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Suggested Course Sequence
All language courses are aligned with the national and Vermont Standards based on communication, cultures and communities, connections and comparisons, and curiosity, cooperation, and challenge. The foreign language program reflects a purposeful progression of study utilizing differentiated instruction, learning and assessment activities that guide students through structured practice to creative, personalized expression. Authentic language materials are used in all classes, including texts, newspapers, music, film, and radio. Beginning in fall 2011, 7th graders may choose either French or Chinese to study over two years and earn one high school credit.
French I (H50100) 1 credit
This course provides a beginning student with a basic knowledge of French, introducing the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. It puts more emphasis on oral communication with high frequency vocabulary and activities that encourage the learner to speak. Students study various themes and functions such as greetings, expressing likes and dislikes, ordering food and speaking about one’s family. Grammar structures include verbs in the present tense, questions, possessive adjectives, and the future with “going to.” Culture is integrated into the course, focusing on Francophone countries, the French educational system, food, and aspects of life in Quebec and Paris.
French II (H50200) 1 credit
Prerequisite(s): French I Elective credit
Students increase communicative vocabulary and more complex grammatical structures and verb tenses. They learn to speak in French to ask for directions, describe daily routines, talk about past events, and express opinions. Grammar structures include prepositions, reflexive verbs, passé-compose, and imparfait tenses. Culture is integrated into the course, comparing the United States and France, and learning about the Loire castles, the town of Chartres, the South of France and Martinique, and the country of Ivory Coast.
French III (H50300) 1 credit
Prerequisite(s): French II Elective credit
Students learn more complex grammatical structures, such as past tenses, future and conditional tenses, subjunctive mood, pronouns, comparatives, and superlatives. Students learn to express enthusiasm, dissatisfaction, and other emotions, and to share their opinions. Culture is integrated into the course, focusing on French regional specialties, comic strips in Belgium, ecology, fashion, and the countries of Senegal and Morocco.
French IV (H50400) 1 credit
Prerequisite(s): French III Elective credit
Students thoroughly review grammatical structures, expand their vocabulary, and continue to use French actively. Various themes and functions are covered such as summarizing a story, a chapter or a film, commenting about television programs, films, and music, telling a joke, and expressing opinions. Culture is integrated into the course, focusing on Francophone countries, French films, literature, songs, and current events.
Spanish I (H51100) 1 credit
In the first year of Spanish, students learn the fundamentals of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. They use the language actively as they learn the grammar structures, beginning with present tense verbs and the parts of speech, sentence and question formation, and formal versus informal use. Vocabulary development allows students to not only broaden their speaking and comprehension abilities, but also links the Latin roots of English and Spanish, promoting greater understanding across many disciplines. By the end of the course, students will be able to speak on a variety of functional topics, including greetings, introductions, dates, time, numbers, likes and dislikes, shopping, school, and family. Cultural studies of the Spanish-speaking world add historical and current day points of interest, with an emphasis on Hispanic influence on the United States.
Spanish II (H51200) 1 credit
Prerequisite(s): Spanish I Elective credit
The second year in the sequence of Spanish studies offers further development and improvement of communicative competence. Through multiple learning activities, students continue to expand their abilities to speak, listen, read, and write on a growing number of topics, including: daily routines, the weather, vacation, sports, health, work, and leisure activities. Study of regular, irregular, reflexive, progressive, future and present perfect verb tenses enables students to express their opinions, give and receive information, narrate and role play while gaining more self-confidence as a Spanish speaker. Further cultural studies through research and presentations broaden students’ knowledge of the Hispanic world.
Spanish III (H51300) 1 credit
Prerequisite(s): Spanish II Elective credit
The third year of Spanish studies raises the level of linguistic and communicative challenges as students increase the time of speaking only Spanish in the classroom. Structured tasks for language practice and assessment include: asking for and giving directions, expressing opinions, exchanging information, and describing events in the past. Grammatical structures that support task performance include: the imperative, preterit, imperfect, and conditional tenses, plus broader use of pronouns and placement in sentences and questions, and comparative and superlative adjectives. Higher level vocabulary use is gained through reading stories, news articles, and thematic vocabulary exercises. Expanding cultural explorations, combined with linguistic development, allows students to present their investigations in a variety of formats – spoken, written, power point and artistic.
