MHS World Languages Department

The high school education experience is deepened by the study of languages and their cultures. The World Language program is designed to forge students’ language proficiency level in the language students choose to learn. To build and maintain an intellectually challenging and diverse academic environment, classes are taught through the communicative approach with a great emphasis on performance and project-based tasks because an immersion experience produces the best proficiency result. The language program is committed not only to developing communication activities that promote socialization and acquisition of information in a second language, but also to introducing students to diversity of thought and experience as students analyze literary texts, evaluate multiple points of view through films, appreciate diversity and think critically as participants in interdisciplinary events, local and international field trips, exchange programs in China, Costa Rica, France and Spain, gaining perspective and judgement about their own language and culture as well. Language classes help student become a globally cultured, diversity-sensitive individual ready to meet the demands of an increasingly interdependent world community.

Spanish 1

This is an introductory course in which students develop a basic understanding of the Spanish language so that they begin to communicate about aspects of everyday life. Students perform tasks that stress speaking, listening and reading skills. Students are presented with a variety of cultural experiences that will provide insight and appreciation of the Spanish-speaking world.

Spanish 2 / Spanish 2 Honors

In level 2 students improve their understanding of written and spoken Spanish by acquiring more skills and topical vocabulary. While practicing all four language skills, students demonstrate mastery of the principles of Spanish as language learners study and use patterns of a variety of verb tenses and more complex structures. The use of language sites and films provide students an opportunity to gain more insight into Spanish-speaking cultures and be exposed to the diversity and peculiarities of the Spanish-speaking world.


Spanish

Spanish for Communication

This course is designed to be a conversational course that enhances the student’s understanding of the language and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. The focus is basic conversational Spanish through the utilization of authentic materials and cultural components such as films, music, art and cuisine. Evaluations may include situational dialogues, movie reviews, posters, announcements, recipes, and other practical activities.

Spanish 3 / Spanish 3 Honors

This course is designed to improve your developing speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in Spanish. You will have the opportunity to work on thematic vocabulary units to enhance communication in public situations. You will practice actively communicating about past, present and future events as you master the mechanics and become proficient in the target language. Authentic Spanish materials, such as audio sound and video clips of native speakers, will continue to aid in the development of your understanding of Hispanic culture and mastery in the language.

Spanish 4 / Spanish 4 Honors

You have passed the Regents and are now ready for more advanced work. Students will thoroughly review the elements of grammar, and will learn the skills needed to pursue more advanced studies. You will read short stories, magazine articles and other writings of well-known Hispanic authors, as well as view films and documentaries in Spanish. Oral and written presentations are required. The rigor of the Spanish 4 Honors curriculum is intended to prepare the students for entrance into AP Spanish Language.

College Spanish / Spanish 5

This course provides college-level instruction at the 200 level. The focus is on developing fluency and the ability to function in a Spanish-speaking environment. The course emphasizes the acquisition of skills for listening, reading, speaking and writing in Spanish. In addition, the principles of Spanish grammar are reviewed. Students will be exposed to a variety of readings to increase socio-cultural awareness. Written assignments are presented to emphasize creative expression within the language. Films related to various cultural topics are included to stimulate class discussions in Spanish. The course is administered through the State University of New York at Albany. Students may earn four college credits. This class is for students who wish to continue their language learning experience without the constraints of the Advanced Placement course.

AP Spanish Language

This course is designed to parallel the skill development of a third year college Spanish course in advanced composition and conversation. It focuses on the mastery of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Successful AP students must demonstrate a high level of ability in all four language skills. The AP course requires that students read edited and unedited literary and journalistic prose, understand lectures and conversational language, participate in class discussions and conversations, and write essays in Spanish of at least 250 words. Students are required to take the Advanced Placement exam in May.

Native Spanish Levels 1, 2, and 3

To be truly bilingual is a talent and valuable skill in today’s job market. In this course you will improve your proficiency in reading and writing skills for your future college/career choices. At each level, students will read classical and contemporary literature, as well as current magazine and newspaper articles. Students will write compositions, essays and business letters. Students will make oral presentations on selected topics and view films from Spain and Latin America. Upon completion of this course, some students from Level 3 will be eligible to take the Advanced Placement course the following year or the exam in May.


