take Spanish in grades 4 through 8. For Grade 8 language studies, students have the
option of completing the Spanish program or of dropping Spanish and taking
either Latin I or Mandarin I, both Upper School courses. Students can elect to
take both Spanish and Latin I upon the recommendation of their current foreign
language teacher and with the approval of the Middle School Division Head. This
option is only recommended for students who are strong not only in foreign language
studies but also in their other academic courses.
The primary focus of Latin I is to enable students to read and understand texts adapted from classical Latin or texts written in Latin by contemporary educators, to know and understand the history and culture of the classical civilizations, to understand the influence of Latin on the English language, and to deepen students’ understanding of English vocabulary. The textbook used is the Cambridge Latin Course. At this stage a heavy emphasis is made on linking Latin grammar and vocabulary with the grammar and vocabulary of English, Spanish, French, and Italian. Students develop their reading skills and learn to deduce the meanings of the words based on their prefixes and roots.
This beginning Chinese course teaches students the essentials of Mandarin Chinese and on developing basic speaking, listening, reading, and writing (both pinyin and characters) proficiency. Students learn to ask and answer questions, exchange opinions, express likes and dislikes, and talk about people, places, activities, plans, obligations, needs, and personal preferences. Students learn functional activities such as telling time, counting, exchanging telephone numbers, and talking about the weather. Additionally, Chinese history and culture is introduced, with an emphasis on the comparison and contrast of current cultural realities in the U.S. versus those of China.
Sixth-grade Spanish introduces basic pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary.
Students learn useful idioms from everyday life and the basic geography of the Spanish-speaking world. They couple oral conversation with written homework to reinforce vocabulary and grammar structures.
Seventh-grade Spanish reviews the Spanish 6 exploratory course before beginning coursework in the Buen viaje! textbook. Oral and written communication is regularly assessed through class work, testing, homework, and quarterly projects.
Students also study cultures, history, and current events in the Spanish-speaking world.
This course is the first half equivalent of high school level Spanish I.
Eighth-grade Spanish follows the second half of the Buen viaje! textbook.
Students increase their oral and written communication skills as their knowledge of vocabulary and grammar progresses.
Students continue to study cultures, history, and current events in the Spanish-speaking world.
This course is the second half equivalent of high school level Spanish I. Students should be eligible for Spanish II or higher.