course descriptions

american sign language

ASL 1
American Sign Language 1 is designed to give students the tools necessary to begin communication with the Deaf world. Fingerspelling, basic vocabulary, gram- matical points, forms of expression, and techniques that increase comprehension are the emphases. The areas of focus are: interpreting Sign; expressing thoughts in Sign; and fingerspelling and its interpretation. Emphasis is also placed on understanding issues surrounding Deaf and hard-of-hearing culture, including the history of deafness, society’s ways of dealing with deafness, the history of American Sign Language, and contemporary issues regarding education and communication within Deaf culture. Students will be able to converse in the past, present, and future tenses, as well as identify when events take place. Other grammatical structures to be mastered are the imperative, interrogative, and superlative forms, as well as affirmative versus negative statements and questions. 

TEXT: Signing Naturally, Units 1-6, ISBN: 9781581212105.

ASL 2
By the end of this course, students feel confident in their ability interpret basic American Sign Language. They are also able to express fundamental ideas in the language. Students understand the “five building blocks” of ASL, and are able to identify them in a given sign. Students comprehend the difference between American Sign Language and Signed English (which serves as a “bridge,” connecting your existing knowledge of grammar and language with the established grammar of ASL). 

TEXT: Signing Naturally, Units 7-12, ISBN: 9781581212211.

ASL 3                                                                                                                                                                                           By the end of this course, students feel confident in their ability interpret intermediate American Sign Language.  As differentiated from ASL 1 and 2, students are able to: describe the shape and look of complicated objects; explain mathematical equations and concepts; converse about more abstract concepts; utilize more varied sentence structures; utilize more varied non-manual markers; and rely less on fingerspelling. 

TEXT: Signing Naturally, Level 2, ISBN: 9781581211313.

ASL 4  
Students leave this course confident in their ability to utilize American Sign Language in a natural setting. They are able to express complex ideas in the language.  ASL 4 students are able to: use role shift in a meaningful and natural way; interpret from English to ASL/ASL to English in real time; utilize an array of classifiers and non-manual markers to communicate with clarity and efficiency; discuss advanced/abstract concepts; give explicit spatial relationships.

TEXT: Intermediate Conversational Sign Language, ISBN: 0-913580-79-1

SIL is proud to have an American Sign Language Honor Society Chapter on our campus. To find out more about how SIL students can work to a high standard in their ASL studies, contact Debbie or Laura. To learn more about the ASLHS, their website is accessible here.

 

french

French 1
In this course, students learn regular verbs ending in “er” and some irregular verbs (to be, to have, to do, to go, etc.), present and past tenses, basic negations, questions, and adjectives. Main conversation topics include: introducing oneself, talking about food, family, telling time, and different actions in the present and past tenses. Also, students learn how to describe themselves and others. Formal speech vs informal, likes and preferences, expressions referring to age and time, locations/directions, daily activities, sports and hobbies, as well as practical expressions involving travel are also covered. is a class for students with no experience in the language, or for students with a 1 to 2 years of middle or junior high school experience. This course introduces the student to Francophone culture through readings, films, and interactive activities centered around French speaking regions in Europe, North America, the Caribbean, and Africa. 

French 2
French 2 is a continuation of the first year experience in the language. Students learn basic conversation, reading, listening and writing skills at the II level. Students learn more regular and irregular verbs. Future, subjunctive and more past tenses are introduced as well as grammar items such as question formation and pronoun usage. Main conversation topics include: talking about television, hobbies, and cultural aspects of the French speaking world. By the end of French 2, students can use the present, future, and past tenses, give commands, make negative statements, and ask different types of questions. Students are also able to use the conditional tense to discuss hypothetical situations. Another skill students obtain is the ability to express wishes, doubts, and emotional reactions in standard French. 

French 3
French 3 begins as a review of some of the basic grammar items covered in a first-year French class (1 and 2), with an emphasis on exceptions to rules and new vocabulary items to improve conversational skills. Also, students are introduced to the works of some of the major writers of the francophone world. By the end of French 3, students can: talk about actions that may or may not take place; express wishes, preferences, necessity, or possibility; ask questions formally and informally; express emotional reactions to others; and express uncertainty, uniqueness, and opinions about past events. Students also have the ability to use the subjunctive after certain conjunctions. The conditional tense is mastered in order to express hypothetical ideas, and uncertainty in the past tense. The future tense is used to express what will happen. 

French 4 (college prep and honors)
French 4 is the continuation of French One, Two and Three. During this year students master advanced grammar and syntax to assist them in consistently forming sentences in Standard French. This course is designed to be an overall review and expansion of the basic skills of French. It is intended, through an in-depth examination of grammar, to increase accuracy and consistency in reading, listening, and writing, and to develop oral proficiency.  This course is recommended for the student who plans to take the French subject SAT test.

TEXTS: En bonne forme, ISBN: 9780470424216; A frequency dictionary of French core vocabulary for learners, ISBN: 9780415775311; Allons au-delà! La Langue et Les Cultures du Monde Francophone, ISBN: 9780133179538.

