An Independent K-12 school on a beautiful wooded campus, 3 miles from Washington, D.C.

World Languages

I n Potomac’s world language programs, students take a communicative, integrated, skills-based approach that is firmly rooted in developing their interest in, and appreciation for, diverse cultural perspectives. Through carefully designed immersion, students develop their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills while acquiring the cultural background and knowledge necessary to communicate meaningfully in real-world settings in their target language.

As students progress through our programs, they engage in a wide variety of creative and collaborative experiences that promote their continued linguistic mastery and build their confidence. Students expand their knowledge of, and respect for, other cultures and peoples while improving their critical thinking skills through analysis of literature, key historical periods and figures, important works of art and modern media. Students strive toward mastery of the target language in supportive environments that allow them to take the linguistic risks necessary for language acquisition and successful cross- cultural communication.

To see how student progress through the various languages, please click here. In order to fulfill the departmental requirements for graduation, a Potomac student must successfully complete three Upper School courses in the same language—Chinese, French, Latin or Spanish. The completion of a level-four course is strongly recommended. Course offerings may vary from year to year and are contingent upon adequate enrollment.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Chinese I

Chinese 1 is a class for Upper School students who are beginning Chinese language studies. Using the Integrated Chinese (Level 1 Part 1) textbook, workbook, video, and audio materials, students commence learning tones, pronunciation, and basic grammatical structures in authentic language settings that introduce different aspects of social life in China. As the course progresses, emphasis shifts to building the four targeted language competencies of reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Students also learn about Chinese culture and history, as much in Chinese as possible. Through the various textbook materials, students focus on building vocabulary, mastering grammar patterns, and learning the idioms of spoken Chinese. Through selected authentic videos, films, news clips, and online texts, students enhance their ability to understand and communicate in different situations and contexts. In addition to reading and writing assignments, students are assessed on oral presentations in the form of short skits and monologues to develop independent speaking skills (presentational communication). (This class is a year-long version of the Intermediate School Classes Chinese 1A and Chinese 2B.)

Chinese II

Chinese 2 is offered to students who have completed the equivalent of Chinese 1 and to students coming up from the Intermediate School's Chinese program. The course continues with the Integrated Chinese series, starting with Level 1 Part 2, (on Chapter 11, the first chapter, and works up through Chapter 18 by the end of the year) and emphasizing the four targeted language competencies of reading, listening, speaking, and writing. The textbook includes videos and online resources for speaking, reading, and writing and features texts on different aspects of social life in China. Students will continue to learn about Chinese culture and history as much in Chinese as possible. Through a variety of resources students will focus on vocabulary building and in-depth development of grammatical structures and idioms started in the Chinese 1 curriculum. Through selected authentic videos, films, news clips, and online texts students will be able to understand and communicate in different situations and contexts. In addition to reading and writing assignments, students will be assessed on presentational communication through assignments that develop independent speaking including writing and performing short in-class skits, and monologues.

Chinese III

Chinese 3 is offered to students who have completed the equivalent of Chinese 2 and to students who are assessed to be at this level. The course continues with the Integrated Chinese series, starting with Lesson 19 and 20 of Level 1 Part 2, working through Chapters 1-6 of Level 2 Part 1, and emphasizing the four targeted language competencies of reading, listening, speaking, and writing. The textbooks include videos and online resources for speaking, reading, and writing and features texts on different aspects of social life in China. Students will continue to learn about Chinese culture and history as much in Chinese as possible. Through a variety of resources students will continue to focus on vocabulary building and in-depth development of grammatical structures and idioms. Through selected authentic videos, films, news clips, and online texts students will be able to understand and communicate in different situations and contexts. In addition to reading and writing assignments, students will be assessed on presentational communication through assignments that develop independent speaking including writing and performing short in-class skits, and monologues.

