The Browning School modern language program begins in Middle School. Grade Five students choose either French or Spanish and continue that language through at least Form II. The program introduces students to practical vocabulary and the distinctive cultures of the French- and Spanish-speaking worlds. Emphasis is placed on fostering students’ comfort speaking and listening to a language other than their own, which is achieved through a deliberate program of language immersion.
Grade Five: French
Grade Five French introduces students to practical vocabulary and encourages them to develop basic conversational skills. The grammatical component emphasizes counting, telling the time and date, basic verb conjugations, the notions of gender and number as applied to nouns and adjectives, and interrogative words and expressions. Vocabulary and grammatical work is punctuated by units on the culture and history of the French-speaking world. This class meets three times a week. Text: Exploring French, textbook and workbook.
Grade Six: French
Students study vocabulary of daily life, the present tense, negative and interrogative expressions, the possessive forms, and the definite and indefinite articles. Cultural units focus on daily life, and a major project on the art, history, literature or geography of the French-speaking world is completed. Reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills are all addressed. This class meets three times a week. Text: Bon Voyage Level IA, textbook, writing activities workbook, audio activities booklet.
Form I: Elementary French
Students come to Elementary French versed in the fundamentals of basic beginning French. The course begins with a review of this information and then moves to vocabulary related to travel, leisure activities, and the daily routine; negative and interrogative expressions; demonstrative adjectives; irregular present tense verbs; and the passé composé of regular, irregular, and reflexive verbs. Students are encouraged to write within the limits of their language resources and to express themselves orally in French as much as possible. A major project on the history and culture of France is completed. Text: Bon Voyage Level IB, textbook and workbook.
Form II: French I
The course introduces students to the richness and culture of the French-speaking world through a representative sampling of various situations from daily life. Emphasis is placed on oral and writing abilities. Comprehension of the fundamental structures of the language is the aim of this program. A fluent command of the present, future and past tenses of regular and irregular verbs is expected. In addition, special attention is given to basic French expressions and verbal idioms, with reference to their English counterparts. Text: Bon Voyage II, textbook, writing activities workbook, and storytelling workbook.
Grade Five: Spanish
Grade Five Spanish introduces students to practical vocabulary and encourages them to develop basic conversational skills. The grammatical component emphasizes counting, telling the time and date, basic verb conjugations, the notions of gender and number as applied to nouns and adjectives, and interrogative words and expressions. Vocabulary and grammatical work is punctuated by units on the culture and history of the Spanish-speaking world. This course meets three times a week. Text: Exploring Spanish, textbook and workbook.
Grade Six: Spanish
This course begins with a detailed review of greetings, numbers, date, time, and weather. Students then move on to the study of vocabulary related to school, the home, and the marketplace. The present indicative; negative and interrogative expressions; possessive adjectives; and the gender and number of nouns, adjectives, and articles are introduced. Students are encouraged to speak and write within the limits of their language resources. This course meets three times a week. Text: ¿Cómo te va? Nivel verde A, textbook and workbook.
Form I: Elementary Spanish
The goal of this course is for students with prior knowledge of basic beginning Spanish to develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Students begin to expand their use of the language in a variety of contexts and are encouraged to express themselves in Spanish whenever possible. The present tense of stem changing and irregular verbs and the past tense of regular verbs are emphasized. Emphasis is also placed on the enrichment of the vocabulary and cultural awareness. Text: ¿Cómo te va? Nivel azul B, textbook and workbook; Dictionary: Spanish for Beginners.
Form II: Spanish I
Students are expected to master beginning Spanish grammar and simple oral and written expressions. The class focuses its efforts on the four basic skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening in Spanish. The first part of the course is a thorough review of previous grammatical topics; during the second part of the year, students explore the uses of the preterite tense and the differences between this tense and the imperfect tense. A form of the future tense is also introduced. Vocabulary enrichment and cultural awareness are emphasized through several short stories. Text: ¿Sabías que . . . ?
Students in Forms I and II are introduced to Latin, the language from which approximately 60% of English words are derived. As they learn the grammatical structures of an inflected language, they are more attuned to the nuances of synax in the English language. Middle School Latin provides a solid linguistic foundation from which to begin the study of authentic Latin texts in the Upper School or to explore Romance languages such as French or Spanish.
Form I: Introduction to Latin
Form I Latin has three objectives. The first is providing students with an introduction to the fundamentals of Latin grammar and morphology, including the present and imperfect tenses of regular and irregular verbs, the first three noun declensions and the functions of at least four noun cases, and a range of Latin vocabulary words. The second goal is to reinforce awareness of the cultural context of Latin and the rich literary and mythological heritage bequeathed to us by the classical world. Finally, Latin vocabulary is highlighted as the root of English derivatives so that students may begin to read, write, and otherwise use the English language in a more accurate and effective manner. Texts include Longman, Ecce Romani, IA.
Form II: Latin I
Students in Latin I move rapidly into more complex noun syntax and their study of nouns broadens to include all five declensions. By the end of the year they have learned at least six tenses of regular and irregular verbs in the indicative mood. In addition, students are expected to memorize and recite passages from Latin poetry in the original meter. Vocabulary is stressed both as an avenue to students’ growing competence at reading a variety of passages as well as a way to deepen their English vocabulary skills through the study of derivatives. Texts include Longman, Ecce Romani, IB.