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World Languages

As students progress through Winsor’s World Language program, they develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. In the Lower School, girls learn to approach second language acquisition through a deeper understanding of their own language and language in general. In the Upper School, students further hone their language skills as they encounter and examine authentic literary texts, important cultural questions and philosophical ideas. Students gain a profound appreciation of other cultures and a better understanding of their own cultural framework and point of view.

All Upper School students are required to take three years of one language. Languages offered are French, Latin, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish. Students who begin a new language in Class V will complete the requirement at the end of Level 3; those who continue their Lower School language will complete it after the AP or Advanced Topics course. The requirement is to be completed by the end of Class VII but students are encouraged to continue their language study in Class VIII. Students may take a second language beginning in Class VI, and should speak with the head of the World Languages Department if they are interested in this option.

Latin

Class I Latin

Who am I as a learner? And who do I want to be? What does it mean to me to be excellent? What will I do to achieve excellence? During this course, students will unpack the answers to these questions as they discover the Latin language and various aspects of Roman culture through stories in the format of a graphic novel about the daily lives and adventures of a Roman family posted in northern Britain at the end of the first century C.E. They acquire a sufficient knowledge of Latin grammar and vocabulary to be able to carry on a Latin conversation and read and write simple stories in Latin. They enrich their English vocabulary by making connections between English words and their Latin roots, thereby deepening their understanding of English grammar. They also explore the archaeological finds that have contributed to our knowledge of Roman life, beginning with an invitation to a birthday party written on a parchment scroll and discovered in the region where the stories take place. Latin students will work with their peers in other languages to research, experience, and make connections between the cuisine of ancient and modern societies. With the help of the stories on Greek and Roman mythology included in each chapter of the textbook, students encounter an aspect of Roman culture that informs both ancient and modern literature.


Class II Latin

What do I learn from making the map? What do I learn about the other map-makers from the maps they have created? What can I learn from a map about a society and the individuals who comprise it? How does careful observation and listening lead to problem solving? Thinking about aspects of Roman life learned in the previous year and what they imagine about Roman daily life, students begin the year by creating a map of an ancient Roman city. Using the map as a lens, students in Latin II will continue to explore the classical world with the Minimus series. They will expand their knowledge of Latin grammar as they encounter the present and imperfect tenses, the imperative mood, as well as the nominative, accusative and ablative cases. Students will continue to explore mythology and history as they follow the adventures of a Roman family stationed in Britain. The study of Latin in Class II perfectly complements the exploration of Ancient Greece and Rome in history classes, enabling students to make deeper connections as they prepare for the Greek symposium. In addition, Latin students will join their classmates studying modern languages in completing a project about the ancient city. A workshop at the Harrison Gray Otis House will highlight the influence of the rediscovery of the city of Pompeii and of classical art and architecture on the city of Boston in the early 19th century. Students ultimately grow in their appreciation of the echoes of Roman architecture and engineering that are still evident in the world today.


Class III Latin

How do the patterns I observe in the language lead to understanding? What role do the arts play in how people experience their culture? How can the arts teach me about people’s lives and the history of their culture? The course is based on a reading approach to language learning, using the Ecce Romani textbook series. In this immersion method, students learn grammar and vocabulary by reading passages in Latin and develop their ability to use deductive logic. As students learn how Latin works as a language, they draw comparisons between Latin and English and other languages they may know. They also make vocabulary connections and learn to use their knowledge of Latin words to decode the meaning of unfamiliar words in English. A varied range of class activities and projects serves to accommodate the learning styles of all students. The class does a research project focusing on the structure of the Roman villa, as well as smaller projects relating to artistic expressions of Roman mythology and culture. Reading skills are reinforced orally through the creation of dialogues and skits. The online textbook activities and various iPad apps are useful resources for individual practice and partner work. Through the study of language, history, mythology, art, architecture, and geography, students discover the multifaceted aspects of Roman civilization and the influence of ancient Rome on modern culture.


