World Languages

World Languages

The World Languages Department provides students with an awareness of and sensitivity towards the cultural and linguistic diversity of an increasingly interconnected world. Language courses offer an exciting academic and cultural experience for students. Through these courses students will be empowered to experience the richness of the world and to take advantage of global opportunities for individual growth and world citizenship. Language proficiency can make the difference in obtaining challenging and exciting employment in business and industry, government, engineering, education and international organizations.

All language courses focus on the four basic communicative skills—listening, speaking, reading and writing—with an emphasis on vocabulary and structure. Students who continue language study throughout high school will reach an advanced level of proficiency. In addition, all language courses promote the understanding of other cultures and a deeper appreciation of one’s own culture.

Sophomores, juniors and seniors also have the extraordinary opportunity to experience home and school life in France, Germany or Spain through the PEACE (Partners in Education and Cultural Exchange) program. Language teachers will provide more information about these exciting exchange opportunities.

Students must earn one credit of language in order to graduate with a Local or Regents diploma. Successful completion of three units of language and an exam for Regents credit will fulfill the language requirement for an Advanced Regents Diploma.

ENGLISH AS A NEW LANGUAGE (EnL)
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12     1 year     1 credit
All students who have a language other than English spoken at home will be given a speaking proficiency screening. Students who qualify on the NYSITELL test will be enrolled in ENL, and will be assessed again in May to determine continued eligibility. The curriculum emphasis includes a focus on academic listening and speaking, presentation skills (for group and class work), close reading and comprehension of academic texts, and refining academic and literary writing. The class will focus on student needs and on strengthening participation in the school academic environment.

COURSE LEVEL I FRENCH/GERMAN/SPANISH
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12      1 year      1 credit
This course is the first step in the language sequence. The curriculum includes the study of the vocabulary and structures from the NYS Syllabus for Modern Language topics. Students work toward proficiency in the four communication skills. Communication in the target language and knowledge of the target culture are stressed.

COURSE LEVEL II FRENCH/GERMAN/SPANISH
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12     1 year     1 credit
Course level II is the second step in the language sequence. This course continues to emphasize all four communicative skills bringing the students to a stronger level of proficiency. Students will start to be able to express themselves beyond simple phrases and structures. Cultural understandings and sensitivities continue to be developed.

COURSE LEVEL III FRENCH/GERMAN/SPANISH
Grades 10, 11, 12     1 year     1 credit
In course level III, students continue to work towards an intermediate level of proficiency in the language. By the end of this course, students will be able to communicate beyond simple phrases and structures about a variety of topics and be able to demonstrate a sensitivity to tense and nuance. All four communication skills are studied and there is strong emphasis on oral/aural skills. An exam for Regents credit is taken at the conclusion of this course.


Advanced-Level Electives

In order to truly be able to communicate and function in another language, students should continue their language study beyond level three. The curriculum in these courses will educate them for a world in which a more sophisticated understanding of other cultures has become increasingly important. These courses reinforce skills in listening, reading, speaking, writing, grammar and vocabulary, while also introducing students to more advanced and sophisticated language structures and nuance.

The following six advanced language courses are taught in the languages of study (French, German or Spanish). In addition to regular assignments and assessments, a high level of oral participation is mandatory in all advanced language courses. For this reason, these courses are recommended for students who have maintained a 75% or better average in their level 3 courses or have received teacher recommendation.

La Paella de Cultura
Grades 11, 12     1 year     1 credit
3 UHS credits offered through SUNY Oswego
Just as a paella is made up of more than simple rice, the culture of a country contains many hidden perspectives or “ingredients.” This exciting course will explore various cultural aspects of the Hispanic countries and Spain through literature, music, cultural events, food, film and art. The course offers the opportunity to improve speaking, pronunciation and listening skills in a comfortable environment through the use of informal roundtable discussion. Students will also advance their reading and writing skills through fictional stories, children’s books, cultural readings and individualized grammar instruction. Students may develop a more personal understanding of their own language and culture as they continue to discover that of the Hispanic world. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the Spanish exam for Regents credit.

¡Temas y Tapas!
Grades 11, 12     1 year     1 credit
3 UHS credits offered through SUNY Oswego
Just as an order of “tapas” allows you to sample some of the many flavors of a country, students in this course will sample a variety of themes and ideas to explore the various “flavors” and perspectives of culture. From the ancient civilizations of Mexico to modern day Spain, this course will open doors to the Spanish-speaking world in new and interesting ways. Students will sample cultural aspects of Spain and Latin America through film, children’s literature, music, cultural events, literature, art and culinary arts. The course offers the opportunity to improve speaking, pronunciation and grammar skills in a non-threatening way through the use of songs, informal discussions, formal and informal writings and targeted grammar study. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the Spanish exam for Regents credit.