Chinese IV

Chinese 4 is offered to students who have completed the equivalent of Chinese 3 or to students who are assessed at this level. The course continues with the Integrated Chinese series, finishing the ast four units of Level 2 Part 1, and then starting with Level 2 Part 2, and emphasizing the four targeted language competencies of reading, listening, speaking, and writing. The textbooks include videos and online resources for speaking, reading, and writing and features texts on different aspects of social life in China. Students will continue to learn about Chinese culture and history as much in Chinese as possible. Through a variety of resources students will focus on vocabulary building and in-depth development of grammatical structures and idioms. Through selected authentic videos, films, news clips, and online texts students will be able to understand and communicate in different situations and contexts. In addition to reading and writing assignments, students will be assessed on presentational communication through assignments that develop independent speaking including writing and performing short in-class skits, and monologues.

Advanced Chinese Studies I and II

Advanced Chinese Studies is for students who have completed the equivalent of four years of high school Chinese language studies. In this course, students combine different activities to develop their strengths in written and spoken Chinese, culminating for many students in the AP exam (this is not an official AP Chinese course, but students who feel ready are encouraged to take that test after completing this course). Continuing where Chinese 4 left off, with Chapter 14 in the higher level Integrated Chinese text (Level 2 Part 2), students read the text for content and prepare oral presentations on related topics that they research on their own. Topics include cultural traditions, social issues, hobbies, career plans, Chinese geography, and Chinese history. Related assignments in the course include writing a blog in Chinese based on readings in contemporary issues; watching a Chinese TV show, and writing descriptive paragraphs. Assessments will focus on oral comprehension, spoken communication (presentational as well as conversational), writing emails and descriptive passages. This course is taught in a two year sequence.

French I

This course welcomes students with no previous experience in French, as well those with some experience but limited communicative practice. Listening to spoken and recorded passages and dialogues, watching short videos and reading short authentic texts, students begin to develop interpretive skills, such as awareness of context and how to select the most meaningful information out of a communicative stream. Students begin to develop their interpersonal proficiency by conversing with others on a variety of topics using everyday vocabulary and idiomatic phrasing in even the most simple sentences. Topics include those that are generally familiar to students (sharing information about themselves and their families and where they are from, talking about routines and activities during school and vacations, describing places and people). Students learn to express themselves through participating in skits and dialogues; oral and written presentations allow students to build their communicative skills and confidence. Essential grammatical structures and vocabulary are reinforced through the writing of short paragraphs. Songs, art, and short stories complement a core curriculum. Assessments include listening, oral, and written tests, sight reading tests, short compositions, prepared skits, and improvised dialogues.

French II

Students at this level are already able to understand, present, and exchange information about familiar topics in French using phrases and complete sentences. In this course, students simultaneously broaden their listening and speaking proficiency and develop their composition and reading competency. The acquisition of new material occurs within the context of a simulated immersion experience in class each day. Students are expected to speak French at all times, and they develop the tools they need to function comfortably. Students write about learned topics, using connected sentences to present information. They are also provided numerous opportunities to narrate situations and events both in the present and past tenses. Students learn how to incorporate direct and indirect object pronouns, irregular and reflexive verbs, and expressions of time into their speaking and writing. Role-playing allows students to practice culturally accurate social interactions, as well as the asking and answering of questions in creative and fun contexts. The course also covers key cultural topics, such as family relations, education, sports and hobbies, weather, summer travel, and careers in French and French-speaking cultural contexts. Besides oral, listening, and written tests for each chapter or unit, performance is assessed formally through frequent writing assignments and prepared skits, and informally through a variety of improvised oral and listening activities.

