OVERVIEW

The Foreign Language Department offers instruction in French, Latin, Spanish, and English as a Second Language. All students must complete three credits of foreign language study. While an underlying goal of the Department is to help students develop a greater awareness of the world as a whole, the specific area of concentration is on effective communication skills in the target language, that is, fluency. The traditional skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing encourage students to understand and produce both spoken and written forms of the language, thus permitting them the means to communicate effectively with native speakers.

ABOUT

The Foreign Language Department offers instruction in English for Speakers of Other Languages, French, Latin, and Spanish.  Students in level IV of French and Spanish have the option of taking the Advanced Placement exam in Language.  Students in level IV of Latin have the option of taking the Advanced Placement exam on Virgil.  Students in level V of Spanish have the option of taking the Advanced Placement exam in Literature and Culture.  In the spring of each year French, Latin, and Spanish students take the National Exams related to their levels.  In order to graduate, a student must complete three credits of foreign language study.  While an underlying goal of the Department is to help students develop a greater awareness of the world as a whole, the specific area of concentration is on effective communication skills in the target language, that is, fluency. The traditional skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing encourage students to understand and produce both spoken and written forms of the language, thus permitting them the means to communicate effectively with native speakers.

French I*

French I is an introduction to the French language as well as francophone countries. French is spoken in class from the onset, enabling students to recognize as well as be comfortable with the language. Students develop skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Over the course of the year, students are exposed to vocabulary and language structures to develop a basic ability to communicate in the language. Students will compose basic sentences and short paragraphs communicating about themselves and familiar topics in French. Students will work toward mastering spoken and written narrations using the present, past, and future tenses. Students will also study French and francophone culture. The goal of the course is to develop a strong foundation in the language and culture to build upon in future levels. *This course will be offered contingent upon adequate enrollment.

French II (Prerequisite: French I)

French II students will expand their basic knowledge of French language and culture through the addition of new grammatical structures, verb tenses, and a broader vocabulary base. Students will continue to develop skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Like French I, this course will be taught primarily in French, allowing students to increase their comfort with the language as well as gain the ability to commence thinking in the language. Students will interpret and respond to a variety of media to develop their reading and listening skills. Students will continue to work toward mastering spoken and written narration of events using the present, past, imperfect, and future tenses. The course will foster a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the cultural aspects of the francophone world.

French III (Prerequisite: French II)

French III builds upon the foundations built in levels I and II, enhancing pronunciation skills, augmenting grammar skills, improving writing, and expanding general vocabulary. Students develop a greater understanding of French and francophone culture, as well as build upon their knowledge of French history, all through the use of the French language. Students will engage in a more profound study of grammar, including relative pronouns, object pronouns, the use of the subjunctive and indicative moods, and an array of verb tenses. Writing will include formal essays, journal entries, critiques, and short research papers in French. Vocabulary study includes words of everyday situations, groups of a topical nature, and words associated with the readings. Students will examine a variety of French poetry and read a short novel in French.  Students are encouraged to express their own thoughts in French.

Advanced French [French IV/V (Prerequisite: 85+ in French III or IV)/ AP French Language & Culture (Prerequisite: 90+ in French III/IV or Instructor Approval)]

This course is designed for those students who have successfully completed three or more years of French with a grade of 85 or higher. In some cases, admission to the course will also require permission of the instructor or a written test. The course has a dual purpose in that it develops the student’s overall proficiency in the French language with concentrations on literature, writing, speaking, and advanced grammar, while also preparing students to continue their study of French at the university level or to take the Advanced Placement examination in French Language and Culture. Students read a variety of traditional literature and poetry as well as contemporary works. Written work comprises textual analysis, essays, and a limited amount of creative writing. The class is conducted in French allowing students to further develop their pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar skills. Students interested in taking the AP French Language and Culture examination will be allowed to do so with the permission of the instructor. These students will engage in supplemental activities to develop their familiarity with the AP exam format.  

Latin I

Latin I introduces students to Latin vocabulary, sentence construction, grammatical rules, syntax and the richness of Roman culture.  Students acquire beginning translation and construction skills for the written word, as well as learn proper pronunciation and inflection for oral reading.  This is a proficiency-based course, which provides active practice in listening, speaking, reading and writing in the Latin language.  It is also enriched with numerous elements of the Roman civilization, including daily life, customs, architecture, and historical relevance.  