AP French Language & Culture
Students who enroll in AP French Language and Culture should already have
a good command of French grammar and vocabulary and have competence in listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Course content can reflect intellectual interests shared by the students and teacher (the arts, current events, literature, sports, etc.). Materials may include audio and video recordings, films, newspapers, and magazines. The course seeks to develop language skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) that can be used in various activities and disciplines rather than to cover any specific body of subject matter. Extensive training in the organization and writing of compositions is also emphasized.  This course prepares students for the AP French Language & Culture exam held each year in May.

TEXTS: En bonne forme, ISBN: 9780470424216A frequency dictionary of French core vocabulary for learners, ISBN: 9780415775311Allons au-delà! La Langue et Les Cultures du Monde Francophone, ISBN: 9780133179538.

French Literature (UC Honors)
Students who enroll in French Literature should have proficiency in the fundamental language skills that enable them to read and understand prose and verse of moderate difficulty and mature content, as well as to formulate and express critical opinions and judgments in correct oral and written French. The program is designed to be an introduction to representative works of prose, poetry, and drama from different periods. Students should, however, be aware of the cultural context of the works read. They should also acquire the basic concepts and terminology of textual analysis. By learning to identify and interpret the various elements that enter into the composition of a literary text and to perceive their relationships, students acquire a fuller understanding and appreciation of the art and significance of literature.

german

German 1                                                                                                                                                                                      In this course, maps, anecdotes, and introductory lessons are designed to foster students’ confidence in their ability to learn German by allowing them the opportunity to use it actively from the first day of class. Basic concepts dealt with here include: introducing oneself, counting, classroom vocabulary and useful phrases, and the German alphabet. Grammatical concepts covered include basic pronouns, conjunctions, case, gender, pluralization, common verbs (including stem-changing verbs), commands, and the present tense as substitute for the future. Students also become acquainted with basic geography, some famous people of the German tongue, and a few famous Germanic places and concepts. 

German 2
This second year course is designed to build off previous student knowledge from the first year of instruction and whatever other knowledge or experience of the German-speaking world the student may have. When necessary, some basic concepts are reviewed such as: introducing oneself, counting, classroom vocabulary and useful phrases, and using the German alphabet. Grammatical concepts covered include more verbs in the present tense, additional examples of case, reflexive verbs, adjective endings, comparatives, interrogatives, and the future tense (with the verb ‘werden’). Major areas of emphasis are speaking, listening, reading, and writing in German. 

German 3                                                                                                                                                                                 German 3 is a course for students who have completed introductory years of study in the German language. The course develops communication skills in all its forms: listening, reading, speaking, and writing. It places major emphasis on accurate pronunciation and intonation, a cultivation of ‘Sprachgefühl’ (an intuitive feeling for language use), and a thorough training in grammar. At the conclusion of this course students are able to use all of the major verb tenses to discuss actions completed in the past, the present, and the future, as well as to express hypothetical situations, desires, doubts, and emotional reactions. It also fosters an appreciation of German culture (music, humor, traditions, some history, multi-culturism and popular culture). 

German 4                                                                                                                                                                             German 4 is a course for students who wish to continue their German studies at the advanced level. Apart from developing communication skills in the forms of listening, reading, speaking, and writing, this course also places major emphasis on accurate pronunciation and intonation, a thorough training in grammar, and an appreciation for German culture (music, humor, traditions, some history, multi-culturism and popular culture). The reading list for German 4 includes texts written for a German-speaking audience. Emphasis is placed on not only the comprehension of texts, but the student’s ability to react to them in writing and through speech. Instruction is carried out primarily in German. 

AP German Language & Culture                                                                                                                                             This AP course is designed to instruct a qualified student of German simultaneously towards the successful completion of the AP German Language and Culture Exam and towards the successful acquisition of linguistic skills in German. The focus on content, context, grammar and vocabulary will enable the student to progress, at an accelerated pace, in achieving a knowledge and communicative ability in German approaching the standard linguistic expectations of a native speaker of German. A combination of circumlocution and composition of pointed questioning will undergird the emphasis in class time. 

latin

Latin 1                                                                                                                                                                                       This course will introduce students to fundamental elements of Latin Grammar (morphology and syntax) and to Roman culture. Students will build a basic Latin vocabulary. By the end of the course, students should be able to translate passages of appropriate level and be familiar with the values and culture of classical Roman society. 

Latin 2                                                                                                                                                                                                 Latin 2 continues to introduce students to the fundamental elements of Latin Grammar (morphology & syntax) and expand their knowledge of Roman History and culture.   Students will also translate their first long text (adjusted to be at the appropriate level).  By the end of the course, students should be able to translate and sight read passages of appropriate level and be familiar with the history and culture of Roman society. 