French IIA

This accelerated course promotes development and refinement of all skill areas (listening, speaking, reading, writing and cultural competency). Conducted almost exclusively in French, the course is organized by cultural themes (introductions and greetings, family relations, the French school system, sports and hobbies, weather, summer vacation activities, and careers). Within these, skills are honed using authentic cultural and current events materials. Students develop a strong working control of basic verb tenses (irregular and reflexive present tense conjugations as well as past tenses in narration); and the mastery of pronouns (direct, indirect, basic relative and interrogative). Idiomatic vocabulary acquisition is an equally important primary goal. Students write about their travels, unfamiliar places, physical and emotional states, childhood and life stages, the environment, current events and the arts to practice using new vocabulary and structures. Students undertake a close reading of L'oeil du loup by Daniel Pennac to develop their sight reading and interpretive skills. Reading also serve as a jumping-off point for reflection, discussion, and creative work because communicative competence is always the primary goal. In addition to a core text, current events materials from the internet (Radio France International, TV5 and occasional articles from Le Monde) are used as well. Assessments include listening, oral, and written tests, sight reading tests, short compositions, prepared skits, and improvised dialogues.

French III

French 3 emphasizes students’ ability to use the language effectively in a wide variety of real-life situations, both written and spoken. The continued integrated development of skills in extended speaking, listening, reading, and writing is accompanied by a systematic review of grammar and vocabulary within the context of simulated immersion. Students develop cultural competency through the exploration of topics such as culinary and dining customs, modes of transportation, art and architecture and related historical background. Students also explore regions of France and their cultural idiosyncrasies. Role-playing (both rehearsed and impromptu) encourages students to actively process newly acquired vocabulary and grammar concepts. In addition, short literary selections, film excerpts and authentic radio and TV broadcasts assure that students increase their reading and listening comprehension skills and also familiarize themselves with the larger French-speaking culture. Besides frequent short oral, listening, and written tests, performance is assessed through written work, prepared skits / presentations, and a variety of improvised oral activities.

French IIIA

This accelerated course promotes development and refinement of all skill areas (listening, speaking, reading, writing and cultural competency). Conducted exclusively in French, the course is organized by cultural themes. Within these, skills are developed as students use authentic cultural materials.The grammatical focus is the development of a strong working control of the verbal system (review of indicative tenses, and the addition of the conditional and subjunctive moods) and of pronouns (all relative and demonstrative pronouns, as well as a review of object pronouns). Vocabulary acquisition is an equally important primary goal. Students undertake a close reading of Le Petit Prince in addition to a variety of shorter fiction and journalistic texts (including short stories by Roch Carrier, and longer excerpts of writing by David Foenkinos, Georges Perec, and Anna Gavalda) to grow their personal lexicons and to develop their sight reading skills. Readings serve as a jumping-off point for reflection, discussion, and creative work because communicative competence is always the primary goal. Students also use current events materials from the internet (Radio France Internationale, TV5 and occasional articles from Le Monde). Assessments include listening, oral, and written tests, sight reading tests, short compositions, prepared skits, improvised dialogues, and 2-minute presentations based on synthesis of audio/written source material.

French IV

This is a year-long course where students develop the skills needed for maximum fluency in spoken and written French. This course uses cinema to introduce students to art and current events, family and personal drama, and history. Students use technical and critical vocabulary to share their reaction through discussion and oral presentations as well as creative and analytical written work. Short readings from French and francophone literature provide venues for students to further explore themes and events related to the core film curriculum. A review of grammar concepts is integrated throughout the year to increase the accuracy and clarity of the students’ written and oral expression. Recent movies have included Au revoir les enfants, Jean de Florette, Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain, L’esquive, Cyrano de Bergerac. Student performance is assessed through in-class participation, written work, presentations and skits, as well as through quizzes and tests.

French V

French 5 is a seminar course for students who have completed French 4 or its equivalent. Students closely study five films during the year. Each film provides an opportunity for students to acquire vocabulary, and to discuss and write about French life, language and culture within particular historical contexts. Written texts (excerpts from novels, interviews with directors, historical documents) deepen students' cultural understanding, and allow them to develop interpretive reading skills. Students are asked to make connections between the ideas discussed in films and texts via in-class discussion, skits and presentations. Grammar concepts are integrated throughout the year to give students the tools to express themselves with greater clarity when writing and speaking. Through class activities, students also learn the basic tools of literary and film analysis. Recent films have included Ridicule, Inch’Allah Dimanche, Le Dîner des cons, Ressources humaines and Molière. Student performance is assessed through in-class participation, written work, presentations and skits, as well as through quizzes and tests.

