Academics
Upper School

Explore Our Curriculum

Second Language

  • Advanced Chinese Language Seminar

    Advanced Chinese Language Seminar offers students who originally took their first year of Mandarin in eighth grade the opportunity to continue their studies during their senior year. This course continues to emphasize the development of students’ speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills across three communicative modes: interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational. Students will demonstrate a higher proficiency level with vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness. This course continues to engage students in an exploration of Chinese culture in both contemporary and historical contexts. Note: students enrolled in this course may take the AP Test during the spring semester. Prerequisites: Mandarin Chinese I, Honors Mandarin Chinese II, Honors Mandarin Chinese III, and Honors Mandarin Chinese IV. Eligible Grade Level(s): 12.
  • Advanced Spanish Language Seminar

    Advanced Spanish Language Seminar is a continuation of AP Spanish Language, designed according to the College Board AP Spanish Language and Culture course requirements. The course takes a holistic approach to language proficiency, in which students use Spanish to communicate in a wide variety of interdisciplinary topics as well as to draw comparisons between their own culture and that of the target language. Per AP College Board standards, students will be able to partake in interpersonal, presentational and interpretive communication. Prerequisites: AP Spanish Language & Composition and Departmental Recommendation. Eligible Grade Level(s): 11-12.
  • AP Spanish Language & Composition

    AP Spanish Language & Composition continues departmental emphasis on the five components of language learning: listening, speaking, reading, writing and cultural awareness. This fast-paced, rigorous course intends to strengthen students' language and critical thinking skills across the three communicative modes: interpersonal, interpretive and presentational. Students will explore, understand and discuss global themes that are important across the Spanish-speaking world. Note: all students enrolled in this course must take the AP exam during the spring semester. Prerequisites: Spanish I, Honors Spanish II, Honors Spanish III and Departmental Recommendation. Eligible Grade Level(s): 10-12.
  • Honors Mandarin Chinese II

    Honors Mandarin Chinese II helps students build upon the basics learned in Chinese I. Students will improve their abilities to communicate and understand spoken and written Chinese by listening, speaking, reading and writing in the target language. Some example topics for this course include school life, making appointments, colors, drinks, transportation and travel. Students will learn more daily topics and enlarge their Chinese vocabulary. They will also be able to use a variety of vocabulary and more complex grammar structures for speaking and writing. Students will continue to learn about Chinese culture through a variety of activities and projects. Prerequisites: Mandarin Chinese I. Eligible Grade Level(s): 10-12.
  • Honors Mandarin Chinese III

    Honors Mandarin Chinese III ensures students can handle a variety of communicative tasks by utilizing the language associated with the learned daily topics. Some example topics for this course include the weather, dining, asking for directions, birthday parties, visiting a doctor and rooms and furniture. Students will be able to understand sentences that consist of learned vocabulary, talk simply about themselves, perform basic tasks (e.g. ordering a meal, asking directions, etc.), read specially prepared passages on learned topics and perform a variety of practical writing tasks, including short messages, postcards, simple emails and notes. Prerequisites: Mandarin Chinese I and Honors Mandarin Chinese II. Eligible Grade Level(s): 11-12
  • Honors Mandarin Chinese IV

    Honors Mandarin Chinese IV deepens students’ understanding of the material learned in the previous course. Students will develop their Chinese speaking, listening, reading and writing skills across three communicative modes: interpersonal, interpretive and presentational. Selective themes of contemporary Chinese society and Chinese history may include geography, regional diversity, travel and transportation, holidays and food, current affairs, historic figures, philosophy, traditional arts, etc. By the end of this course, students will be able to conduct spontaneous two-way interaction (interpersonal mode), interpret a range of written and oral texts (interpretive mode) and create a level-appropriate speech or report (presentational mode). Prerequisites: Mandarin Chinese I, Honors Mandarin Chinese II and Honors Mandarin Chinese III. Eligible Grade Level(s): 11-12.
  • Honors Spanish II

    Honors Spanish II further develops and builds upon the skills, vocabulary and structures learned in Spanish I. This course focuses on the five components of language learning: listening, speaking, reading, writing and cultural awareness. Students will effectively use written and oral target language for communication purposes, incorporating acquired vocabulary, idiomatic expressions and complex structures. This fast-paced, rigorous course will challenge students as they continue to grow in their understanding of the Spanish language. Prerequisites: Spanish I and Departmental Recommendation. Eligible Grade Level(s): 9-12.
  • Honors Spanish III

    Honors Spanish III focuses on the five components of language learning: listening, speaking, reading, writing and cultural awareness. At the end of this course, students will have been introduced to all the components of Spanish grammar. They will comprehend a number of more complex authentic sources, both written and spoken. Students will use written and oral target language for communication purposes in a variety of settings, while also incorporating acquired vocabulary, idiomatic expressions and complex structures. Prerequisites: Spanish I, Honors Spanish II and Departmental Recommendation. Eligible Grade Level(s): 10-12.
  • Mandarin Chinese I

    Mandarin Chinese I helps students develop basic listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in Chinese. Some example topics for this course include greetings, names, numbers, food, family, dates and time, and hobbies. Students will learn how to pronounce Chinese phonetic symbols (pinyin) with correct tones, understand short dialogues and statements spoken at slow speed on learned topics, make short statements and ask simple questions on learned topics and recognize some frequently used Chinese characters. This course will also enhance students’ awareness of the cultural differences between China and America. Prerequisites: None. Eligible Grade Level(s): 9-12.
  • Spanish I

    Spanish I offers students an introduction to the basic vocabulary, structures, grammar and phonetics of the Spanish language. Students will focus on the five components of language learning: listening, speaking, reading, writing and cultural awareness. Students will learn foundational grammatical structures as they also become better acquainted with the cultural aspects of the Spanish-speaking world. Prerequisites: None. Eligible Grade Level(s): 9-11.
  • Spanish II

    Spanish II further develops the skills, vocabulary and grammatical structures learned in Spanish I. Students will use written and oral target language for communication purposes, incorporating acquired vocabulary and basic structures. They will also begin to develop comprehension skills of authentic sources, both written and spoken. Course topics include travel and vacation, clothing and shopping, daily routine, food, health, the household and well-being.Prerequisites: Spanish I. Eligible Grade Level(s): 9-12.
  • Spanish III

    Spanish III enables students to improve and refine their skills in listening, speaking, reading, writing and cultural awareness. This course focuses especially on grammar, particularly in regards to verb tenses, and on vocabulary commonly used in conversation. Units within this fast-paced and participatory course build upon students’ previous studies in Spanish I and Spanish II. Prerequisites: Spanish I and Spanish II. Eligible Grade Level(s): 10-12.
  • Spanish IV

    Spanish IV supports students as they seek to converse in the Spanish language by tapping into grammar skills and vocabulary from earlier coursework. During this practical, enjoyable and interactive course, students will read the novel La Catrina and watch accompanying videos along with the text. Students will improve their fluency and vocabulary when it comes to conversational Spanish so that they can confidently speak the language in the future. Prerequisites: Spanish I, Spanish II and Spanish III. Eligible Grade Level(s): 11-12.

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