Class IV Latin

What do I learn about myself and my own culture by engaging with other cultures? How can I be a more independent learner? Students explore the answers to these questions as they continue their study of Latin using the reading approach of the Ecce Romani textbook series. As they encounter passages of increasing difficulty, students will continue to hone their deductive logic in order to gain mastery of Latin grammar and vocabulary. Students will not only grapple with the intricacies of Latin grammar, but will also delve deeper in their historical and cultural understanding of the Greco-Roman world. To accommodate the learning styles of all students, the course reinforces reading skills orally, includes various creative activities and projects, and encourages the exploration of ways to use technology as a daily learning tool. Students will read excerpts from the works of ancient Roman authors, perform simple scenes in Latin, take the National Latin Exam in March, and create electronic models of important buildings and monuments in ancient Rome. The Class IV Latin course culminates in the writing and performance of a Latin play. Students will complete the year not only ready to face the challenges of a Latin 2 class, but also equipped with a thorough understanding of an ancient world so closely linked with the world we live in today.


Latin 1 Accelerated

This accelerated beginning Latin course teaches the fundamentals of Latin grammar and vocabulary through daily readings about Greco-Roman culture, history, and mythology. A regular emphasis on vocabulary building provides students with the skills to recognize, use, and decipher word roots, suffixes and prefixes, not only in Latin, but also in English and other modern languages. (Open to new students in Class V and students in Classes VII and VIII.)


Latin 2

Readings about important figures in the Roman Monarchy and early Republic enable students to become more fluent readers of Latin prose. They complete their study of Latin grammar and continue to build their English vocabulary by concentrating on Greek and Latin roots, suffixes and prefixes. The study of Roman culture and the values expressed in the readings helps students to build a context for their further study of important literary works of the late Republic and Early Empire. Students will read increasingly challenging texts, ending the year with a unit on unadapted Latin poetry from an author such as Ovid or Horace. (Open to students who have studied Latin in classes III and IV or have completed the equivalent of an Upper School Latin 1 course.)


Latin 3

During the first semester, students study the life and thought of Rome's greatest orator and prose stylist, Cicero, who wrote during the final years of the Roman Republic. They read selections from his orations, philosophical essays, and letters, focusing on his beliefs about the ideal form of government and the responsibilities of a good citizen. They consider the similarities between Roman oratory and contemporary political speeches and the influence of Roman theories of government on the founders of the United States. In the second semester, students read selections from Julius Caesar’s commentaries De Bello Gallico. These readings offer insight into the empire-building culture of the late Republic and its most notable historic figure. Students will come to understand the Roman definition of virtus and also examine how Rome viewed foreign nations. (Open to students who have completed Latin 2 or Intermediate Latin.)


Latin AP

Following the curriculum of the College Board's Advanced Placement course in Latin, students read major portions of Books I, II, IV, and VI of the Aeneid in Latin and selections from Julius Caesar’s De Bello Gallico. They are also study extended passages of the Aeneid and Caesar’s commentaries in English. The reading and analysis of the Latin texts lead to discussions of the literary significance and historical background of the works. There is an emphasis on making connections between the modern and ancient worlds so as to better understand the causes and effects of war, the interplay between cultures, and the moral questions with which humans struggle. The students also explore the mythical and legendary aspects of the Aeneid as well as the historic significance of the Gallic Wars, thus acquiring knowledge which will aid their reading of any literature which has classical foundations. (Open to students who have completed Latin 3 or a full year of Advanced Topics. Students prepare for the course by reading the entire Aeneid in English translation over the summer.)


Latin Advanced Topics: Voices from the Past, Insights for the Present

Students who have completed Latin 3 undertake a deeper study of Latin texts. Students will read, analyze and discuss Latin texts, and delve into the historical and cultural context while they also review grammar concepts and build vocabulary. These courses are designed in a way that will engage both students who are preparing to take AP Latin in their senior year and students who have already taken the AP course.


Latin Advanced Topics: Poetry (Fall Semester)

Students read the lyric poems of such authors as Catullus, Horace, Propertius, and Ovid, whose topics center on themes of daily life, loves, and friendships from the perspectives of the most notable poets of the Late Republic and early Empire. In addition, students examine the socio-political climate of the times in order to better understand the context of the writings. Students make connections between Roman poets and their Greek predecessors, including Sappho and Callimachus. They also learn some basic ancient Greek grammar and vocabulary in order to study the Greek models these authors employ. The skills of reading, translation, analysis, and essay writing are emphasized. N.B. The authors will be taught on a rotating basis, so that if a student chooses to take Advanced Topics Poetry for two consecutive years, she will have the opportunity to study different authors each year. (Offered First Semester. Open to all students who have completed Latin 3, Latin AP or Advanced Topics)


Latin Advanced Topics: (Spring Semester) Two options offered; one course will run depending on student interest and previous experience.