Advanced Placement French Language and Culture

This is a college-level course designed for students in their fourth or fifth year of study. Our focus is to develop more sophisticated cultural awareness, to be able to make informed comparisons between cultures, and to be able to use French with accuracy and fluency in real-life contexts. The course is organized around six cultural themes: global challenges; science and technology; contemporary life; personal and public identities; families and communities; beauty and aesthetics. Within each of these themes, students work with a variety of authentic materials (literary texts, podcasts, songs, journalistic articles etc.) from different French-speaking cultures. With French used exclusively in the classroom, students work to develop their functional proficiency within three modes of communication (Presentational, Interpersonal, and Interpretive). Students in this course have already demonstrated a strong command of French grammar, so the only grammar that is explicitly taught is in the form of mini-lessons tailored to issues that arise in students' written and oral production. Vocabulary acquisition is a primary objective. Assessments generally take the form of tasks: timed email responses; persuasive essays that demonstrate synthesis of audio and written source material; simulated "real time" interpersonal conversations; auditory comprehension tasks; oral cultural comparisons. Grading rubrics provided by the AP College Board serve as models for evaluation. Students have two primary textbooks, and the instructor pulls from a variety of internet resources as well. All students are required to sit the AP exam in May.

Advanced French Studies I

This honors-level fourth year course can help students maintain proficiency or provide more practice before taking another advanced course. Skills are refined through the prism of French-speaking cultural content. Advanced French Studies 1 is taught in conjunction with Advanced French Studies 2; films and readings are sequenced for a 2-year cycle. Students look at the history and modern issues in Québec and the post-colonial French-speaking cultures Martinique, the Maghreb, and Sénégal, as well as minority cultures in France. Themes such as colonialism, independence, diversity, immigration, and women's issues are explored using film as a starting point. Reading material complements the core "griot" function of each film: excerpts from the novel might be read and contrasted with their film interpretation; excerpts from French history textbooks, current events (radio, video and print), poetry, and music from these target cultures all deepen students' understanding of each culture. Through discussion, written analysis and reading, students develop their linguistic base. Literary texts include shorter fiction by authors Miano, Camus, Ben Jelloun, Djebar, Chamoiseau, and Hémon. Film texts include Les indigènes, La grande séduction, La Rue cases-nègres, and Bienvenue chez les Chi’tis. Grammatical concepts are reviewed according to student need. Assessments consist of vocabulary quizzes, written essays, oral cultural comparisons, occasional grammar assessments.

Advanced French Studies II

This is a terminal, fifth year honors course for strong French students. Advanced French Studies 2 is taught in conjunction with Advanced French Studies 1; films and readings are sequenced for a 2-year cycle. Language proficiency is built through the study of selected works which are representative of the artistic and intellectual trends that have emerged from France since the Middle Ages. The core curriculum may vary from year to year and can reflect topical events in the francophone world. The course begins by exploring the use of ridicule as constructive social criticism. Students discuss issues of social injustice, racial discrimination, misogyny, religious intolerance, and class warfare by reading passages from La farce du cuvier, La farce de Maître Pathelin, Les fables by La Fontaine, L'école des femmes by Molière, Candide by Voltaire, Lettres persanes and De l'esprit des lois by Montesquieu). The popular screen adaptation of Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel, Persepolis, is used to illustrate a more current example of the power of ridicule in condemning repressive political regimes. In the second half of the course, students shift their focus to topical subjects. World War I and its ongoing centennial commemoration have recently supplied the basis for dialogue on fraternization, censorship, sacrifice, loyalty, and disobedience in times of war. Christian Carillon’s film, Joyeux Noël, interviews, songs, and news articles are also used to introduce students to controversies surrounding the representation of La grande Guerre in contemporary French culture. Films, documentaries, and songs are the fodder for listening comprehension exercises, information gathering, and close analysis.Through discussion, written analysis and reading, students develop their linguistic base. Grammatical concepts are reviewed according to student need. Assessments include vocabulary tests, written essays, oral presentations and creative skits, as well as occasional grammar tests.

