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"Some of the most important work done by Middle School faculty is to use the curriculum as a means to teach the skills necessary for life-long academic success."

– John Gifford, Assistant Head of School & Head of Middle School

Modern Languages

Academics, Technology

The Modern Language Department seeks to promote not only proficiency in a foreign language, but also a true appreciation of another culture. The Department believes in developing the four major skills necessary for communication in a language: speaking, listening, writing and reading. Each level is a progression aimed at building upon the skills which were taught in the previous year. The Department believes that the study of people and culture is critical to the study of a foreign language; therefore, an effort will be made to integrate appropriate material at each level in the program. Through the teaching of specific language skills, literature, and culture, as well as work in the Digital Learning Center, the Department aims to promote an eagerness for foreign language study and an ability to understand cross-cultural perspectives while using the target language at all levels.

French A | Full Year
Full Credit

Beginning their course of study in French, students are introduced to the essential skills of communication and are encouraged to communicate in French at every level: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. They further develop this proficiency through the study of different French-speaking countries with films, readings, games, music, oral presentations and online resources. French A combined with French B prepares students for entry into French II.Beginning their course of study in French, students are introduced to the essential skills of communication and are encouraged to communicate in French at every level: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. They further develop this proficiency through the study of different French-speaking countries with films, readings, games, music, oral presentations and work in the Digital Learning Center. French A combined with French B prepares students for entry into French II.
 

French B | Full Year
Full Credit
Prerequisites: French A

In French B, students continue to develop their foundation French grammar and vocabulary in the context of French-speaking cultures. Students improve speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.
Successful completion of this class prepares students for French II.

 

Spanish A | Full Year
Full Credit
Open to: VI

Spanish A serves as an introduction to the fundamental skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Emphasis is placed on establishing oral proficiency, which is developed through class discussion, skits, presentations and projects. This course also employs games, videos, songs, short readings and online activities to further improve language skills. In addition to foundational grammar and thematic vocabulary units, students explore cultural elements of various Spanish-speaking countries. This year of Spanish combined with Spanish B is the equivalent of Spanish I.

 

Spanish B | Full Year
Full Credit
Open to: V,VI
Prerequisites: French A

This course is a continuation of Spanish A and completes Level I of the language. Students who complete Spanish A and B will be prepared to enter Spanish II, or possibly Spanish II Honors, as recommended by the teachers. During the course, students continue their acquisition of basic vocabulary and grammatical structures while developing their speaking, reading, listening, and writing skills in cultural contexts. The greatest emphasis is put on developing each student's confidence and oral proficiency skills. This year of Spanish combined with Spanish A is the equivalent of Spanish I.

 

Spanish I | Full Year
Full Credit
Open to: V with permission of the department

Spanish I is an introduction to the language and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world.  Students will develop skills in listening, reading, writing, and most importantly, speaking the language with confidence.   This program presents a host of useful vocabulary for real-life situations, enriched by original sources in a variety of media.  
 

Chinese I/A/B | Full Year
Open to: V, VI
Prerequisites: Approved by department

Chinese I is an introductory-level course designed to orient the beginning student properly within the Chinese language by introducing fundamental syntactical constructions along with basic vocabulary. We will also be promoting cognitive association between concepts and Chinese characters through character practice and study, and by facilitating culture-based learning. Emphasis is placed on pronunciation and listening skills. Students will encounter various aspects of Chinese language and culture through projects and cultural activities.

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The Middle School Curriculum