Note: Juniors in this course will continue on after seniors leave to work on their ILE.


  • Cleopatra Pascal once remarked, "Cleopatra's nose, had it been shorter, the whole face of the world would have been changed.” Who was this woman who captivated her contemporaries and has beguiled every generation since then? Known simply to the Romans as “regina”, or the queen, Cleopatra evoked feelings of fear, disgust, and endless fascination. In her native Egypt, she was revered as the human incarnation of the goddess Isis. Her sordid affairs with both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony highlighted the enormous cultural divide between these two great empires. A shrewd politician, intellectual powerhouse, and shameless self-promoter, Cleopatra was a woman unlike any other. Using the acclaimed 2010 biography by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stacy Schiff as the main text, the course will try to separate history from mythology in order to understand the true story of the queen. Students will conduct research in primary Latin sources such as Horace, Caesar, Vergil, and Cicero, read translated accounts from the Greek historians Plutarch and Dio, and examine numismatic and artistic representations of Cleopatra as complements to the readings. (Offered Spring Semester 2017. Open to all students who have completed Latin 3, Latin AP or Advanced Topics.)
  • Modern Latin The Latin language has continued to flourish long after the fall of the Roman Empire. In this seminar, students will discover the range of works composed in Latin during “modern times”. Beginning with medieval songs, the Carmina Burana, made famous by the modern composer Carl Orff, they will study the ways post-classical cultures have been expressed and reflected in the Latin language. Students will examine famous poems and letters written in Latin in the 19th-21st centuries. They will read Latin translations of popular fiction from Cattus Petasatus (“The Cat in the Hat”) to Harrius Potter and Philosophi Lapis (“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”) and analyze the choices made by the translators. Finally, students will follow present-day social media in Latin, such as Pope Francis’ official Latin Twitter account. The course will include multiple opportunities for students to compose their own works in Latin. (Offered Spring Semester. Open to all students who have completed Latin 3, Latin AP or Advanced Topics)

Mandarin Chinese

Class I Chinese

Who am I as a learner? What does learning Chinese look like and feel like? Class I language emphasizes critical thinking skills related to language acquisition and encourages students to develop a productive and proactive “language acquisition stance.” Students will be asked to consciously develop and strengthen specific skills and will always be asked to explain what they know and how it is that they know it. Class I Mandarin students will begin to acquire the building blocks of Chinese characters through drawing, singing and acting. The course also serves as an introduction to the geography of the Chinese speaking worlds. Students will consider questions such as: Who speaks Chinese? What are the cultures of these places like? Students will explore various aspects of China’s cultures through stories, rhymes, games, and stories from Three Character Classics, a children book from the 13th century. Students will develop the skills and dispositions needed to guide their own learning, with the class structured to provide the support and scaffolding needed by the individual learner to achieve goals.


Class II Chinese

What does my learning look like? What does learning in a group look like? How does careful observation and listening lead to problem solving? What do I learn from making the map? What do I learn about the other map-makers from the maps they have created? Class II Mandarin, students will continue to develop their critical thinking skills, and practice using a variety of thinking routines to acquire new materials. Students will be developing five skills sets as they relate to language acquisition: listening, speaking, reading, writing and cultural competency. Pinyin – the mandarin phonetic system will be introduced, with a particular focus on tones. At the same time, students will learn to write Chinese characters, from strokes to stroke orders, radicals, and formation of characters. They will be learning to write and use about 150 characters. Typing Chinese will also be introduced. Mini research on Chinese cultural topics will be conducted, including hands on experience with calligraphy, paper cutting, and origami. The course will use the iPad as a tool to enhance the learning. All the course materials will be available digitally to students.


