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Languages

Classical Languages

The classical language program provides a comprehensive introduction to Latin. Students will learn and practice all the skills necessary to become proficient readers of Latin. Latin focuses on the acquisition of vocabulary and grammar while also immersing students in Roman life and culture. They will read and translate stories concerning the life of a Roman family in Pompeii, Romanized Britain, and Egypt. Through these texts, their understanding of the social and political history of the Romans during the first century is developed. A strong emphasis is also placed on learning English vocabulary with Latin roots. Finally, students will further enhance their skills by using the online curriculum Operation Lapis. The course presents Latin not as an abstract linguistic system but rather as a medium of the great culture and literature that molded it and as the source of more than half of the vocabulary of modern English. As with modern language, when students choose Latin, they are committed to that choice through their Middle School years. Students are grouped according to their previous experience in the language, with the Department Chair and the Middle School Director making all placement decisions.

Middle School Latin Courses

Latin 1A (#19100)

Year course.

In this course, students learn vocabulary, grammar, and syntax by reading and translating stories of events surrounding a Roman family from the city of Pompeii. Through these texts their understanding of the social and political history of the Romans during the first century is developed. The course presents Latin not as an abstract linguistic system but rather as the medium of the great culture and literature that molded it.

Latin 1B (#19200)

Year course.Prerequisite: Latin 1A.

This is a continuation of Latin 1A. New vocabulary, grammar, and syntax are introduced. While the events in the first book took place in and around Pompeii, the action has now moved to Roman Britain. The history of Roman Britain is presented in detail.

Level 1A and Level 1B Latin combined are roughly equivalent to Level 1 of Latin in the Upper School. Students usually take 1A and 1B in Grades Six and Seven and Level 2 in Grade Eight. Students in Grade Six can anticipate beginning Level 3 in the Upper School.

Some students may qualify for a language offering provided in the Upper School. This may be elected, although the final decision on placement rests with the World Languages Department. (See pages 39–42 for Upper School offerings.)

Latin 2 (#19334)

Year course. 3 credits. Prerequisite: Latin 1 or Latin 1B.

This course, which builds on previously established foundations, reviews and integrates items already met while introducing new vocabulary, grammar, and syntax. The historical novel continues, covering such themes as the history, science, medicine, and religion of Alexandria, Egypt, and Roman Britain.

World Languages

The modern language program provides a comprehensive introduction to modern language study. Students will learn and practice skills necessary to acquire a second language. They will be encouraged to take risks and to communicate in the language studied. We work toward a total immersion classroom where the language is modeled by the teacher and media resources. Emphasis is placed on the relevance of the language to a student’s own life. We encourage students to see things through the culture of the target language by drawing parallels to and contrasts with the student’s own culture. Pronunciation, spelling, vocabulary acquisition, and grammar are taught progressively. When students choose a world language, they are committed to that choice through their Middle School years. Students are grouped according to their previous experience in the language, with the Department Chair and the Middle School Director making the placement decisions.

All the languages are taught in a similar way. Oral skills that include both speaking and listening are constantly presented and reinforced. Reading and writing skills are introduced in class and reinforced through working with the textbook, the accompanying workbook, and teacher-developed materials. Work in grammar and spelling familiarize the student with the structure of the language. The Chinese course uses the Pinyin phonetic system and simplified characters.

As the student becomes more knowledgeable in the subject, writing assignments advance through the sentence, paragraph, and short essay stages. Areas such as geography, history, literature, current events, and culture are also covered so that students can begin to expand their intellectual and cultural horizons. Classroom activities often challenge the student to use the newly acquired language in meaningful real-life situations. The instructors also take advantage of textbook online resources as well as language learning websites like Quizlet and Quia.

Middle School Modern Language Courses

Chinese 1A (#19903) French 1A (#19114) German 1A (#19124) Spanish 1A (#19144)

Year course. Available to Grades 6 and 7.

Level 1A and Level 1B Chinese, French, German, and Spanish are roughly equivalent to Level 1 of the language in the Upper School. Students usually take 1A and 1B in Grades Six and Seven and Level 2 in Grade Eight. Students in Grade Six can anticipate beginning Level 3 in the Upper School.

Some students may qualify for a language offering provided in the Upper School. This may be elected, although the final decision on placement rests with the World Languages Department. (See pages 39–42 for Upper School offerings.)

CHINESE 1B (#19904) French 1B (#19214) German 1B (#19224) Spanish 1B (#19244)

Year course. Available to Grades 7 and 8.

Level 1A and Level 1B Chinese, French, German, and Spanish are roughly equivalent to Level 1 of the language in the Upper School. Students usually take 1A and 1B in Grades Six and Seven and Level 2 in Grade Eight. Students in Grade Six can anticipate beginning Level 3 in the Upper School.

Some students may qualify for a language offering provided in the Upper School. This may be elected, although the final decision on placement rests with the World Languages Department. (See pages 39–42 for Upper School offerings.)

Chinese 2 MS (#19913) FRENCH 2 MS (#19344) GERMAN 2 MS (#19325) SPANISH 2 MS (#19245)

Major year course. 3 credits. Prerequisite: French 1B, German 1B, or Spanish 1B.

The second-year language experience reinforces skills that were introduced at the first-year level, develops them to a higher degree, and continues to present grammatical structures and tenses. Classes are conducted — and the student is encouraged to think, speak, and write more consistently — in the target language. Students read for understanding and appreciation while also building vocabulary and grammar skills.