Foreign Language

The Foreign Language Department calls upon us to appreciate diverse cultures and to promote compassion and respect toward others.

The Foreign Language Department embraces that part of our school’s mission statement that calls upon us to appreciate diverse cultures and to promote compassion and respect toward others.

Students are required to spend a minimum of two years studying a foreign language; currently, Spanish and French full-immersion intensive courses are offered. Once students enter the classroom, the instructor requires that students not use English in order to start developing cognitive-academic skills in the target language. Classes are conducted solely in Spanish/French without relying on translations or tedious memorization techniques. Our directed conversation classes produce optimal results.

Survival phrases are taught on the first day of class, and because oral participation is an essential part of language and communication, it counts as 80% of the grade. Although expectations are high, classes are conducted in a way that lowers anxiety, allowing students to feel comfortable and have fun. Students engage in a variety of activities that promote readiness for real-life situations. It is our goal that students achieve fluency by the end of the fourth year, successfully gaining a second language.

Course Descriptions

Spanish I

This is the first course of a series of four levels. Participation, participation and more participation is imperative for doing well within this course. In this course, students learn

  • how to speak in the present and future tenses.
  • how to describe people and places
  • learn how to use numbers in real situations
  • make comparisons (people and places)
  • conjugate and use with confidence regular verbs in the present and the future tenses
  • express their likes and dislikes
  • learn the structure of a short story

Spanish II

Spanish II is a course conducted solely in Spanish without relying on translation or tedious memorization techniques. This is the second course of a series of four levels. In this course, students learn how to speak with confidence in the Past, Imperfect, Present and Past Progressive Tenses. They learn how to use prepositions to indicate locations. They learn how to use the reflexive verbs in every tense they have already learned. Students read, retell and make up their own short stories. Native-like pronunciation and communication is our main focus.

Spanish III

Spanish III is a course conducted solely in Spanish without relying on translation or tedious memorization techniques. This is the third course of a series of four levels. In this course, students review the past, imperfect, progressive and future tenses. They learn the conditional and the past progressive tenses. They learn about transportation, traveling and the environment. They also learn about food in the Spanish-speaking world.

Our main focus is to improve the students’ fluency by building up their vocabulary. We read two books in Spanish and talk/discuss the events in the story. Participation, participation and more participation is imperative for doing well within this course.

AP Spanish

The AP Spanish Language and Culture course is taught 100% in Spanish. Students are fully immersed in the Spanish language through daily conversations, real life situations, discussions and games that promote the use of their oral skills. Using authentic materials, including but not limited to online articles, audio and audiovisual resources, newspaper articles, magazines and literary works, students are provided opportunities to further develop their proficiency across the three modes of communication: Interpretive, Interpersonal, and Presentational.  Frequent mini lessons in grammar are designed to correct errors, which are detected during class participation.

Cultural instruction includes study of ALL Spanish-speaking countries, practices and perspective of their people and culture, food, art and literature.

This course is the culmination of the four-year sequence of Spanish Language and Culture study at this high school.

All four levels are entirely taught in the target language and students are required to only communicate in the target language while in class. In this pre-advanced level of Spanish, students communicate with instructor exclusively in Spanish inside and outside of the classroom.

French I

This class is the introduction to the French language.  In a full immersion context, we will develop self confidence in speaking a foreign language.  Classes are conducted solely in French without relying on translation or tedious memorization techniques. The class focuses mainly on conversation, and we will learn the alphabet, colors, numbers, how to greet, ask questions, describe and speak about different subjects, all in the present tense and immediate future.

Students learn how to conjugate and use with confidence verbs, nouns and adjectives, how to make comparisons, and how to express their likes and dislikes.  They learn how to structure a short story and how to retell an event.  We will also read multiple page stories and write paragraphs.

The French culture is an important aspect of the class, and we will work on different projects about famous people, history, food, literature and art in French-speaking countries. Participation is imperative for doing well in this course.  Our goal is to achieve accurate and native-like communication and fluency.

French II

In this course, students learn how to speak with confidence in the past, imperfect, progressive and formal future tenses. Classes are conducted solely in French without relying on translation or tedious memorization techniques.

Students learn how to use prepositions to indicate locations as they read and retell short stories.  They learn the conditional and the past progressive tenses and reflexive verbs. They learn about current events, food, transportation, traveling, the environment, and the arts in the French-speaking world. We read, discuss, and write about Internet news articles and the novel, “Le Petit Prince.”

Our main focus is to improve the students’ fluency by building up their vocabulary and ease with verb tenses. Participation, participation and more participation is imperative for doing well in this course.

French III

In this course, students learn how to speak with confidence in the past, imperfect, progressive and formal future tenses. They learn how to use prepositions to indicate locations as they read and retell short stories.  They learn the conditional and the past progressive tenses and reflexive verbs. They learn about current events, food, transportation, traveling, the environment, and the arts in the French speaking world. We read, discuss, and write about Internet news articles and the novel, “Le Petit Prince.”Our main focus is to improve the students’ fluency by building up their vocabulary and ease with verb tenses.  Participation, participation and more participation is imperative for doing well in this course.

AP French

Using authentic audio and written materials intended for native French speakers in a variety of settings, types of discourse, topics, styles, registers and regional variations, students are provided with opportunities to further develop the four language skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Lessons in grammar are designed to correct errors which are detected during class participation. Our main focus is continue building up vocabulary and fluency. Cultural instruction includes study of all French speaking countries, people, food, art, and literature.