World Languages in Upper School 2
Our students take one World Language class each year in Upper School, and may choose from either Mandarin, Latin, or Spanish to take throughout their four years, starting with the fundamentals and building upon that each year:
Latin II students build on the vocabulary and language structure acquired in the first year of study, reading connected stories with somewhat longer and more syntactically complex sentences. Reading material consists of Chapters 11-18 ofLingua Latina per se Illustrata as well as the novice-level novellas Brando Brown Canem Cupit (Brandon Brown Wants a Dog) and Pluto: Fabula Amoris (Pluto: a Love Story). Themes for target-language discussion include medicine in the ancient world, the structure of the Roman army, the daily routine of a young student in Rome, the nature of love and friendship, and travel through the Roman Empire. Students begin to compose original sentences, completing a variety of short paragraph compositions and story summaries throughout the year. In the spring, students create a mock résumé for a famous character during our history unit on the Roman monarchy (conducted in English). Each semester, students use online and print resources to complete a research project on a Greco-Roman cultural topic of their choice.
Latin II students will:
- Use (when possible) context and synonyms to establish the meaning of unfamiliar Latin vocabulary.
- Read familiar Latin sentences and extended passages aloud with attention to emphasis and intonation.
- Describe self and others, and summarize stories, in simple, present-tense sentences.
- Provide Latin synonyms for individual words and short phrases.
- Explain specifically what meaning the ending of a Latin noun or present-tense verb conveys.
- Demonstrate comprehension of written and spoken language through acting, sentence-level response, and summary.
- Identify cultural practices and products unique to the Greco-Roman world.
Mandarin II will continue to help students develop Mandarin skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Throughout the year, we will focus on reviewing the Mandarin phonetic system, learning more grammar and sentence structures, practicing daily conversation and developing reading and writing skills. The topics this year include countries, languages, weather, seasons, hobbies, meals, etc. In addition, students will also study Chinese culture as part of this course, aiming to help students have a better understanding and appreciation of the relationship between languages and other cultures, and build global competence.
Mandarin II students will:
- Better understand the Pinyin system with its initials, finals, and compound finals.
- Learn the structures and meanings of basic radicals.
- Formulate questions and answers to express opinions and gather information.
- Read short paragraphs smoothly.
- Write and type basic Mandarin characters.
- Use Mandarin to fill out reading logs provided by the teacher.
- Recognize different Chinese social contexts and use Mandarin appropriately.
- Identify similarities and differences between Chinese and American culture.
US2 Spanish starts with a review of main topics covered in US1 Spanish. The course focuses on improving communicative competence. Students are expected to develop an understanding of basic written and spoken Spanish. They continue to improve their knowledge of other cultures. We continue with the level 2 of the textbook ¡Así se dice! This textbook provides an in-depth study of culture through its GeoVistas section and explores traditions in several Spanish-speaking countries. We continue to take advantage of the video clips provided for each chapter to teach culture, vocabulary, and grammar in context. Students increase their aural proficiency through the use of these authentic videos. Students read short stories that accompany each topic as well as extended readings through novels such as El Viaje de su Vida and Mi Propio Auto. Students are introduced to reflexive verbs and are able to talk about their daily routines. Some of the themes covered at this level are personality traits and emotions, shopping, clothing, parts of the body, and transportation. At this level, students are able to ask memorized questions. Students rely heavily on visuals, gestures, and facial expressions. The teacher provides repetition, restatement, and contextual clues to help students express themselves. Student communication is predominantly in the present and past tenses.
By the end of US2 Spanish, students will:
- Recognize formal and informal greetings, introductions, and courtesy words.
- Form basic questions and describe physical and personality traits.
- Talk about their daily routines.
- Share their likes and dislikes with each other.
- Identify the principal characters and comprehend the main ideas and themes in age-appropriate Spanish language literary texts.
- Use knowledge acquired in other subject areas to comprehend spoken and written messages in Spanish.
- Use idiomatic expressions with hacer, ir, and tener.
- Express themselves in the present and simple past tenses.