Modern Languages

Philosophy

Grade Five students take either French or Spanish and continue that language through at least Form II. The program builds upon work commenced in Grades Three and Four French and Spanish, and aims to introduce basic grammar, increase vocabulary and further expose students to the distinctive cultures of the French- and Spanish-speaking worlds. Emphasis is placed on fostering students’ comfort with speaking and listening to a language other than their own, which is achieved through a deliberate program of language immersion.

FRENCH

Grade Five: French
rade 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; Biography: “Who was Marie Antoinette?”

Grade Six: French
Students study vocabulary related to the family, the classroom and leisure activities. In terms of grammar, the class covers the present tense, the near future, negative and interrogative expressions, adjective agreement, 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: “Bien dit! Level IA” textbook and workbooks.

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 food and drink, the home, city life, travel, leisure activities and the daily routine. In terms of grammar, the class covers negative and interrogative expressions, demonstrative adjectives, irregular present tense verbs, the imperative and the passé composé of regular and irregular verbs. Students are encouraged to write within the limits of their language resources and to express themselves orally in French as much as possible. Additionally, students further explore language and culture by reading the short novel  “La France en danger et les secrets de Picasso”.  Text: “Bien dit! Level IB” textbook and workbooks.

Form II: French I
The course continues to introduce 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. Object and relative pronouns are introduced, and the goal is for students to finish the year with a fluent command of the present, future and past tenses of regular and irregular verbs.  In addition, special attention is given to basic French expressions and verbal idioms, with reference to their English counterparts. Text: “Bien dit! Level II” textbook and workbooks.

SPANISH

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 and develop their listening skills through various listening comprehension exercises. This course meets three times a week. Text: Español Santillana 1 A.

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. They are encouraged to speak and write within the limits of their language resources and develop their listening skills through various listening comprehension exercises. Students also develop their reading comprehension skills by reading graded readers. In terms of grammar, the class covers negative and interrogative expressions, possessive adjectives, ordinal numbers, the forms and uses of ser and estar, the present tense of stem changing, irregular, intransitive and reflexive verbs, the rules of the infinitive, and the past tense of regular verbs. Emphasis is also placed on the enrichment of vocabulary and on cultural awareness. A major project in Spanish is completed during the course of the year. Text: Español Santillana 1 B.

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 direct and indirect object pronouns, the preterite tense and the differences between this tense and the imperfect tense. Vocabulary enrichment and cultural awareness are emphasized through the study of Spanish speaking countries, famous people of Hispanic descent and several short stories.