Latin II (Prerequisite: Latin I)

Latin II builds upon the Latin I foundation and exposes the students to more complex linguistic structures.  The addition of these elements allows the students to significantly broaden the depth of their reading and writing.  This is a proficiency-based course, which provides active practice in listening, speaking, reading and writing in the Latin language.  Students in this course are exposed to key events in Roman history and mythology.  They will also begin to read longer passages in Latin which focus on a wider variety of grammatical structures.

Latin III (Prerequisite: Latin II)

Latin III is designed for the accomplished and self-motivated Latin student who is interested in solidifying his/her understanding of grammar from Latin I and II, and in gaining a broader translation experience in the language.  Sample works from some of the great Roman writers of both prose and poetry are translated within a historical context, and continued emphasis is placed on cultural appreciation.

Advanced Latin (Latin IV/V) (Prerequisite: 85+ in Latin III or Latin IV)

This course is designed for those students who have successfully completed three years or more of high school Latin with an average of 85 or higher. In some cases, admission to the course will also require permission of the instructor or a written test. The focus of this class will be an advanced study of Latin prose and poetry, with special attention given to metrics, stylistic devices and thematic elements. Students will read selections from authors including Vergil, Caesar, Plautus, Catullus and Ovid.  Readings may focus on a particular thematic topic as seen in the writings of multiple authors or focus more intently on an individual author.  

AP Latin (90+ in Latin III or IV or Instructor Approval)

Students will follow the syllabus set forth by the College Board to prepare for an AP examination in May.  The reading list will be composed of the AP selections from Caesar and Virgil, as well as occasional sight-reading passages. Throughout the year, students will practice short-answer and essays questions similar to those found on the AP exam.  The course will require a significant

amount of work to be done independently outside the classroom.  Students may be asked to take an entrance exam prior to enrolling in the class.  

Dual Enrollment Latin  

Students will gain an understanding of and facility with Latin grammar, vocabulary and syntax through a mixture of textbook exercises, unit tests and semester exams.  For students with prior Latin experience, placement into a course other than Latin 101 will depend on the results of a placement exam designed by PVCC.  Students without prior experience in Latin will only need to meet the standard requirements for a dual enrollment course.  

Spanish I

In Spanish I, students will receive an introduction to the basic vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structures found in the Spanish language. Students will study vocabulary ranging from the basics of conversation in Spanish, to vocabulary related to daily activities, the school environment, and family. Students will focus on discussing basic topics in both the present and simple past tenses with a moderate level of fluency. Students in Spanish I will also learn about the cultures and traditions of Spanish-speaking countries through interactive presentations made by the teacher, students themselves, and their peers. Each class period will consist of both vocabulary and grammar instruction or review, with an emphasis on practical application of the Spanish language, and lesson delivery with a hands-on and experiential instructional approach. Within Spanish I, students will be expected to complete nightly homework assignments to improve their understanding of the Spanish language, and to make attempts to participate in the target language whenever possible. Throughout the course of Spanish I, students will consistently work in all of the language domains, including speaking, reading, writing, listening, and culture.

Spanish II (Prerequisite: Spanish I)

Students will develop their interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational skills in Spanish while building upon their foundation in the areas of vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structures found in the Spanish language.  Students will gradually work towards initiating and maintaining an extended conversation about work, school, recreation, and other topics  They will be able to interpret information spoken and written in Spanish, via various media platforms (images, voice recordings, videos, etc.). Writing will focus on being able to express ideas across various times (present and past tenses) and grammatical moods (indicative and subjunctive).  Authentic resources, technology, meaningful context, and culture will all be a medium through which students will accomplish said goals. Students will be expected to complete nightly homework assignments to improve their understanding of the Spanish language, and to make attempts to participate in the target language whenever possible.

Spanish III (Prerequisite: Spanish II)

Students will further develop their interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational skills in Spanish while acquiring additional vocabulary and improving the use and understanding of fundamental grammatical concepts.  Their interpersonal skills will include narrating and describing familiar events in the present, past and simple future. They will learn to interpret information they hear and read in Spanish using visual aids and cues from the teacher. Writing exercises will focus on formulating complete sentences and constructiong a well organized paragraph. Basic sequencing and transition words will be introduced to enhance their academic writing.  Students will also begin to explore basic literary anaylsis focusing on the key vocabulary terms needed to speak and write about excerpts from the stories, plays and poems that they read. These terms will be derived from the list of Basic Terms of Acheivement as outlined in the AP Glossary of Literary terms.  Students will be expected to speak Spanish exclusively during class. They will explore authentic resources like literature, current events, artwork and music.

