informal writing. Class will be conducted in Spanish and students are required to use Spanish in the classroom. Out of class reading, written and oral assignments will be required. Those will focus on relevant literary, cultural, artistic, and historical topics to practice the language at a more sophisticated level.

AP Spanish
This is an advanced Spanish course designed to prepare students to take and pass the AP Spanish exam at the end of the year. In this rigorous course, students will be required to learn and use advanced vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. We will review major grammatical structures in an effort to master each use. For this, regular practice at home will be expected. Great emphasis will be placed on speaking with fluency, grammatical correctness, and rich vocabulary. Several writing assignments will be required at practice formal and informal writing. Class will be conducted in Spanish and students are required to use Spanish in the classroom. Out of class reading, written and oral assignments will be required. Those will focus on relevant literary, cultural, artistic, and historical topics to practice the language at a more sophisticated level.