Mandarin Chinese 1 Accelerated

This is a fast paced course, providing an introduction to spoken and written Chinese, with an emphasis on pronunciation, the romanization system (pinyin and tones), and the building blocks (radicals) of Chinese characters. It is designed for students who have zero or little exposure to Mandarin Chinese, and those who wish to solidify and develop more effective strategies for learning character writing and pronunciation. Students will expand their vocabulary, learn how to write and type characters, gain proficiency in everyday conversations, and develop an understanding of some unique features of Chinese grammar. Students regularly use integrated audio and movies to strengthen listening comprehension, and are encouraged to speak Chinese in the classroom. Chinese 1 combines collaborative group activities and independent learning to accommodate different learning styles. Students will also engage with cultural topics from both ancient and modern China by means of movies, cultural projects and field trips.


Mandarin Chinese 2

This course provides continued study of spoken and written Chinese that supports students as they develop the productive, receptive, and cultural skills necessary to communicate with native speakers. Basic grammar will be reviewed and new structures are introduced. By the end of the course, students are expected to recognize and use a wide range of words and phrases. Through free writing and extensive reading, students will learn how to use online resources to enlarge their linguistic repertoire and to express themselves creatively. Chinese 2 provides independent learning and group activities for students to practice and enhance their communication skills. Students also gain a deeper understanding of Chinese history and values by means of workshops, movies, cultural projects and field trips.

*If a student with previous exposure to Chinese but has not taken Chinese at Winsor, she must take a placement test and speak with the course teacher before the decision is made.


Mandarin Chinese 3

Chinese 3 is offered to students who have successfully completed Chinese 2 or its equivalent. In Chinese 3 students build upon the skills developed in previous years. The course work focuses on fine-tuning pronunciation, and oral proficiency. Specific situations such as negotiating real-life situations are emphasized. The students are engaged in more spontaneous conversations addressing various aspects of Chinese culture. Research projects and presentations increase students’ control of Chinese grammatical structures, expand their vocabulary and comprehension ability. Students use online and traditional dictionaries to look up the meanings of Chinese words, and learn how to independently build their own vocabulary lists. In addition, students engage with readings on topics such as, family and celebrations, diet and health, clothing, and the environment, and they practice their writing skills by writing email responses, journals, story-tellings and describing pictures. Materials include the textbooks Integrated Chinese Level 1 part 2, level 2 part 1 as well as a workbook and audio CDs.

*If a student with previous exposure to Chinese has not taken Chinese before at Winsor, she may take a placement test and talk to the course teacher before the decision is made.


Mandarin Chinese Advanced Topics 1/AP

Through the reading and discussion of authentic Chinese passages, students solidify previously learned grammatical structures and expressions. Readings also provide the basis for vocabulary-building and class discussion. In this course, students will engage with readings on topics including marriage, traveling, changes in China, gender equality, education, Chinese history and geography, as well as health and environmental issues. Movies are viewed to deepen the student’s knowledge and understanding of Chinese culture and its traditions. Students will also learn some original Chinese songs and poems. Materials will include the textbook and workbook Integrated Chinese Level 2, and DVDs. Students will also use the book AP Chinese Language and Culture to prepare for the AP test. This course is taught completely in Chinese.


Mandarin Chinese Advanced Topics 2 (fall semester) The Ever-changing China

This semester course is specifically designed for students who completed Chinese AP or Advanced Topics 1, who want to hone their listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills by taking a closer look at the culture that has been shaping the language for thousands of years. Students will go beyond the study of conversational expressions, and enter a world of literary texts that span from ancient myths to current news articles. Students will explore China's enduring cultural traditions, compare contemporary China with its pre-reform era, and investigate the changing perspectives of the people of modern China. Students will discuss topics such as how the Chinese have invited their guests to dinner for centuries or the changing role of women in today's society by conducting close readings of paintings, architecture, calligraphy scrolls, poems and movies. They will practice descriptive and reflective writing, interpretive essays, and give various types of oral presentations based on their reading and cultural activities. The course aims not only to enhance a student’s overall language skills, but also to challenge her cultural assumptions and to help her understand the profound ways the Chinese culture has modified its people’s views of world. This course is taught completely in Chinese. (.5 credits)


Mandarin Chinese Advanced Topics 2 (spring semester)The Ever-changing China

This semester course will focus on traditional and contemporary China. Why do cultures change? What makes a culture embrace, or abandon, traditions that define the essence of its people? How has China adapted to rapid changes in today’s economy and political realities? Students will explore traditional and modern China using texts and cultural artifacts, traditional and contemporary films and documentaries, as well as local newspapers and newscasts. The content of this course is a continuation of the themes explored in the Fall semester. This course is taught completely in Chinese. (.5 credits)


