World Languages in Upper School 4
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 IV students will continue their French education by building on their vocabulary from the previous three 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 3 Unit 1, “One’s Daily Routine,” where they will develop a stronger means of communicating about themselves with others about daily life. 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 a Francophone country Asia or the Pacific islands and a biography of a French person of their choice. Resources will include the French textbook, Level 3 of Discovering French Nouveau, Units 1-10.
French IV will focus on developing the following skills:
- Comprehend French from a variety of media sources.
- Understand and participate in short open-ended conversations.
- Identify similarities and differences between French culture and contemporary American culture.
- Read essential information from texts and literary excerpts.
- Demonstrate comprehension of readings of new stories and/or adding details to existing stories.
- Write a medium-length essay in French.
- Make linguistic and cultural connections and comparisons.
Latin IV students complete their formal introduction to Latin grammatical structures, reviewing and consolidating their knowledge of subjunctive verb forms and the clauses in which they are used. Expressions of purpose, including supines and gerundives, are also addressed. Students read about and discuss various aspects of upper-class Roman life such as philosophical inquiry, letter-writing, marriage, and imperial intrigue. After reading Stages 31-40 of the Cambridge Latin Course, the class chooses reading material from a variety of ancient and more modern literary sources. Composition projects include a letter to a friend, illustrated story summaries, and a children’s book intended to teach a topic from Greco-Roman mythology or history. In the spring semester, students design a campaign poster for the “Roman Emperors Hall of Fame” 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 IV students will:
- Use a glossary or dictionary and the dictionary entry for a Latin word to establish meaning of and derive morphological information about unfamiliar Latin words.
- Read aloud unseen Latin passages with accurate pronunciation.
- Accurately identify the tense of Latin verbs in both indicative and subjunctive moods.
- Accurately identify the case and number of Latin nouns.
- Demonstrate comprehension of Latin sentences and extended passages through individual or group reading comprehension activities, including translation.
- Use knowledge of cultural products and practices to draw conclusions about the Romans as a people.
Spanish IV allows students to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Reading comprehension is emphasized and literary selections are extensive and varied. Grammar topics include present and past perfect. An in-depth study of the formation and uses of the subjunctive mood allows students to express their feelings on a wide variety of topics and to hypothesize. At the end of the second semester, students view popular full-length movies to strengthen their listening skills, and they write a movie review. Through the many readings, students make connections with other cultures and their own. They compare the target language and culture with their own language and culture. Students gain insights into the nature of language by recognizing linguistic patterns. Among the projects created this year is the famous Spanish yearbook. Using Storybird, students also create their own stories or translate a famous one, such as Little Red Riding Hood.
By the end of Spanish IV, students will:
- Recognize formal and informal greetings, introductions and courtesy words.
- Extend, accept, and refuse invitations, in formal and informal situations.
- Use Spanish to acquire goods and services.
- Comprehend main ideas and identify the principal characters in developmentally appropriate oral narratives in Spanish.
- Comprehend the principal message contained in various Spanish-language media such as illustrated texts, posters, and advertisements.