Masterpieces of French Literature

This college-level course is designed to develop students' critical reading skills so that they can read literature with confidence and imagination, as well as to refine their written and oral expression. Conducted exclusively in French, this seminar course explore texts and occasional film versions of French literary works from the traditional canon as well as work by contemporary Francophone authors. Emphasis is placed on developing the students' tools of literary analysis. Attention is also be paid to the distinctions that exist between these works by looking at their respective historical and social roots. The core reading list consists of three French masterpieces, although they vary from year to year: Pierre et Jean by Maupassant, Candide by Voltaire, and L’école des femmes by Molière. Each year, this core is supplemented by works of the instructor's choosing. Recent examples have included Ourika by Claire de Duras, Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran by Eric Emmanuel Schmitt, La Grosse femme d'à côté est enceinte, by Michel Tremblay, and La Première Gorgée de Bière et Autres Plaisirs Minuscules, by Philippe Delerm, as well as short stories by Benguigui, Diome, Ben Jelloun, and Miano. Selected poems by La Fontaine, Labé, Verlaine, Baudelaire, Hébert, Du Bellay, Ronsard, Dadie may also be studied. Skill development is assessed through regular sight reading tests and by oral and written analyses of texts. Additionally, opportunities for students to dramatize scenes, write creatively, and improvise dialogues between characters are assessments that retain the playful use of language that characterizes our philosophy.

Latin 1

Latin 1 is a course designed to equip students to develop reading Latin prose. With the use of stories, grammar explanations, and cultural readings, the students gain exposure to the Latin language and lifestyle of ancient Rome. Through a series of short narratives, dialogues, and readings, students listen, read, write, speak, and dictate in Latin. This course stresses analytical thinking, grammar, and vocabulary helping students to develop basic language acquisition skills. The students learn to recognize Latin roots in English words, develop word‐attack skills, and learn Latin grammar as a basis for studying English grammar. Grammatical concepts covered include: elements of a sentence; declensions in the first through fifth; conjugating verbs in all active tenses; uses of the ablative; and a range of prepositions and subordinate clauses. This course also provides a solid foundation from which learners can progress to further English or foreign language studies. The texts used include: Ecce Romani I published by Pearson Hall and The New College Latin to English Dictionary published by Bantam.

Latin II

This course continues the approach implemented in the 7th and 8th grade Latin programs. Latin 2 beings the year with a thorough review before proceeding onto the second book in the Ecce Romani series. Learning how to identify subjunctive verbs marks the grammatical culmination for Latin 2. In addition to enriching understandings of English grammar and vocabulary, the on-going examination of Latin as an inflected language better equips students to identify systems present in any academic discipline. Cultural topics raised in the translations will prompt class discussions on issues such as slavery, social-economic status, and some governmental institutions. Self-designed projects enable students to enhance their cultural understanding and to pursue their own interests.

Latin IIA

This course continues the approach implemented in the 7th and 8th grade Latin programs. After a brief review of fundamentals, the second book in the Ecce Romani series serves as the curriculum guide for the remainder of the year. Learning how to identify and translate the subjunctive mood in various subordinate clauses marks the grammatical culmination for Latin 2A. In addition to enriching understandings of English grammar and vocabulary, the on-going examination of Latin as an inflected language better equips students to identify systems present in any academic discipline. Cultural topics raised in the translations prompt class discussions on issues such as slavery, social-economic status, and some governmental institutions. Self-designed projects enable students to enhance their cultural understanding and to pursue their own interests. Latin 2A will also feature increasing exposure and assessment of sight translating.

