Languages

The goal of the Pingree School Language Department is to educate students to be conversant in their chosen foreign language of French, Spanish, or Mandarin Chinese. Students are required to fulfill three consecutive levels of a language.

The Language Department encourages the use of the target language in the classroom at all times. The focus of language courses is the development of the four language skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The incorporation of cultural studies brings the language to life and allows students to make connections to today’s multicultural, multilingual world. Technology is used in a variety of ways to enhance student learning. Extensive use is made of the Language Lab.

Pingree maintains exchanges with schools in Colmar, France, Barcelona, Spain, and Taichung City, Taiwan, among others. Students are encouraged to apply to these programs through Learning Across Borders.

French

French I

This first level course is designed for those students who are either starting the language or who have some background but need greater reinforcement of basic skills. Emphasis from the start is on all four-language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students will also explore the cultures of France and other French-speaking countries. The program includes short reading selections and specific programs for listening and pronunciation practice. Audio materials, communicative activities, and videos are used to reinforce concepts.

French II

In this second level course, students continue to strengthen all four-language skills. Emphasis is placed on further developing speaking and listening skills. Students begin writing short essays while sharpening control of essential grammar. Further study of French and Francophone culture is included. Audio materials, communicative activities, and videos are used to enhance the classroom experience and increase cultural awareness. Short Story selections are used as reading reinforcement.

French III

In this intensive third level course, students continue to strengthen proficiency in their language skills and to broaden their knowledge of Francophone cultures. All four- language skills are emphasized as students acquire more complex grammar and vocabulary. Audio materials and internet-based listening and self-recording exercises are used to reinforce concepts, enhance the material, and increase cultural awareness. A collection of short stories as well as popular French-language movies are used as reading and speaking reinforcements. As part of this advanced class, students are required to participate regularly in class discussions in French. Also offered: Honors French III.

French IV

This fourth level course includes the study of more complex grammatical structures and the further development of proficiency in all four language skills. Vocabulary is expanded through the reading of short stories and the viewing of short theme-based and feature films from the Francophone world. Throughout the year, students write short essays and do oral presentations on a variety of topics to expand their written and speaking skills. Also offered: Honors French IV.

Advanced French Language Seminars

Advanced French Language Seminars are designed to allow students to apply the material they have learned in the first three levels of French while discovering the literature, art, history, and cultures of the francophone world. Prerequisite: completion of French 3 or French 3 Honors and/or departmental recommendation. Students may choose to enroll in one, two, or three trimesters. New seminars are offered every year, therefore students are able to enroll in a full year of seminars two years in a row.

Courses Offered;

Mythes, contes, et légendes médiévales

Le Cinéma de la Nouvelle Vague

La Cuisine et la Culture de France


AP French V

This intensive advanced placement course is designed to prepare students to perform at the advanced level of proficiency in the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. A thorough review of complex grammatical structures is included. Students write longer, more refined essays and do weekly readings selected from cultural and literary excerpts and current news articles from the Internet. The language lab is used extensively for repeated practice in speaking and listening. This course prepares students for the French Language AP examination.

Spanish

Beginning Spanish I

This introductory, first level course is designed for students who are beginning their study of Spanish, or for those who require reinforcement of basic skills. No prior knowledge of the language is expected. Emphasis in this course is on all four language skills - reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students will develop competence in interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes of communication. Vocabulary is practiced in a thematic and communicative way and grammar is learned incrementally to enhance students’ ability to share their thoughts and ideas, and to ask questions of others. At this level, students will begin to explore cultural and geographic elements of the Spanish-speaking world. Exclusive usage of Spanish is the ultimate goal, but English may be used to clarify certain concepts.


Spanish I

This first level course is designed for students who have already begun their study of the Spanish language at an introductory level. There will be a strong emphasis on students’ ability to communicate verbally. Practice with reading, writing, listening, and speaking will enhance students’ competence in interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes of communication. Vocabulary is practiced in a thematic and communicative way and grammar is learned incrementally to enhance students’ ability to share their thoughts and ideas, and to ask questions of others. At this level, students will explore cultural and geographic elements of the Spanish-speaking world. This course will be conducted in Spanish.

Spanish II

In this second level course, students will continue to strengthen their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills, while exploring cultural elements of the Spanish-speaking world. Students review past grammar and also learn new, more advanced material through a gradual exposure to abstract concepts. Vocabulary continues to be taught in a thematic way with a strong emphasis on contextual application both aurally and orally. Students should expect to read authentic texts from Spain and Latin America, and to write short compositions in the target language. Students are encouraged to work creatively as they develop their skills in interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communication. With rare exceptions, this course will be conducted in Spanish. Also offered: Advanced Spanish II.

