Upper School students are required to study at least one foreign language (including Latin) through Level III. French and Spanish courses are available through the AP level and qualified students have the opportunity to pursue language even further via an independent study. Upper School classes in French and Spanish continue the immersion method begun in the Middle School years. Students are expected to commit themselves to developing oral fluency as well as proficiency in reading and writing. Toward the latter goal, literary works in all genres are read and written work is regularly assigned.
Form III: French II
This course builds on previous work in French and continues to emphasize the oral tradition as well as the acquisition of both vocabulary and the fundamental principles of grammar. Vocabulary is studied within the context of the daily situations one might encounter as a student living in France. In terms of grammar, the major verb tenses/moods are covered with particular emphasis on the subjonctif and the forms and uses of the imparfait and the passé composé. Students also learn how to build more complex sentences and questions through the study of object, possessive, interrogative and relative pronouns. Text: Bon Voyage II, textbook and workbook.
Form IV: French III
French III students are expected to gain an understanding of intermediate French grammar and verb tense structures. Emphasis is also put on vocabulary enrichment and increased cultural awareness. This is achieved by continued focus on the development of the four basic skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students are asked to write frequently in French, and once in English in a two- to three-page report on French history. Students are expected to master basic written French. Text: Trésor du Temps, textbook and workbook; AMSCO French III years.
Form V: French IV
This course continues to focus on the four components of language: listening, speaking, writing, and reading. A wide variety of cultural and geographical information pertaining to the various peoples and places of the French-speaking world, as well as vocabulary and idiomatic expressions, are presented. In terms of grammar, the goal of the course is a detailed review of structure; it is assumed that students have a solid grasp of the fundamentals of French grammar. Though discussions of complex grammatical information are conducted in English, students are otherwise expected to express themselves both orally and in writing exclusively in French. Text: Personnages, textbook and workbook
Form VI: Advanced French
The course focuses on preparing students for college courses in French. This course is designed to review the history of France from the ancient Gaul to the present day. As each period unfolds, students examine not only landmark historical events and famous people, but achievements in literature, arts, science, and history. Students continue to work on language skills with the intention of developing ease in language through reading and study of magazines and newspapers as well as through seminar discussions, oral reports and tapes. Students enrolled in this course traditionally sit for the AP exam. Text: Tableaux Culturels de la France; selections from novels; En Bonne Forme; AP French Manual.
This course is offered to boys who have completed Advanced French and who desire additional study in advanced literary, cultural, and grammatical topics. Conducted entirely in French, this class meets once a week. In rare instances a student may be allowed to take an independent study concurrently with Advanced French.
Form III: Spanish II
Students are expected to master intermediate grammar and verb tense structures. Students begin to expand their use of the language by expressing themselves in tenses other than the present. Emphasis is also placed on the enrichment of the vocabulary, especially colloquial expressions, and cultural awareness. This is achieved by focusing on four basic skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
Form IV: Spanish III
This course is designed to enhance the student’s skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students should be able to understand most Spanish (if it is spoken at a slower than normal pace), answer and ask questions on a variety of everyday topics, read almost any simple Spanish text, and write at a level comparable with their speaking skills. From a grammatical perspective, emphasis is placed on reviewing previously studied tenses and incorporating present and imperfect subjunctive. Information on the various cultures of the Spanish-speaking world is interwoven throughout the course.
Form V: Spanish IV
The ultimate goal of this course is the integration of all language skills: oral and written comprehension and speaking at an advanced level. Priority is given to the mastery or near mastery of pronunciation, “correctness,” and fluency in speaking and using an expanding vocabulary. This course gives students planning to continue study of the language the necessary background in literature. Literary texts are pulled from a variety of sources. The course is conducted entirely in Spanish.
Form VI: Advanced Spanish
The purpose of this college-level course is twofold: to prepare students for the AP exams in language and literature and for college courses in Spanish. Close literary analyses, discussions, and writings grow out of reading the works of Spanish and Latin American writers in the original Spanish. Texts: different excerpts and stories from a variety of authors; Barron’s AP Spanish; The Ultimate Spanish Review.
