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French I deals with the basics of the French language. The study of grammar includes verb conjugations, sentence structure, and the present tense, and an introduction to the past tenses. Pronunciation skills are honed through the study of the alphabet, accent marks, and phonetics. Students encounter much vocabulary, including greetings, dates, time, weather, daily activities, colors, numbers, clothing, and food. Conversational skills are practiced for use in both formal and informal settings. The basics of translation are introduced. Geography, culture, and history units are introduced in this first year as well.
French II begins with a review of grammar and basic vocabulary. Students then delve into deeper grammatical concepts, such as the past, imperfect, and future tenses. Grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, translation, and conversational skills are expounded upon and honed through lecture notes, homework, oral comprehension activities, and guided conversations. Students become better acquainted with the francophone community through a study of French-speaking countries around the world. Students also gain a sense of the depth of French history through class projects.
French III reaches past the complexities of grammatical concepts and endless lists of vocabulary words, focusing more on the culture and literature of the French-speaking world. Dialogues and pronunciation receive key attention, and cultural background is emphasized. More complex grammatical forms, such as the subjunctive mood, future clauses, and relative pronouns are presented. The students delve deeply into French art and literature, studying the works of Impressionist painters and adapted selections of classic works of literature from medieval France through the twenty-first century.
French IV continues the work begun in French III. A heavy emphasis on reading classic works and writing prepares students for topic-specific, college courses such as French literature. Conversation skills continue to develop as students are presented with vocabulary and expressions which reflect the function of daily life in a foreign culture (e.g., students learn how to make a doctor’s appointment, explain any ailments, and receive treatment). Students are strongly encouraged to take the CLEP test at the culmination of this year in order to receive college credit.
Latin I introduces the language--its culture, influences, basic syntax, and base vocabulary. Students ideally master all five declensions of nouns and all six tenses, both active and passive voices. Translations--both Latin to English and English to Latin--are practiced. Introductory units on culture and history lay the foundation for additional study in upper level courses. Prerequisites: 8th grade English teacher's recommendation and/or a strong grammar background.
Latin II completes most essential grammar work and has more involved translations, as well as deeper studies of Roman history and etymology. Grammar studies include verbals, indirect statement, and the subjunctive mood. In-depth work in history--the kingdom, the republic, and the empire–involves the students in research and audio-video material. Students meet and translate some of the prominent Roman writers, especially Caesar. The course also reinforces the culture and influence of the Roman world on present society. Prerequisite: Latin I.
The focus of Latin III is a study of Cicero, the greatest prose writer of Rome. Examples from three genres of writing--an oration, an essay, and various letters--form the basis of translation the students are given. Students study a biography of Cicero, which emphasizes more of these translations and more Roman culture. Legal, scientific, and medical terminology, as well as vocabulary which specifically relates to the works of Cicero, are taught, and advanced grammatical structures, such as the passive periphrastic and gerundives, are presented to the students. Historical perspectives are also considered an integral part of this study since the events of the day were significant components in the works of Cicero. Prerequisite: Latin II instructor’s approval.
Spanish I properly sets the foundation for future study, growth, and knowledge of the target language. It is viewed as being a vocabulary immersion year with grammatical emphasis being placed on subject pronouns, present tense verbs, and basic sentence structure. Listening and speaking skills are also emphasized. Reading, writing, and other vocabulary studies are introduced through a TPR novel in the form of simple sentences and paragraphs. Cultural/regional items are also discussed. In Spanish I, students journal weekly for assessment purposes. The journal tracks the students’ progress in the skills of reading, writing, and listening.