French

Class I French

Who am I as a learner? And who do I want to be? What does learning French look like and feel like? Learning in French I is guided by exploration of these questions. As we work on listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, students develop the dispositions required of effective learners, including tenacity, resilience, receptivity to feedback, and careful observation skills. Students will explore the fundamentals of grammar and syntax: number (singular/plural), gender, verb conjugation, spelling, and pronunciation conventions. As students learn to describe themselves, their peers and the wider world in French, they will actively contribute to building their understanding of the French language. Emphasizing creativity, communication, and cultural awareness, the French I curriculum encourages students to approach language learning from many angles and to discover which strategies and tools are best for them as language learners along the way.


Class II French

How do careful observation and listening contribute to problem solving? How are problem-solving and language-learning connected? What can I learn from making a map of a city? What can a map tell us about a city’s inhabitants? What do I learn about my classmates from the maps they create? Students in French II will engage with these essential questions throughout the year as they practice listening, speaking, reading, and writing and develop their cultural competency skills. In a joyful, vibrant and creative setting, students perform skits, sing, and create works of art as they acquire the basics of the French language and develop the dispositions of effective, independent learners. Students begin the year in French II creating a map of a French-speaking city and considering what aspects of a city’s structure are necessary for a culture to flourish. This consideration of city life will continue in second semester, when students pursue a research project on a city from the Francophone world. Throughout the year, students will continue to develop their mastery of the fundamentals of grammar and syntax and add to their vocabulary base. They will learn to express preferences, to describe their family, school, and the world around them. As they do so, students will actively contribute to building the content and driving the curriculum of this course and will be encouraged to take charge of their learning, give themselves feedback, and develop personal strategies to achieve excellence.


Class III French

How do the patterns I observe in the language lead to understanding? Where is French spoken in the world? What does it mean to be a French speaker? What does it mean to me to be learning French? In French III, students will actively engage with these questions as they continue to strengthen their listening, speaking, reading, writing and cultural competency. Students will continue to hone their critical thinking skills related to language learning and will be encouraged to actively reflect on who they are as a learner and how they learn best. In French III, students will develop their research skills as they explore the wide range of cultures in the Francophone world. They will encounter new nuances of the language as they expand their vocabulary base, discover new verb families, and will be able to describe future events, form questions, and develop richer and more complex sentences. Using culturally authentic sources, students will learn to negotiate travel plans and consider differences and similarities in food culture. Students will also develop and extend their reading comprehension skills as they engage with the short mystery novel Le voyage de sa vie.


Class IV French

What do I learn about myself and my own culture by engaging with other cultures? How does what I am learning in French class connect to who I am in the world? How can I be a more independent learner? These questions will serve as touchstones for our class throughout the year as students continue to develop their listening, speaking, reading, writing skills, as well as their cultural competency. Building on previous years, French IV emphasizes critical thinking skills related to language acquisition, and students actively reflect on how they learn as well as what they are learning. Linguistically, students will review, refine, and build upon their foundation of grammar and vocabulary, and they will acquire new structures, such as the passé composé, that will expand their ability to express their thoughts in French. They will further develop their reading comprehension skills and practice critical analysis in French as they read and discuss works of short fiction. They will engage in more complex writing assignments, including short essays and creative writing. Students will continue with their exploration of the Francophone world as they delve into the study of the province of Québec.


French 1 Accelerated

French 1, an accelerated study of introductory French, is an intensive, fast-paced course that provides the fundamentals of grammar, structure and vocabulary needed to reach specific, targeted communicative benchmarks. Students learn to recognize patterns in the written and spoken language, and employ their observations to stretch their own language skills. Classroom activities are designed to develop skills in listening comprehension, as well as written and oral proficiency. Readings from various texts give contextualized examples of the grammar being studied while also giving the students a glimpse into the diversity and complexity of the French-speaking world. Students regularly use integrated audio and authentic video materials to strengthen aural comprehension and comfort with a range of speakers and accents. The course is designed for students with little or no knowledge of French language or culture.