Latin III

Latin 3 devotes the first part of the school year to master any and all previously unseen grammatical topics. Upon completion of all grammatical units, the students read the DeAmicitia and some of Cicero’s letters to Atticus, Pompey and Caesar in English translation. The theme for the course centers on friendship. Students first consider friendship as a personal and social construct through both the Roman lens and their own lenses. In the second semester, students translate portions of Eutropius’ histories of the first and second triumvirate. Supplemental readings in English and class discussions provide a greater consideration of friendship and its impact on these political unions.

Latin III A

Latin 3A begins the year by already translating authentic Latin. The theme for the course centers on friendship. Students first consider friendship as a personal and social construct through both the Roman lens and their own lenses. To ground and support these considerations, selections from Cicero’s DeAmicitia introduce students to a philosophical analysis of friendship. Secondary readings from Plato’s Lysisand a selection of letters between Cicero and his friend Atticus, Caesar, and Pompey provide a wider theoretical and pragmatic scope. Students will share their insights during class discussions and in analytical essays. In the second semester, students translate Eutropius’ histories of the first and second triumvirate. Supplemental readings in English and class discussions provide a greater consideration of friendship and its impact on these political unions.

Latin IV A

The primary focus of Latin 4a is to increase each student's translation rate. We use The Millionaire's Dinner Party as the principle text to achieve this goal. This is an adapted text of Petronious' Satyricon which is the oldest known novel. Since much of the vocabulary reappears from the first two Ecce Romani books, students are naturally prepared to translate longer passages of this text in less time. Also, the text's clever sporting of genres, character perceptions, and themes of art, sophistication, wealth, and societal class enhance their analytical and debate skills acquired in Latin 3/3a. For literary enthusiasts, the connections between The Satyricon and F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby will provide pleasing insights and gratifying appreciations of a lasting Latin literature influence. After spring break, the class will translate some poetry by Propertius. Students typically experience intrigue and fascination in the seemingly modern relationship themes of these poems. These also provide previews to many of the challenges and rewards of Latin poetry, a genre which accounts for much of the content in higher levels of Latin.

Latin V

In Latin 5, students consider gender, rhetoric and poetry by translating Cicero’s Pro Caelio and selections from Catullus. Both works supposedly concern the same famous Roman woman and her private relations. Translating the poetry of Catullus also opens up consideration of Greek influences on Roman literature. Secondary and primary readings focus on the works and ideas of Callimachus and Sappho. The conclusion of the year reflects on literary continuum, the vitality of ideas, and the students’ participation in both as torch bearers.

Latin Vergil Advanced Placement

This course adheres to the descriptor and objectives set forth by the College Board's Advanced Placement curriculum. The first semester is dedicated to translating and reading the relevant passages in Caesar's De Bello Gallico. Discussion and interpretations of the text focus on leadership, genocide, the "right to rule", ethnography, and cultural exchange. Student also learn about the difficulties to reconstruct Celtic culture through the limited resources, the primary one being Caesar's work. In the second semester, students translate the relevant passages in Vergil's Aeneid.Discussion and interpretations of the text focus on the struggles between family and state, free will and predestination, and classical hero motifs and their variance from modern notions. We will also consider Vergil's poetic program in relation to Homer's epics.


Spanish I

Spanish 1 will provide the student with a general introduction to the Spanish language through the use of the Descubre 1 program: sound system, pronunciation, functional vocabulary related to everyday life, communicative functions, and basic grammatical structures. Repetition and comprehensible input are key components of the learning. The focus is on all four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Culture is an integral part of the course and is integrated throughout each lesson. By the completion of Spanish 1, students will have the basic proficiency to carry on a daily conversation using the present and simple past tenses, and will have an improved cultural understanding of Spain and Latin America. The course is conducted 90% in Spanish.

Spanish II

Spanish 2 focuses on the continued development of each student’s ability in and enthusiasm for all areas of Spanish language and culture. Through a variety of resources students will focus on vocabulary building and in-depth development of grammatical structures and idioms learned in year 1. Readings will include authentic material from print and on-line sources of periodicals, magazines, and excerpts of literature. Selected authentic videos and audio clips will be utilized to expose students to the diverse linguistic and cultural characteristics and qualities of the Spanish-speaking world. Students will be assessed on their ability to understand Spanish spoken by others, speak and be understood in Spanish, write in Spanish, and read Spanish through a variety of assessments assessments, including structured debates, formal essays, research projects, presentations, a research paper and various shorter writing assignments.

