World Languages in Upper School 3
Our students take one World Language class each year in Upper School, and may choose from either French, Latin, or Spanish to take throughout their four years, starting with the fundamentals and building upon that each year:
French III students will continue their French education by building on their vocabulary from the previous two years and learning new, more complex grammatical structures. Our overarching theme rests on the similarities and differences of our culture and that of French speaking countries. Each section of vocabulary directly correlates to the essential theme in each unit and how that applies to the respective cultures. Students will begin with Level 2 Unit 1, “Oneself and Others,” where they will develop a stronger means of communicating about themselves with others. The next units introduce more vocabulary, verbs, tenses, and readings where students will explore the daily life of Francophone countries and compare and contrast them to their own cultures. Students will complete semester-long projects on an African Francophone country and a biography of a French person of their choice. Resources include the French textbook, Level 2 ofDiscovering French Nouveau, Units 1-8.
French III students will:
- Demonstrate reading comprehension of texts such as stories, history and songs.
- Identify similarities and differences between French culture and contemporary American culture.
- Understand and participate in short open-ended conversations.
- Formulate questions to solicit information from stories.
- Write a medium-length essay in French.
Latin III students continue to build on the language structure and increasingly rich vocabulary acquired in their first two years of study. Readings are syntactically more sophisticated than in Latin II and contain verbs in past and future tenses. Reading, much of which focuses on mythology and fantasy, is drawn from Chapters 19-27 ofLingua Latina per se Illustrata and the intermediate-level novella Itinera Petri (The Travels of Peter). Themes for target-language discussion include hospitality and courtesy, interactions between people of different socioeconomic classes, family relationships, and the hero’s journey. Students continue to write story summaries and, toward the end of the year, begin to compose original stories based on themes discussed in class. In the spring semester, the class works together to create a timeline of the Roman Republic during our history unit (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 III students will:
- Use synonyms and Latin definitions to establish the meanings of new or unfamiliar Latin words, when appropriate.
- Read aloud previously unseen passages of Latin (which contain familiar vocabulary and sentence structure) with accurate pronunciation and attention to phrasing and intonation.
- Identify Latin verbs as present, past, or future tense.
- Describe characters and summarize stories in both present and past tenses, as appropriate.
- Use personal verb endings and noun endings with increasing accuracy.
- Demonstrate comprehension of readings through predictions of characters’ future actions and composition of new stories and/or adding details to existing stories.
- Use evidence to draw comparisons between Roman cultural products and practices and the cultural products and practices of other ancient and modern civilizations.
In Spanish III, students are provided with opportunities which encourage them to incorporate their knowledge of different tenses. Special emphasis is given to practice with the past tenses, the future tense, and the conditional. As students become more proficient users of the language, they compare Spanish to information available in their own language, they recognize distinctive viewpoints, and acquire a larger range of learning strategies. The curriculum has more emphasis on reading and discussing texts that reflect the artistic, historical, and geographical aspects of the Spanish-speaking world. According to personal interest, students develop projects which accomplish goals set by the teacher. Novels read at this level are Casi se Muere and ¿Dónde está Eduardo? We continue with level 3 of the textbook ¡Así se dice! And use the video clips provided for each chapter to teach culture, vocabulary, and grammar in context. Predominant themes discussed in the class are famous Hispanic meals, health and diet, rites of passage, good and bad manners, and chores. At this level, students understand short, simple conversations that are predictable and familiar. Student communication incorporates present, past, future, and conditional tenses.
By the end of the year, students will:
- Express feelings and emotions and exchange opinions.
- State needs and preferences.
- Express gratitude and appreciation using culturally appropriate gestures and oral expressions.
- Interpret gestures, intonation, and other visual or auditory clues in Spanish-language visual media.
- Understand announcements as found in advertisements, magazines, newspapers, or television commercials.
- Demonstrate understanding of the nature of language through comparisons between Spanish and their native language(s).