FLEUR DE LIS: FRENCH LANGUAGE & CULTURE IN NORTH AMERICA
Grades 11, 12      1 year     1 credit
3 UHS credits offered through SUNY Oswego
Who are the Acadians, the Cajuns and the Quebecois? How has the French culture and language, as symbolized by the fleur de lis, endured and blossomed in North America despite the predominant Anglo cultures that surround it? In this course students will explore the history and traditions of these francophone cultures through discussions, journaling, films, guest speakers and literature study. Students will discover the importance of music as a guardian of language, culture and traditions. Students will advance their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary through analysis of lyrics and will improve their speaking and pronunciation skills in a non-threatening way. Response journals and specific grammar study will help students in their language development. Active class participation is mandatory. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the French exam for Regents credit.

THE SHAPING OF CONTEMPORARY FRANCE
Grades 11, 12     1 year     1 credit
3 UHS credits offered through SUNY Oswego
This course is designed for students who have passed the French exam for Regents credit and are interested in exploring a variety of topics related to modern France. They will discover how certain events shaped the life and thinking of the French people through topics such as films, songs, poetry, short novel excerpts and current issues. Students will have many opportunities to step into the shoes of a French citizen. Though the course will be taught in French, students will not feel overwhelmed. They will be encouraged to use the French language freely. Active participation, curiosity and creativity will be nurtured. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the French exam for Regents credit.

DU BIST DEUTSCHLAND
Grades 11, 12     1 year     1 credit
3 UHS credits offered through SUNY Oswego
This course stresses the basic skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing to develop students’ senses of language and its relationship to culture. Instruction in the German language helps students gain an awareness of the significance of grammar, syntax, idiom and different levels of diction. The course will focus on German-speaking countries’ specific historical experiences and on their contributions to literature, other arts (such as film, music, painting) and many other areas including regional cuisine. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the German exam for Regents credit.

GERMAN CHARACTER & CULTURE
Grades 11, 12     1 year     1 credit
3 UHS credits offered through SUNY Oswego
Germany is the most populous nation in Europe. It also has the most vital economy. Don’t forget about Germany’s ancient, yet varied, and vibrant culture! In this class students will explore this fascinating country and language on a variety of levels. The course will be taught in both German and English with an emphasis on culture. Students will explore current events, the German political system, dialect, cuisine, history, art, and literature. They will also have the opportunity to improve speaking and grammar skills in a non-threatening way through the use of songs, sayings, films, informal discussions, formal and informal writings, projects, and some targeted grammar study. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the German exam for Regents credit.

MANDARIN I CHINESE
Grades 11, 12      1 year      1 credit
This class introduces students to the official language of the People’s Republic of China. It focuses on Checkpoint A of the NYS Syllabus and provides students who have no prior knowledge of Chinese the tools they will need to further their study of Mandarin at the high school or college level. Students will learn “pinyin” which is the official Chinese phonetic spelling system that uses the English alphabet. They will also learn to read and write Chinese characters in a simplified version that is used in mainland China. Successful students will be able to carry on basic conversations in Chinese by employing the vocabulary and grammatical structures learned in the course. Students will also be able to read and write simple paragraphs in Chinese characters. Students will also be exposed to a variety of aspects of ancient and modern Chinese culture. This course may be offered through a Distance Learning model of instruction. Prerequisite: Students must have earned three credits in French, German, or Spanish.

MANDARIN II CHINESE
Grades 11, 12     1 year     1 credit
3 UHS credits offered through Carnegie
This class presents an opportunity for students who have successfully completed Chinese Language and Culture (or Mandarin I) to further their abilities to read, write, speak, and understand Mandarin. Mandarin II continues to emphasize Checkpoint A of the NYS syllabus. It also reviews and expands the work of Mandarin I by building and strengthening students’ communication skills, as well as their understanding and mastery of grammatical structures. In Mandarin II, students participate regularly in, and are expected to understand, longer conversations. The course also increases the level at which students translate, write and read. As part of the requirements for this course, students write short essays, letters, and dialogues employing the vocabulary and sentence structures learned in both their first level and this course. Cultural material is presented through the textbooks, class discussion, various forms of media, and first-hand accounts of those who were born in or have lived in China.