Spanish 2A

In Spanish 2A, advanced language students review and broaden the skills acquired in their study of Spanish 1. Through a variety of resources, students further develop their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills and explore historical and cultural elements of other places, specifically Argentina, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. The use of literature, film, and web-based documents further promote greater self-confidence and fluency in the language. After spending their first year in the world of the present tense, students spend considerable time in the past, as they master and manipulate the imperfect and preterit tenses, and then conclude the year in the future, at which point they are also introduced to the subjunctive mood. These new verb tenses, in combination with the study of numerous other grammar structures and vocabulary themes, open the door for students to comprehend a variety of native speakers and texts and to communicate more spontaneously and accurately in a varied range of situational contexts. In the classroom, students collaborate and present on a regular basis. Additional assessments include quizzes, tests, writing and listening assessments. The pace of class is fast, and the emphasis is on teamwork and support. By the end of the academic year, students have established excellent study habits and communicative language skills and are prepared for the next level of the Spanish curriculum.

Spanish III

This course focuses on the continued study of the principles of Spanish language and Hispanic history and culture. Emphasis will be placed on vocabulary building and on in-depth development of grammatical structures and idioms learned in year 2; new structures and vocabulary will be emphasized. The subjunctive and indicative tenses will be fully reviewed and applied. Readings will include authentic material from various resources including periodicals, magazines and excerpts of literature. Selected videos and audio clips will be utilized to expose you to the diverse linguistic and cultural characteristics and qualities of the Spanish-speaking world. You will be assessed on the principal skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening in the target language. The goal is for you gain the skills to function in a Spanish-speaking environment and to acquire a greater understanding of the culture(s) of the Spanish-speaking world.

Spanish IIIA

This course focuses on the continued study of the principles of Spanish language and Hispanic history and culture. Emphasis will be placed on vocabulary building and on in-depth development of grammatical structures and idioms learned in year 2; new structures and vocabulary will be emphasized. The subjunctive and indicative tenses will be fully reviewed and applied. Readings will include authentic material from various resources including periodicals, magazines and excerpts of literature. Selected videos and audio clips will be utilized to expose you to the diverse linguistic and cultural characteristics and qualities of the Spanish-speaking world. You will be assessed on the principal skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening in the target language. The goal is for you gain the skills to function in a Spanish-speaking environment and to acquire a greater understanding of the culture(s) of the Spanish-speaking world.

Spanish IV

The linguistic objective of the Spanish 4 course is to obtain a broad improvement in every student’s ability to speak in Spanish, to understand Spanish spoken by native speakers in realistic situations, to read short, unabridged texts that are intended for native-speaker readers, and to write a variety of texts in Spanish. Key to the attainment of this objective will be the frequent, open discussions and structured oral exercises. A core portion of the course will be devoted to a functional review of Spanish grammar, with particular attention to the selection of alternatives that are appropriate to different registers of speech. As well, there will be a systematic expansion of vocabulary and structures, with the goal of developing greater naturalness of speech. The conceptual objective of this course is to expand students’ understanding of the social and cultural features of the Spanish-speaking world, as a backdrop to some of the contemporary issues. The focus of the class will be primarily directed at contemporary culture. We will use literary texts, essays and commercial films to examine some of these. Students will write short essays on these topics and prepare projects for oral presentation on a regular basis.