Advanced Spanish/Spanish IV (Prerequisite: 85+ in Spanish III or Instructor Approval)

Students in advanced Spanish will continue to engage in a more indepth study of grammar and language. This will include introducing compound tenses in both the past and present as well as a more indepth study of the subjunctive. Additionally, students will engage in longer writing assignments (2-3 paragraphs) and learn how to write an effective and interesting thesis.  They will read and interpret longer literary works in Spanish, while exploring major historical events relating to Spain and Latin America. They will be introduced to key terms included in the Intermediate Terms of Acheivement list as outlined in the AP Glossary of Literary terms. Students will be expected to speak exclusively during class. They will explore authentic resources like literature, current events, artwork and music.

Advanced Spanish/Spanish V (Prerequisite: 85+ in Spanish IV or Instructor Approval)

Students in advanced Spanish will continue to engage in a more indepth study of grammar and language. This will include introducing compound tenses in both the past and present as well as a more indepth study of the subjunctive. Additionally, students will complete two major research projects during the year. In conjuction with Spanish IV, students will engage in an understanding of political history and philosophy as it relates to major historical events in Spain and Latin America.  Additionally, they will read and interpret longer literary works in Spanish, while exploring major historical events relating to Spain and Latin America. They will be introduced to new key terms included in the Intermediate Terms of Acheivement list as outlined in the AP Glossary of Literary terms.

AP Spanish Literature & Culture Prerequisite: 90+ in Advanced Spanish IV or Instructor Approval)

This course is intended to be the equivalent of a college level survey of Spanish and Latin American Literature.  The literary selections chosen for this course are compatible with those on the AP Literature and Culture reading list Students will study works which cover a variety of genres:  short stories, plays poetry and short novels.  Students will be presented with the historical, biographical and cultural factors that influenced these works.  Furthermore, students will develop critical thinking skills and expand their academic writing repetoire to include analytical essays. Terminology from the AP Advanced Literary Terms of Acheivement List will be studied in detail.  This course is designed to prepare students for the AP Literature and Culture Exam.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

In ESOL, students will participate in an in-depth study of vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structures found in the English language. This study will be developed on an assessment of students’ language needs. Students will study a variety of vocabulary terms that will be centered on the themes outlined within our textbooks, as well as within readings done during class. Similarly, students will discuss grammar topics that will be based on student need, while reviewing basic grammatical structures, such as sentence formation through more complex concepts such as adverb clauses and discourse connectors. As a class, students will consistently work in all of the language domains, including speaking, reading, writing, listening, and culture. Students’ culture studies will consist not only of the culture of the United States, but the distinct personal cultures, that each student brings to the ESOL class. Students will encounter a focus on practical application of the English language, in the hopes that as they complete their year in ESOL, students will feel as though their comfort level, fluency, and knowledge about the English language and cultures will have increased greatly.

 

Mary Jo Burke Foreign Language Department Chair Latin ✉︎ mjburke@millerschool.org ☏ 434-823-4805, ext. 219

Mary Jo Burke
Foreign Language Department Chair
Latin

✉︎ mjburke@millerschool.org
☏ 434-823-4805, ext. 219

Julia Hixon English & French ✉︎ jhixon@millerschool.org ☏ 434-823-4805

Julia Hixon
English & French
✉︎ jhixon@millerschool.org
☏ 434-823-4805

Sarah Lynn Gillespie Spanish & ESL ✉︎ sgillespie@millerschool.org ☏ 434-823-4805, ext. 217

Sarah Lynn Gillespie
Spanish & ESL
✉︎ sgillespie@millerschool.org
☏ 434-823-4805, ext. 217

Justin Peake Spanish & ESL ✉︎ jpeake@millerschool.org ☏ 434-823-4805, ext. 222

Justin Peake
Spanish & ESL
✉︎ jpeake@millerschool.org
☏ 434-823-4805, ext. 222