Chinese

Chinese 1

This is an introductory course in which students will develop a basic understanding of the Chinese language. Students will be introduced to the Chinese sound system and will focus on mastering basic characters and their tones. Students will acquire a basic vocabulary repertoire, 200 characters, which will allow them to communicate about aspects of everyday life. Although all four skills will be practiced, speaking and listening skills are stressed, so class preparation is essential for a successful year. In level 1, students will engage in classroom activities designed to help them use the target language and will reinforce what has been presented in class by doing nightly assignments and preparing projects. Through enrichment materials students will explore Chinese traditions which will provide awareness and appreciation of the Chinese culture.

Chinese 2

You will continue to build on the vocabulary and grammar learned in Chinese 1 and to explore Chinese culture. You will learn tense and aspect markers to be able to describe present, past and future events. You will have conversations about food, prices, shopping and aspects of school life. You will learn 250 new characters.

Chinese 3

Students will finish learning basic grammar structures, such as modal verbs, verb complements, comparatives and the passive voice. Students will be expected to carry on fluent

conversations about weather, sports, postal services, doctors and medications. They will learn to extend invitations and make appointments by phone. Students will write notes, letters and short stories. They will begin to learn simplified characters. They will learn 300 new characters.

Chinese 4

Students will continue to develop oral and written communication skills. They will explore advanced grammar topics and learn to discuss festivals and celebrations, telecommunications, entertainment and all aspects of travel. Students will use authentic reading materials, including short newspaper articles. Students will learn 300 new characters.

Chinese 5

Students will develop advanced communication skills, such as arguing, convincing, persuading, debating and interviewing. Students will learn 300 new characters, read short literary texts, poems and newspaper articles, and write book reviews and movie critiques. Emphasis will be placed on making the transition to college courses.


French

French 1

Students will be introduced to the French sound system and will concentrate on mastering basic pronunciation. Students will learn to understand and to take part in everyday conversations. Students will engage in classroom activities designed to help them actively practice new work and will reinforce what has been learned in class by doing nightly assignments. Through enrichment materials students will begin to discover the cultures of the French-speaking areas of the world.

French 2 / French 2 Honors

In this class students will explore the variety of situations they would encounter living in a French- speaking country. Students will study French geography; learn how to describe their daily routine in detail and master expressing themselves in the past. Students will greatly expand their vocabulary and ability to speak and write grammatically correct French. Students will have nightly assignments to reinforce and practice what is presented in class.

French 3 / French 3 Honors

Students will continue to learn French through a communicative approach and will prepare for the French Regents exam, which they will take in June. Students will learn more complex grammatical structures and practice them both in class and at home. They will sharpen their written and oral skills, read literature and timely articles, see video clips and learn to discuss everyday events in French while broadening their awareness and understanding of the Francophone world.

French 4 / French 4 Honors

This course builds on all skills previously developed. Emphasis is placed on speaking on a wide range of current event topics. Students will view films, see newscasts (recorded from the “France 2” news program) and read selections from French literature. Grammar will be reviewed and studied in greater depth. The emphasis is on mastery.

French 5 / College French

This is a college level (200) course offered in conjunction with SUNY Albany’s “University in the High School Program” in which students have the option to earn four college credits for advanced work in French. Written and oral expression are basic components of the course as is a systematic review of grammar. The text emphasizes communication and cultural awareness. Timely newspaper articles (from lemonde.fr), France 2 news clips, and feature length Francophone films will supplement and reinforce the cultural content of the course. This class is for students who wish to continue their language learning experience without the constraints of the Advanced Placement course.

AP French

This course is designed to parallel the skill development of a third year college French course in advanced composition and conversation. It focuses on the mastery of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Successful Advanced Placement students must demonstrate a high level of ability in all four language skills. The Advanced Placement course requires that students read edited and unedited literary and journalistic prose, understand lectures and conversational language, participate in class discussions and conversations, and write essays in French of at least 250 words. Students are required to take the Advanced Placement exam in May.

Powered by Finalsite