Advanced Spanish Studies

This course focuses on the acquisition of grammatical structures and vocabulary primarily through the use of short stories from Spain and Latin America. Students will write analytical essays that refer to the topics of these stories or other texts and films. The linguistic objective of this course is to obtain a broad improvement in every student’s ability to speak in Spanish, to understand Spanish spoken by native speakers in realistic situations, to read short, unabridged texts intended for native speakers, and to write a variety of texts in Spanish. A core portion of the course will be devoted to a comprehensive review of Spanish grammar, to a systematic expansion of vocabulary and structures and to developing greater naturalness of speech. Students will demonstrate their mastery of this knowledge and these skills in regularly scheduled unit tests. A further objective of this course is to develop a general understanding of the social, political and philosophical issues relevant to Spanish and Latin American culture. At times we will also explore the social and historical background to some of these issues. In addition to the core reading of these short stories, students will undertake a close reading of a full novel, La Sombra del Viento, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

Advanced Placement Spanish Language and Culture

The AP Spanish Language and Culture course emphasizes communication (understanding and being understood by others) by applying interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational skills in real-life situations. This includes vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness. The AP Spanish Language and Culture course strives not to overemphasize grammatical accuracy at the expense of communication. To best facilitate the study of language and culture, the course is taught almost exclusively in Spanish. The AP Spanish Language and Culture course engages students in an exploration of culture in both contemporary and historical contexts. The course develops students’ awareness and appreciation of cultural products (e.g., tools, books, music , laws, conventions, institutions); practices (patterns of social interactions within a culture); and perspectives (values, attitudes, and assumptions). Students are assessed using the AP Spanish Language and Culture grading rubric guideline. The students will write in-class persuasive essays, will make oral presentations in front of the class and on recordings and will show mastery of reading comprehension from short answer and multiple choice exercises.

Spanish Literature Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement Spanish Literature is a college‐level course with a reading list that encompasses the predominating literary movements within the literature written in Spanish around the globe. The course further develops the advanced Spanish students’ language skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing, particularly related to literary topics. Students will also develop their knowledge of the literary movements of Spain and Latin America, as well as a knowledge of the fundamental texts of the reading list required by the College Board. Students will also significantly develop their analytic writing skills and deepen their knowledge of literary devices in Spanish. They will also expand their familiarization with Spanish metrics and analysis of poetry. Students will demonstrate their mastery of these topics and these skills in regularly scheduled unit tests.

Voices of the Hispanic World

This course offers students opportunities to explore the question: What is the identity or voice in Latin American and Spanish societies? In addition to reading and analyzing influential Latin American and Spanish writers and their works, students will further develop their understanding of the socio-cultural context in which these writers lived in their respective countries. The role of music and the arts in supporting political and cultural expression will be identified. With the goal of furthering their analytical ability, vocabulary, and grammatical sophistication, students will continue to enhance their language skills through discussions, oral presentations, and written analysis. The indigenous people’s voices and the feminist voice will be explored in the course.

Contemporary Issues of the Hispanic World

Politics, identity, and history are brought together in this dynamic class. Through the analysis and review of current events and literary texts, this course will highlight contemporary issues pertaining to Latin America as well as Latinos in the United States. Topics covered will include voting rights, poverty and inequality, elections, and political expression. This course offers students opportunities to further develop their communication skills with an emphasis on their written and oral proficiency. It will include a review of more advanced grammar structures in order to achieve greater accuracy, as well as the systematic building of vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. This course will also compare contrasting uses of the media to identify and interpret underlying cultural messages.

Art of the Hispanic World

Hispanic history, influence, and culture come alive through paintings from both the Latin American and Spanish art scene. The importance of Latin American art and architecture, whose roots began in indigenous cultures before European colonization, will be studied. Students will explore movements and important Spanish and Latin American painters such as Botero, Kahlo, Rivera, Lam, Berni, Le Pac, El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, Picasso, and Dalí. Included will be Spain’s artistic legacy which spans 700 years of Islamic rule, a heritage still present even today. This course offers inquiry into the following question: What distinguishes Latin American and Spanish Art and how have Latin American and Spanish artists given us a lens into history? The analysis of various different art forms will serve as a platform for guided exploration of various cultural and sociopolitical topics. Students will develop their written and spoken expression at an advanced level and will focus on more complex grammatical and vocabulary structures.