French 2 Le Français, une langue mondiale

In French 2, students continue to develop skills introduced during the Lower School program or French 1. Listening, speaking, writing, and reading skills are reinforced on a daily basis. Students add to their foundation in grammar and become more adept at communicating and expressing their thoughts in French, both orally and in written form, in full and increasingly complex contexts. Students broaden their vocabulary through interactive activities and authentic video that address the thematic units of the course, ranging from personal health to the arts, family dynamics and city life. They also continue to discover the culture and the richness of the Francophone world through a variety of readings and projects. The class is conducted mostly in French, allowing students to process in English how they learn French. This course is open to students who have completed French 1 or its equivalent.


French 3 Les Visages de la Francophonie: Les Caraïbes et le Canada

In French 3, students continue to develop their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. The class includes an in-depth study of French grammar in addition to discussion and analysis of Francophone literature. The questions that will form the basis of our inquiry into the poetry, stories, and films we study are the following: How does the dominant culture in which a person lives impact his or her individual identity? What factors contribute to a person’s sense of self? What elements make up a culture? And how do these two entities—individuality and culture—complex as they are, interact and shape one another? In this course, we will be seeking to answer these questions as we examine large cultural movements—such as la Négritude, la mission civilisatrice, Québecois nationalism and la créolité. French 3 students will develop their reading, writing, and analytical skills and will also build a substantial vocabulary as they work to master the grammar needed for a sophisticated level of written and oral communication. Class is conducted entirely in French.


French Advanced Topics 1 La France actuelle

Stereotypes of France are abundant: baguettes, berets, bicycles, the Eiffel Tower, and moonlight walks on the Seine. Behind these romantic images, the real France is to be found. In this course, we will examine cultural currents, tensions and developments in contemporary France. These will include the exploration of topics including immigration, political engagement, religious identity, environmental stewardship, and music and cultural expression. We will delve into these topics while considering how they are represented in the French and world media, as well as how they relate to similar trends we face in America. In this course, taught entirely in French, students will expand their vocabulary base and their command of sophisticated grammatical structures and will develop their linguistic skills and sophistication as they learn to discuss, debate, and present their points of view on these current topics.


French Advanced Topics 2 (Fall Semester)Le Deuxième Sexe: L’expérience et la représentation des femmes françaises et francophones dans la littérature et les films


In the French Advanced Topics course, students will explore representations of French and Francophone women, both how these women view themselves and how they are viewed by others. Students will come to understand the challenges, obstacles, and socio-political circumstances that have shaped the lives of these sensitive, yet determined women who have worked to establish identity and to prevail as intellectual beings over time and across geo-political space. Texts and films by French and Francophone authors and filmmakers create a rich and varied portrait of the lives of “le deuxième sexe”. Through a final project, students will gain insight into their own experiences as young women coming of age in the 21st century. Class is conducted entirely in French. This course is open to students who have completed French AP or French Advanced Topics 1. (.5 credits)


French Advanced Topics 2 (Spring Semester)Intertextualité: Identités Comparées

Who and/or what qualifies as a hero? Who and/or what determine one’s identity? What questions, polemics, interests, and philosophies are at the heart of the debate? How has that debate changed over time? In this course we will examine such questions as we consider how texts relate and respond to each other. We will compare the works of various authors, poets, artists, filmmakers, and playwrights in order to examine the ways in which these thinkers have approached the philosophical questions of their day. Sophisticated analyses coupled with playful interpretations will comprise student learning in this course: careful reading, both analytical and personal writing, active discussion and creative interpretations will constitute the bulk of student work. Students will share their understanding of the characters studied through lively skits, dramatic reenactments, original videos, charged debates and artistic associations. As a culmination of their French study at Winsor, students will employ the analytical, artistic and linguistic skills they have developed during their time here. Class is conducted entirely in French. (.5 credits)


French AP: Advanced Placement French Language and Culture

The AP French Language and Culture course takes a holistic approach to language proficiency and recognizes the complex interrelatedness of comprehension and comprehensibility, vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies and cultural awareness. In the AP French course, students will learn language structures in context and use them to convey meaning. The course strives to promote fluency and accuracy and to engage students in an exploration of culture in both contemporary and historical contexts. The three modes of communication (interpersonal, interpretive and presentational), in which students will demonstrate proficiency, are foundational to the AP French Language and Culture course. The six learning objectives/thematic approaches that students will explore are built on the three modes of communication (The College Board). In order to best facilitate the study of language and culture, the AP course is conducted entirely in French.