Spanish II incorporates the basic skills required to know a language: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Cultural information is taught in an effort to appreciate differences in the global world. Emphasis is placed on learning appropriate vocabulary and on reviewing and building grammar skills learned in Spanish I. A significant amount of time is given to listening comprehension via teacher instruction, DVD’s, and Destinos, a student-designed video/mystery story. Instruction and practice are given in learning how to ask for and receive essential information, i.e., food, transportation, purchases, etc. The goal is to survive in a Spanish speaking country with the basic skills of communication. Readings are an important part of Spanish II. These readings come from short stories, up-to-date magazine articles, children’s books, a small novel, and realia (authentic Spanish items). Writings involve small paragraphs concerning everyday problems and/or situations. The writings serve as a measure of ascertaining the level of grammar understood by the student. Spanish II also incorporates memorization of scripture in Spanish with an emphasis on preparing students for international and local mission opportunities.
Advanced Spanish II
Advanced Spanish is designed for the student who has an interest in Spanish and is considering studying additional Spanish after Spanish II. Advanced Spanish strives to make the student more marketable in today’s global world and engages the student in meaningful conversation. The curriculum includes a nine weeks of Spanish conversation which teaches survival skills while in a Hispanic country, including vocabulary over transportation (airport and taxi), hotel, restaurant, shopping and haggling, and medical attention. Spanish II Honors prerequisites: Students must have an A (94%) or higher in Spanish I (based on their first semester grade), a recommendation from the Spanish I teacher, be willing to complete summer assignments that will be distributed via email, and complete a contract ensuring that the course expectations are understood.
In Spanish III more emphasis is placed upon listening comprehension via listening to the instructor, Spanish cable channel, and Destinos, a high school designed “telenovela” video that guides the students through listening to over thirty episodes of a mystery. Much more emphasis is given to speaking, as the students read stories aloud, retell Bible lessons in their own words, respond to daily questions over their activities, create dialogues which engage them in survival types of scenarios, and answer questions from the lesson. Exercises from the textbook and workbook review grammar; the instructor also provides additional information about the grammar in from Spanish I and Spanish II. Writings are assigned over stories that are read, hypothetical situations, and personal experiences. Students read short stories and vignettes in the textbook as well as articles from magazines and newspapers to increase their reading comprehension.
Spanish IV meets with the AP Spanish Language class. Emphasis is placed on grammar, speaking, writing, and reading. As grammatical structures are refined through homework exercises and classroom explanations, the students also learn to synthesize articles and radio broadcast. They also learn to write e-mails, letters to a friend, and other informal ways of communication. Furthermore, they work on their oral communicative skills by listening to radio broadcasts, reading related articles, and preparing a two minute discourse which they record, assimilating and synthesizing this information. They practice informal questioning wherein they broach different skills such as convincing, arguing, and counseling by being interviewed for a job, explaining to a police officer why they were speeding, as well as other practical survival communication skills. Spanish IV also dives deeper into the culture of Spanish speaking countries including: Central America, South America, and Europe. Emphasis is also given to reading short stories for comprehension, tone, and interpretation. They read articles from the Internet to stay current with global events and to learn new vocabulary. They also listen to a minimum of an hour of Spanish cable television a week to improve their listening skills, and, while in class, they listen to short dialogues, long dialogues, and both short and long narratives. These practices allow them to be more successful when taking AP Spanish Language. Prerequisite: Spanish III.
AP Spanish Language
AP Spanish Language is a college-prep course intended for students who wish to develop their proficiency in all four language skills–listening, speaking, reading, and writing–and who hope to receive college credit by passing the AP Spanish Language Exam. This course covers the equivalent of an intermediate to advance level college course in Spanish grammar, composition, and conversation. It encompasses aural/oral skills, reading comprehension, grammar, and composition. The course is intensive and demanding and is achieved through further developing those exercises outlined in the Spanish IV curriculum. The class also reads a novel in Spanish resulting in daily discussions, writings, listening activities, debates, and other various activities. The novel unit is ended with a 2-3 page paper in Spanish. The course is intensive and demanding as it aims to allow students to learn the language well enough to advance to an intermediate level or advanced level in a college course. (College credit depends on the individual college’s policies regarding acceptance of AP courses and each student’s performance on the AP exam).