Spanish III

In this third level course, students will strengthen their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills while broadening their knowledge of the Spanish-speaking world. Advanced grammar and vocabulary are presented through thematic units that incorporate information that will elevate students’ skills development and cultural awareness simultaneously. Readings from Spain and Latin America of moderate difficulty will be utilized for context in students’ compositions and in in-class discussions. Students will view short films and will be exposed to authentic materials from Spanish-language magazines, newspapers, and video clips. At this level, students are expected to demonstrate greater independence with the language and will use it creatively, and with attention to authentic uses as they develop their skills in interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communication. This course will be conducted entirely in Spanish. Also offered: Honors Spanish III.

Honors Spanish IV

In this intensive fourth level course, students will study the more advanced and complex grammatical aspects of the Spanish language in depth, and will gain advanced proficiency in all four language skills- reading, writing, listening, and speaking. This course is designed to expand students’ vocabulary and prepare students for the AP level. In addition, students will read and critique a variety of excerpts and short stories, and will view a variety of short films in Spanish. Throughout the year, students will write essays and will do regular presentations on topics from the Spanish-speaking world. As part of this advanced class, students are required to participate regularly in class discussions in Spanish. After successfully completing this course, students will be prepared to take the Spanish SAT subject test.

Advanced Spanish Language Seminars

Advanced Spanish Language Seminars are trimester-length courses designed to allow students to apply the material they have learned in the first three levels of Spanish while discovering the literature, art, history, and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. Prerequisite: Completion of Spanish 3 or Spanish 3 Honors, and/or departmental approval. Students may choose to enroll in one, two or three trimesters. New seminars are offered every year, therefore students are able to enroll in a full year of seminars two years in a row.

Courses Offered:

El Mundo Literario

Obras en Pantalla

Noticias y Debate

AP Spanish V

The objective of this intensive Advanced Placement course is to enable students to develop a strong command of the Spanish language and to prepare them for advanced Spanish studies at the college level. In this class, students regularly practice speaking, listening, reading and writing in formal and informal settings. The Spanish Language and Culture AP Examination assesses students on language and culture of the Spanish speaking world through topics dealing with Global Challenges, Science and Technology, Contemporary Life, Personal and Public Identities, Families and Communities, and Beauty and Aesthetics. Literary focus will be on short stories by prominent Spanish and Latin American writers, such as Imbert, Dolón, Jiménez, Rulfo, Adolph, Cortázar, and Márquez. In addition, a variety of authentic resources, such as: newspapers, magazines, podcasts, advertisements, music, and video clips, will be used to strengthen cultural awareness. Grammar and vocabulary will be developed through contextualized study.

H-Conversational Spanish

This trimester-long conversational course will emphasize oral communication in a variety of topics that are of interest to the students. This interactive course will help students learn key phrases and vocabulary, as well as helpful hints related to speaking the language. In the past, topics for discussion have included vocabulary and phrases related to travelling, giving/receiving directions, describing people and places, talking in general social situations, cooking Latin America/Spanish food, and navigating a restaurant situation.Students do not need to have any experience with Spanish in order to take this course.

Chinese

Mandarin Chinese I

This beginner level course is designed for those students who are starting Chinese or who have had little previous Chinese language background. Emphasis from the start is on all four-language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Communicative activities are used to reinforce basic concepts, enhance the classroom experience, and increase cultural awareness. Students also learn to look up words on-line for correct usage and to type Chinese characters.

Mandarin Chinese II

In this second level course, students continue to strengthen all four-language skills. Emphasis is placed on writing skills and control of essential grammar. Reading, listening and speaking skills are further developed and deeper study of the culture of the Chinese world is included. Communicative activities are used to reinforce basic concepts, enhance the classroom experience, and increase cultural awareness. Students will continue to look up words for correct usage and to type Chinese characters online.

Mandarin Chinese III

In this third level course, students will continue to strengthen all four-language skills. Heavier emphasis will be placed on writing skills and control of more advanced grammar. Reading, listening and speaking skills will be further developed and study of the culture of the Chinese world will continue to be stressed. Communicative activities will reinforce basic concepts, enhance the classroom experience, and increase cultural awareness. Students will continue to look up words for correct usage and to type Chinese characters online.

Mandarin Chinese IV

In this fourth level course, students will continue to strengthen all four-language skills. Speaking fluency will be heavily stressed. Reading and listening skills will be further broadened and study of the culture of the Chinese world will continue to be a focal point. Communicative activities will reinforce basic concepts, enhance the classroom experience, and increase cultural awareness. Heavier emphasis will also be placed on control of advanced grammar. More complex sentences will be emphasized at this level and various themes and advanced vocabulary will be introduced.

Honors Mandarin Chinese V

In this intensive fifth level course, students will study the more complex grammatical aspects of the language in depth and will gain more advanced proficiency in all four-language skills. This course is designed to expand students’ vocabulary extensively. Reading and listening skills will be further broadened and the study of the culture of the Chinese world will continue to be a focal point. A variety of audio and video materials will be used to reinforce concepts and expand cultural awareness. Students will also write compositions based on the thematic vocabulary. As part of this advanced class, students will be required to participate in class discussions in the target language.