Spanish

Class I Spanish

Who am I as a learner? And who do I want to be?

What does it mean to me to be excellent? What will I do to achieve excellence?
Exploration of these questions guides student learning in Spanish. While working on listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, students also develop the dispositions required of effective learners, including tenacity, resilience, receptivity to feedback, and careful observation skills, among others.Focusing on describing themselves, their peers and the wider world in Spanish, students actively contribute to building the content and driving the curriculum of this course.Emphasizing creativity, spontaneity, and the Arts, students approach language learning from many angles, discovering which strategies and tools are best for them along the way.

Class II Spanish

What do I learn from making the map?

What do I learn about the other map-makers from the maps they have created?

How does careful observation and listening lead to problem solving?
These essential questions guide student learning throughout the year as they practice listening, speaking, reading, writing and cultural competency skills, and develop the dispositions of an effective, independent learner.Focusing on expressing preferences, negotiating life in a community, and describing the world around them in Spanish, students actively contribute to building the content and driving the curriculum of this course. In a joyful, vibrant and creative setting, students perform skits, sing, and create works of art as they acquire the basics of Spanish language. In this class, students are always encouraged to take charge of their learning, give themselves feedback, and develop personal strategies to achieve excellence.

Class III Spanish

What do I learn from making the map?

What do I learn about the other map-makers from the maps they have created?

How does careful observation and listening lead to problem solving?
These essential questions guide student learning throughout the year as they practice listening, speaking, reading, writing and cultural competency skills, and develop the dispositions of an effective, independent learner.Focusing on expressing preferences, negotiating life in a community, and describing the world around them in Spanish, students actively contribute to building the content and driving the curriculum of this course. In a joyful, vibrant and creative setting, students perform skits, sing, and create works of art as they acquire the basics of Spanish language. In this class, students are always encouraged to take charge of their learning, give themselves feedback, and develop personal strategies to achieve excellence.

Class IV Spanish

What do I learn about myself and my own culture by engaging with other cultures?

How can I be a more independent learner?
These questions will serve as touchstones throughout the year as students develop the skill sets, listening, speaking, reading, writing and cultural competency, that are necessary to reach the communicative benchmarks of this course.In the content-rich, culturally appropriate context provided in class, students learn to discuss their childhoods, the journeys of immigrant families in the US, and global Human Rights.Building on previous years, the course continues to emphasize critical thinking skills related to language acquisition, and encourages students to actively reflect on how they learn as well as what they are learning.Students will develop the skills and dispositions needed to guide their own learning, with the class structured to provide the support and scaffolding needed by the individual learner to achieve goals she sets for herself within the context of the existing curriculum.

Class V-VIII

Spanish 1 Accelerated

Spanish 1, an accelerated study of introductory Spanish, is an intensive, fast-paced course that provides the fundamentals of grammar, structure, and a practical vocabulary needed to reach specific, targeted communicative benchmarks. Students learn to recognize patterns in the written and spoken language, and employ their observations to stretch their own language skills. Classroom activities are designed to develop skills in listening comprehension, as well as written and oral proficiency. Readings from various texts give contextualized examples of the grammar being studied while also giving the students a glimpse into the diversity and complexity of the Spanish-speaking world. Students regularly use integrated audio and video materials to strengthen aural comprehension and comfort with a range of speakers and accents. The course is designed for students with little or no knowledge of Spanish.

Spanish 2
Voces del mundo hispano -Voices from the Spanish-speaking world

From Spain to Argentina, from Cuba to El Salvador, and all over Latin America, the Caribbean and in the USA there is a wide-ranging symphony of ideas that challenge the perception that there is “a single story” from the Spanish-speaking world. What can we learn about the diversity of perspectives among the over 400 million Spanish speakers globally? What do we take for granted in our own experiences and perspectives that influences the way we think about and engage with Spanish speakers in the world around us? In Spanish 2, students will explore these questions through the study of the complexities of literature and culture. Students continue to develop skills introduced during the Lower School program or Spanish 1, identify patterns in the written and spoken language, and employ their observations to stretch their own language skills. Listening, speaking, writing, and reading skills are reinforced on a daily basis. Students will also add to their foundation in grammar and broaden their vocabulary through interactive exercises based on the thematic chapters designed by the Language Department.