Spanish and Latin American Literature
This course introduces students to the formal study of the literature, history and culture of the Hispanic world. The reading list is comprised of literary works that expose students to a wide range of genres and types of discourse that represent the high points in the history of Spanish language poetry, drama and prose. Literary texts are pulled from a variety of sources.
This course is offered to boys who have completed Advanced Spanish and desire additional study in advanced literary and cultural topics. The course is conducted entirely in Spanish and meets once or twice a week. In rare instances a student may be allowed to take an independent study concurrently with Advanced Spanish.
Upper School students, having been introduced to the rudiments of Latin, develop an in-depth understanding of the rules of grammar. Reading, writing, oral and aural skills are cultivated in order to provide for the student a means of connecting personallywith the fundamental culture and literature of Western civilization. Major authors such as Caesar, Ovid, Plautus, and Vergil are read and discussed in their contemporary context. Works fromthe genres of prose, poetry and drama are covered. Latin courses are available to the AP level. Upperclassmen who have demonstrated mastery in Latin have the option of taking an introductory course in Ancient Greek.
Form III: Latin II
Students in Latin II learn Latin syntax and formal grammar, organizing in the classical manner all the language skills they have acquired. They learn thoroughly the present and perfect systems of all verbs in both the active and passive voices, in the indicative as well as the subjunctive moods. They read and write conditional sentences and complex participial phrases, and learn the comparison of both regular and irregular adjectives and adverbs. In addition to translating adapted texts, students translate, memorize, and recite a celebrated poem in the original meter, and undertake the Latin composition of contemporary prose or poetry as the basis of the year’s major project.
Form IV: Latin III
In this year students make the transition from lessons oriented primarily toward the introduction of new grammar to the reading of unadapted Latin texts. After a comprehensive review, all remaining grammar is taught inductively using the text of Julius Caesar’s De Bello Gallico as the first launching point. Prose composition exercises are assigned with a view to stimulating the students’ sensitivity to the patterns and idioms of classical Latin. Alongside Caesar, students read many of the poems of Catullus, including selections from his elegies and lyric poems. Excerpts from other poets and prose writers may be added at the teacher’s discretion. There are additional memorizations and recitations by students of both poetry and prose.
Form V: Latin IV
Students in Latin IV immerse themselves in the works of Roman writers at the same time as they fine-tune their ability to translate, understand, and comment on classical literature. The main text for the first part of the year is Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Students read several of Ovid’s tales. Emphasis is placed on exploring the timeless themes and literary devices of the poem as well as translation. Prose and verse composition exercises may be assigned. In addition, students begin to write essays on literary topics and essay questions begin to appear on quizzes and homework assignments alongside translation. In the third trimester, students begin work on the AP syllabus in Vergil that will be completed in Advanced Latin.
Form VI: Advanced Latin
In most years students in Advanced Latin work toward completion of the AP exam syllabus in Vergil. Selections from the appropriate books of the Aeneid constitute the main text, although the goal of the course is wider than preparation for a specific exam. In order to provide students with the best preparation for future work in Latin, a selection of non-AP passages is read and comparison is made between Vergil and other relevant Greek and Roman poets. The social and cultural context of the Aeneid is kept in view at all times, and students are expected to read as well as write critiques of a sampling of current scholarly work on this influential masterpiece.
Qualifying Form VI students who wish to continue their study of Latin beyond the AP exam may arrange to read a particular author or genre with a view to writing translations and critical essays on a biweekly basis. This class may meet from one to three times per week.
Form V and VI: Greek I
Students enrolled in Greek I learn to decline several categories of nouns and to conjugate verbs in three voices, six tenses, and four moods. They learn to use Greek adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns as well as particles and participles. They obtain a vocabulary that underlies the otherwise forbidding technical terminology of many fields of interest. The crucial literary, political, and philosophical legacies of the ancient Greeks accompany the students’ acquisition of the language. They read from original texts as the basis of the year’s major project.