Latin 3                                                                                                                                                                                           In Latin 3, students review fundamental concepts of Latin grammar from Latin 1 and 2, and are introduced to more advanced elements of Latin grammar. Students read original Latin prose and poetry from major authors, including Ovid, Cicero, Catullus, and Caesar – thereby building a more advanced vocabulary. Students are introduced to fundamental elements of Latin rhetorical style and scansion of poetry. 

Latin 4                                                                                                                                                                                  Students work to advance their facility with both the everyday and literary Latin of the Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance periods. Special attention will be given to strenuous grammatical structures and more natural and varied vocabulary. 

AP Latin: Vergil                                                                                                                                                                    Students will gain an appreciation of the Aeneid as a great epic and an appreciation of Vergil’s artistry.  Students must: understand the epic genre as seen in the Aeneid; know the background of the story itself, characters, events, and effects of the Trojan War; know the historical, cultural, social, and political framework surrounding the writing of the Aeneid, Rome in the first century BCE and its impact on Vergil, and the coming of Augustus; understand the content and artistry of the Aeneid; analyze critically the poem as a work of art, with particular attention to the required Latin passages and appropriate references to the use to stylistic and metrical techniques used by Vergil; and develop the ability to read selected passages of Latin literature at sight. 

spanish

Spanish 1                                                                                                                                                                                      In this course, students learn how to identify and describe their surroundings by communicating in spoken and written Spanish.  Students learn to conjugate verbs into the present and past tenses, as well as gender-agreement, pluralization, possessive pronouns, reflexive pronouns, and other grammatical concepts. The four major aspects of language are covered in this course. These are: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. To that end, each assignment will specifically target at least one of these goals.

TEXT: Nexos, ISBN: 9780547171890

Spanish 2                                                                                                                                                                                   This course is designed to reinforce the components learned in Spanish 1, while providing new materials to challenge the student’s knowledge of the language. By the conclusion of Spanish 2, students are able to offer comparisons, indicate where things are located using adjectives and demonstrative pronouns, and how to talk about things that may or may not happen. Verb tenses covered in Spanish 2 include the preterite, the imperfect, the subjunctive, the future, and the conditional. The four major aspects of language are covered in this course. These are: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. To that end, each assignment will specifically target at least one of these goals. 

TEXT: Nexos, ISBN: 9780547171890.

Spanish 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Content for this course incorporates such themes as: the music of Latin America and Spain; festivals and holidays; the environment; physical and personal health; Spanish in the workplace; and the presence of Spanish in the United States. Grammatical concepts include: verbs whose subject is the opposite of that in English; direct and indirect object pronouns and their function in standard Spanish; reflexive pronouns and how they change the meaning of a verb; comparisons of equality and inequality; the imperative tense; the subjunctive mood; subordinate clauses; the conditional tense; the multiple uses of “se”; the perfect tenses; negative transformations; relative clauses; expressions dealing with time; and the passive voice. At the conclusion of Spanish 3, students will have a firm grasp of all major verb tenses. 

TEXT: Rumbos, ISBN: 9781428262263

Spanish 4                                                                                                                                                                                   This course is designed to be an overall review and expansion of the basic skills of Spanish. It is intended, through an in-depth examination of grammar, to increase accuracy and consistency in reading, listening, and writing, and to develop oral proficiency. This course is recommended for the student who plans to take the Spanish subject SAT test. 

Spanish 4 Honors                                                                                                                                                                 Spanish 4 Honors is designed to provide students with a more rigorous and in-depth study of the Spanish language and Iberian and Latin American literature and culture than that afforded by College Prep Spanish 4.  This is an introduction to the formal study of literary texts, standard grammar and written practices, and the cultures associated with the Spanish language.  Reading assignments are authentic, and written primarily for a native audience. Grammatical concepts introduced assume a foundation of principal verb tenses, moods, voices, and other modes of grammar.  The cultural component arises organically from readings, student projects, research assignments, and other investigations.  As with all language courses, Spanish 4 Honors focuses on the four primary aspects of language: Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing.

AP Spanish Language                                                                                                                                                                The AP Spanish Language course is designed to provide students with a learning experience equivalent to that of a third-year college course in Advanced Spanish Composition and Conversation stressing oral skills, composition and grammar. Students are expected to take the Spanish Language Examination at the conclusion of the course. The course is designed to develop a strong command of the Spanish language, with proficiency in integrating language skills and synthesizing written and aural materials, the formal writing process, extensive interpersonal and presentational speaking and writing practice, and aural comprehension skills through quality, authentic, and level-appropriate audio and video recordings.

AP Spanish Literature                                                                                                                                                                 The AP Spanish Literature course is designed to provide students with a learning experience equivalent to that of a third-year college course in Peninsular and Latin American literature. The course is designed to introduce students to the formal study of a representative body of Peninsular and Latin American literary texts. Students read a wide variety of genres, from a variety of time periods, so that students may trace the history of Spanish prose from medieval to modern times, encompassing the 16th through the 20th centuries. Class discussions and directions are conducted primarily in Spanish.

 

world languages