Spanish 3
Discovery, Encounter, Conquest: Multiple Perspectives

In Spanish 3, students continue to develop their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. The class includes an in-depth study of complex grammar structures as a foundation for oral and written proficiency. In addition to discussion and analysis of the cultural material, students are expected to think deeply about their own relationship to the central theme of the course: the cultural encounters. The class is conducted mostly in Spanish, allowing students to process in English how they learn Spanish. Starting with the study of the encounter between Europe and the Americas, students learn a wide range of vocabulary to express themselves with subtlety and nuance. They explore the poetry of José Martí, Nicolás Guillén and Pablo Neruda, as well as the work of such contemporary writers as Reinaldo Arenas, Eduardo Galeano, Norberto James, and Rigoberta Menchú. The year finishes with a careful examination of the contemporary repercussions of various historical events, including Liberation Theology in the context of studying the civil wars in Central America. Students learn to interpret, question, discuss, and respond to these texts using academic Spanish. An inquiry-based approach to learning is used to explore cultural themes as well as grammar, allowing students to develop strong observation skills and the tools to provide constructive feedback. Short stories from Ciudad Real by Rosario Castellanos are read at the end of the year.


Spanish Advanced Topics 1
Recursos y Relaciones

On a shrinking planet, how will human communities make decisions about the distribution, use, and conservation of precious natural resources, such as food, water and fuel? How do the universal needs for these resources and the impact of their use, misuse, and exploitation affect relations between communities and nations? How have artists, poets, writers, journalists, philosophers, politicians, activists, scientists, and educators explored these questions around the Spanish-speaking world and within Spanish-speaking communities here in the USA? What contributions have these communities made to global understanding of these themes? What role will you play in these global conversations? This course allows students to explore the themes of resources and international relations, pursuing their personal interests and questions while engaging with primary resources in advanced Spanish. Listening, speaking, reading, writing and cultural competency are developed. Class is conducted entirely in Spanish. This course is open to students who have completed Spanish 3.. This is a yearlong course.


Spanish Advanced Topics 2
(Fall Semester, Spring Semester) La justicia

What is justice? What does it mean to you personally to be just? How do your personal beliefs and values inform your understanding of justice? What is your role in the struggle for justice in your community and in the world? What can we learn from artists, poets, writers, journalists, philosophers, politicians, activists, scientists, and educators about this theme in the Spanish-speaking world and in the Spanish-speaking communities here in the USA? This course allows students to explore the theme of justice, pursuing their personal interests and questions while engaging with primary resources in advanced Spanish. Listening, speaking, reading, writing and cultural competency are developed. This course is open to students who have completed Spanish AP or Spanish Advanced Topics 1. This is a two-semester course, and seniors have the option of taking the course both semesters or either semester. (.5 credits each semester)


Spanish AP
The Hispanic Caribbean Past and Present

This course, conducted entirely in Spanish, focuses on Hispanic Caribbean past and present, while incorporating interdisciplinary topics that explicitly address six course themes: Global Challenges, Science and Technology, Contemporary Life, Personal and Public Identities, Families and Communities, and Beauty and Aesthetics. Students explore the history and cultures of Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico through literary texts, historical documents, newspaper articles, Podcasts, documentaries, films, song, music, movement, websites, cultural exchange through Skype, testimony, guests speakers and field trips. The three modes of communication (interpersonal, interpretive and presentational), in which students will demonstrate proficiency, are foundational to the AP Spanish Language and Culture course. From the colonial experience through independence, from institutionalized slavery to abolition, and from Europe’s influence to that of the United States, students explore the evolution of the culture of the regions in which the language is spoken. Students read authors such as Simón Bolívar, José Martí, José Antonio Saco, Eugenio María de Hostos, Julia de Burgos, Nicolás Guillén, Luis Palés Matos, Miguel Barnet and Esmeralda Santiago. The six learning objectives/thematic approaches that students will explore are built on the three modes of communication (The College Board). In order to best facilitate the study of language and culture, the AP course is conducted entirely in Spanish.


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