Topics introduced in this course are greetings, introductions, leave-taking, and getting acquainted. Students learn to describe possessions, express likes and dislikes, describe oneself and family members, ask and give directions, tell time, dates and seasons, explain sports, locations and to understand as well as use basic sentence structures. The concept of conjugating a verb is introduced with the presentation in French of the verbs to be and to have in the present tense. Then we move on to the regular “-er” verbs and eventually a few irregular verbs. The different francophone cultures are explored through food, habitations, and of course the language.
In this course, students are asked to describe orally their daily routine, recount events in the past, make comparisons, give commands, ask questions, discuss travel options and leisure activities. Goals for students are to be able to write paragraphs and to develop the ability to read simple authentic texts. Various francophone cultures are introduced so students are exposed to the breadth of French influence in the world. There is also frequent practice in listening comprehension through various audio and video devices.
Students are expected to increase detailed narrative proficiency in the past tenses and the future tense. They will expand their use of personal pronouns and sentence clauses, discuss longer reading selections and literature from the francophone world, and report on research. Subjects of discussion, composition, and research include the arts, medical concerns, food preparation, travel arrangements and driving on the roads of both France and North America.
This course is designed for the accomplished level language learner. Students study advanced grammar, composition, history, and literature, including Camus, Saint-Exupéry, Jules Verne, and La Fontaine. Current issues in science, climate, and politics are also explored. Students discuss these and prepare more detailed research reports. French is used exclusively in the classroom and at times outside its environment.
Third Form Latin
This course, required for all Third Form students, provides a structured introduction to grammar, vocabulary, and reading via the Latin language. Students are expected to read and translate sentences and simple stories in the language, using the first book of the Cambridge Latin Course as a basis. They are introduced to crucial grammatical concepts such as parts of speech, case, and tense. Students also learn about classical myths, deities, and the history and cultural practices of the Roman world.
Intended for students in the Fourth through Sixth Forms, Beginning Latin provides a strong foundation to the Latin language. Recognizing that learning styles vary and students seek different outcomes from classical language study, teaching methods are varied, from the traditional translating and grammar method, to active spoken input. By the end of the year, students are expected to comprehend simple sentences and conversational phrases, as well as read and translate stories of up to two pages in length (using the first book of the Cambridge Latin Course as a basis). In addition, students also complete periodic research projects on Roman culture and classical mythology.
Students in Latin Novice continue to build upon the foundation developed in either Third Form Latin or Latin Beginning. More advanced grammatical topics are covered and longer stories, with more complex syntax, are read. The primary text is the second book of the Cambridge Latin Course, with occasional supplementation from other texts, such as Fabulae Faciles. Students are expected to respond in Latin to spoken prompts, do basic creative composition in the language, and comprehend more complex spoken input for longer durations of time (i.e. classes may be conducted primarily in the language, or students may take walks across campus, guided by the teacher entirely in Latin). Research projects require a deeper dive into cultural understanding of the Roman world, and may include topics related to architecture and lesser-known classical myths.
Advanced grammar topics are introduced at this level. Students are expected to be versed in passive verbs and dependent clauses and their uses, with the third book of the Cambridge Latin Course as a foundation. Other grammatical topics include the passive periphrastic construction, participles, and the subjunctive mood. Students develop their translating skills to an intermediate level, and classes are conducted more and more completely in the target language.
A Latin seminar is offered when there are students who are ready for advanced levels of study. Topics covered are based on student interest and ability, and may include Roman poetry, rhetoric, literature, history (including foundational myths such as Aeneas and Romulus), and anthropology. Latin readings are pulled from a wide variety of sources, including primary authors such as Martial, Vergil, and Caesar. By the end of the year, students will have largely completed their study of Latin grammar and will be ready for higher levels of secondary school study.
In Beginning Chinese, students begin the process of studying Mandarin. Students first build a foundation in Chinese Pinyin, pronunciation and tones, as well as the basic structure of Chinese radicals and Simplified Characters. The topics at this level include self-introduction, family, likes and dislikes, numbers, animals, countries, and sports. We expect students to be able to respond to simple questions and list information about their lives when prompted. By the end of the year students can write a paragraph in Chinese characters, and give a short presentation on their lives.
In Novice Chinese students grow from an introductory level of proficiency to a solid beginner level. Students focus on the themes of interests and abilities, daily schedule and routines, and school life. Class time is spent utilizing and playing wit the language and vocabulary introduced in stories presented to, or created by students. By the end of the year, a goal of students in Novice Chinese is to be able to type a an essay in Chinese, write roughly 300 characters by hand, deliver a short presentation, and read a long passage and answer questions about it in written Chinese.
In Intermediate Chinese, students move to the advanced beginner or lower intermediate level while continuing to focus on communication. Themes in Intermediate Chinese include planning events and activities with friends, constructing the past, dining and shopping, as well as world travel. Students are able to read longer stories and readers, and converse at length and write in detail about their interests, daily life, and topics they research on their own.
The course is designed for individual students who have gained basic communication skills in Chinese and are ready to study advanced grammar, literature, and composition. The class is conducted in Chinese and students are expected to work toward their individual goals through studying textbook materials, participating in class discussions, and presenting research projects on various topics.
Designed for students with documented language learning challenges, and offered as needed. Emphasis is on conversational competence in routine situations such as ordering in a restaurant, traveling by train, bus, and plane, making purchases, telling time, reading timetables, understanding directions, etc. Units of vocabulary include numbers, colors, prepositions, days, months, clothing, family members, food and other daily items. Cultural values are examined, and a presentation about a Hispanic fiesta is required.
The topics we introduce at this level include: greetings, introductions, and leave-taking, getting acquainted, sports, the family, housing, clothes, the body, school, foods. Students engage in basic conversation using the present tense and immediate future. They are expected to describe needs and wants, describe possessions, express likes and dislikes, describe family members, ask and give directions, tell time, day, month, and season, make purchases, and order food in restaurants.
The topics we introduce at this level include: adjectives, family, house, school, daily activities, sports, shopping, health, free time, food, hobbies and the weather. Students are expected to learn indirect and direct object pronouns, affirmative and negative expressions, how to ask questions, comparisons, and reflexive verbs, and prepositions of place. The advanced novice class (honors) is introduced to the present, preterit, future, conditional and imperfect tenses, and the command form of verbs both in the affirmative and negative conjugations. Students read simple books to improve their reading comprehension and cultural understanding.
We introduce vocabulary of train travel, restaurant, telecommunications, shopping for clothing and food, pastimes, hotel, and air travel. New constructs include the imperfect, the preterit vs. imperfect use, formal commands, impersonal ‘se’, future, present perfect, conditional, future perfect, pluperfect, and present subjunctive. Cultural readings in Spanish provide exposure to Hispanic culture as well as progressive practice.
This course offers students opportunities to study Spanish formally in an academic setting. Communication is entirely in the target language. Geography, history and culture, politics, art (music and literature) of Spanish-speaking countries are studied to provide context to the formal study of Spanish. Students are expected to make presentations, write expository essays, critiques, short stories and legends. Authentic materials, such as documentaries, novels, historical texts and newspaper editorials are used to further language and cultural understanding.