World Languages

The World Languages Department is committed to engage students in active language learning, knowing that language and communication are at the heart of the human experience. Students are equipped, both linguistically and culturally, to communicate successfully in a pluralistic and global society. By engendering competence in more than one language and culture, students are enabled to communicate with people of other cultures in a variety of settings. This allows them to look beyond their customary borders and develop insight into their own language and culture, producing greater awareness of self, of other cultures, and their relationship to those cultures.

We believe students construct meaning best in World Languages when:

  • language is taught using authentic materials and technology tools.
  • all language skills are taught: writing, reading, speaking, and listening.
  • placement is determined according to the student’s background and language ability.
  • social values of the target country are introduced and reinforced through language instruction.
  • students acquire language by memorization and by practical exercises and experiences (projects, presentations, etc.)
  • our learning environment is global in scale.
  • language and culture are integrated into the entire school experience.
  • students learn in a variety of ways and settings.
  • language and culture education incorporate effective instructional strategies and authentic assessment procedures.
  • language and culture education develop and enhance basic communication goal areas (communication, culture, comparison, community, and connection).
  • the diverse range of students' linguistic abilities and cultural backgrounds are respected.
  • content and pedagogy are interesting, meaningful, and student-centered.
  • students learn in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

Teachers agree to:

  • provide students opportunities to present their ideas through writing and speaking in class.
  • provide materials appropriate to the level of the student's language ability.
  • relate language acquisition to the cultural and social environment of the target language.
  • use materials that are relevant to the students' lives.
  • encourage cooperative learning so that students can share and express their ideas and opinions.

Japanese MS I

Year Course; Grade 7 or 8

An interesting and stimulating learning environment is created in order to introduce students to the fundamental elements of the Japanese language. Hiragana and katakana are studied and forty kanji are presented along with grammar relating to the masu and te verbal forms. Simple conversational skills such as dialogues are also cultivated. Communicative interaction is the goal of the course.

Japanese MS II

Year Course; Grade 7 or 8

This course is designed to develop the students' proficiencies in Japanese so as to give them greater fluency in the language. Students will master the reading and writing of hiragana and katakana, and will learn the writing of 80 kanji. They will expand their vocabularies, practice their oral and written language skills and learn new grammatical patterns in order to further prepare them for the next level of Japanese study.

Japanese MS III

Year Course; Grade 7 or 8

Students will review the vocabulary, grammatical structures, and verb/adjective conjugations that were learned in Japanese II as well as learn new ones. The reading and writing of 160 new kanji will also be introduced. Using newly introduced grammatical patterns and new kanji, students will engage in creative writing through short stories, essays, letters, and culture projects. Self-confidence in speaking will be nurtured through speeches, skits, and role-plays performed in class.

Japanese MS IV

Year Course; Grade 7 or 8

In this course students will continue to progress in terms of the four basic skills: speaking, writing, reading, and listening. Through a variety of readings, students will increase vocabulary, prepare various types of writing, and participate in oral presentations and discussions.

Japanese MS V

Year Course; Grade 7 or 8

This is a continuation of intermediate Japanese with writing, grammar and composition skills. Students are expected to further hone their language skills as well as deepen their appreciation of various aspects of Japanese culture, such as the use of proper greetings and other daily interactive language.

Japanese MS VI

Year Course; Grade 7

This course is structured to help students study 385 kanji and to further develop vocabulary. Various literary works, including poems, serve as material for critical discussion. Oral presentations and essay writing allow students to further express their opinions and improve their logical and persuasive skills in formal Japanese.

Japanese MS VII

Year Course; Grade 8

Students will increase their vocabulary as well as their ability to understand developmentally appropriate literary works in Japanese. Through the writing of poetry, short stories and essays, students will further hone their creative writing skills.

Japanese MS VIII

Year Course; Grade 8

Students will develop new vocabulary and will improve their comprehension skills through the reading of stories, essays, newspaper articles, and viewing videos. Students will also study tanka and haiku (Japanese poetry forms), kotowaza (Japanese proverbs), keigo (honorific forms) along with various other styles of writing, and will prepare oral presentations based on these styles.

French I

Year course; Grade 7

In this course, students get acquainted with basic vocabulary, expressions and grammar structures which introduce them to the French language. Students learn how to introduce themselves, greet people, talk about themselves and their friends, and tell about the date, the time, order food and drinks. Audio-visual materials are used to help students discover the francophone world.

French II

Year Course; Grade 8

In French II, the student extends his knowledge and his ability to speak French. Each unit begins with audio-visual activities and extends the four skills of listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Grammar patterns are presented formally for reference but are practiced in functional situations relating to themes.

Latin I (Elective)

Semester Course; Grade 8

This course is an introduction to elementary Latin. It covers the first declension (all cases), verbs of the first conjugation (indicative) with insistence on vocabulary and memory work. It further covers an introduction to mythology and Roman history: monarchy, republic, and empire.

Exploring World Languages (Elective)

Semester Course; Grades 7 and 8

This is a course designed to explore many languages in general and the English language in particular. The class will explore eleven different languages: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew, Swahili, Latin, Greek, and English. Students will learn how language developed and how English is related to other language families and participate in a variety of activities including dialogues, games, research, special international brunches, and more.