Spanish IV (H51400) 1 credit
Prerequisite(s): Spanish III Elective credit
Spanish is the primary language in this class. Building on the previous years’ of study, as well as utilizing familiar and new learning activities, students take on the more complex grammatical structures that include the subjunctive forms (present, past, imperfect and perfect forms). This advanced level of grammar is used in everyday tasks and commentaries, such as expressing opinions, concerns, recommendations, obligations, and wishes. Spoken and written narratives describing past and current events, as well as hopes and plans for the future offer the students a lively and engaging context to further master their linguistic, cultural and vocabulary skills. Students assume more personal responsibility in demonstrating their mastery of Spanish.
Advanced Placement Spanish (H51500) 1 credit
Prerequisite(s): Spanish IV or teacher’s recommendation Elective credit
This course is designed to prepare students for taking the Advanced Placement Exam administered by the College Board in May. Students attain an advanced level of fluency in Spanish through an integration of speaking, listening, reading, and writing while performing multiple linguistic and analytical tasks. This course parallels the rigor and commitment of a third-year college level course, and is conducted entirely in Spanish. Course materials include AP Spanish exam texts, listening exercises, and workbook activities and practice tests.
Chinese I (H53100) 1 credit
Students learn the Chinese phonetic system for accurate pronunciation and intonation; Chinese writing system for accurate character wiring and character deconstruction; and Chinese typing for communication through electronic devices and formal presentation of writing in Chinese. Students learn 700 Chinese characters in this course; master the basic Chinese grammatical concepts; master the skills in phonetics, writing and typing; write essays with 100-150 words; and conduct introductions and brief daily conversations in Chinese.
Chinese II (H53200) 1 credit
Prerequisite(s): Chinese I Elective credit
Chinese II focuses on the four language skills, listening, speaking, reading and writing, so that students communicate accurately in Chinese. Students learn 1,000 Chinese characters and participate in comprehension exercises and speaking drills. They master Chinese grammatical concepts, understand character formation and deconstruction, gain awareness of Chinese culture imbedded in Chinese, write essays in Chinese with 300-350 words, analyze matters, make comments on events, and express opinions.
Chinese III (H53500) 1 credit
Prerequisite(s): Chinese II Elective credit
Chinese III is the ultimate level of Pre-Advanced Placement Chinese language course which prepares students for Advanced Placement Chinese Language and Culture. This comprehensive curriculum is implemented in an immersion environment in which students are encouraged speak only Chinese in class to ensure and enhance their learning effectiveness. Approximately 90% of the instructional time of this course is conducted in Chinese, which includes language drills, class discussions, movie analysis, cultural discussions, surveys, learning team assignments, listening and reading comprehension assessments, and situational dialogues; and 10% of the instructional time is in English for explaining grammar rules, assignment rubrics, sentence structures, and new vocabulary. Besides emphasizing students’ listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, this course also emphasizes students’ efficiency and accuracy in Chinese typing. Chinese cultural studies are included in the curriculum of this course so that students’ multicultural awareness is strengthened in the teaching and learning process.
Advanced Placement Chinese (H53300) 1 credit
Prerequisite(s): Chinese III Elective credit
This yearlong AP class is the equivalent of a college sophomore year course. Students align language proficiencies in listening, speaking, reading and writing with the five goals, communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities through the three communicative modes, interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational. Instructional materials include signs, advertisements, posters, books, magazines, e-mails, video clips, films, and announcements made in Chinese speaking communities, as well as written texts from newspapers, magazines, and contemporary literature. China has a history of five thousand years with close connections to its language. China’s history, culture, and contemporary development enhance students’ learning effectiveness in language. This course integrates cultural elements throughout the academic year to develop students’ perspectives on China’s national and international issues, Chinese people’s daily lives, and other topics.