Modern & Classical Languages 2016-2017



Chinese I
2 terms, solid, 1 credit, B

Chinese 1 introduces students to the Chinese phonetic system of pronunciation and tones. It also gives them a brief picture of the Chinese the writing system (characters). The textbook is supplemented by a students’ workbook and an audio CD. The phonetic system pinyin is used to help students master pronunciation and learning skills. A planned sequence of basic grammatical structures is introduced and constantly reinforced and reviewed. Students are taught to read and write 300 characters by the end of the course. Frequent oral and written tests along with basic communication tasks are part of the course. Also, basic knowledge about Chinese society and culture is introduced through videos and cuisine. At the end of the semester, students should be able to carry out very basic conversations in Mandarin Chinese relating to greetings, self-introduction, family, numbers, and school.


Chinese II
2 terms, solid, 1 credit, B

This is a continuation of Chinese 1 utilizing the same textbook. More grammatical structures and another 300 characters are taught as students go further with Chinese characters in terms of their structures and backgrounds. Students are required to have their computers equipped with the Chinese typing program and the Chinese keyboard is introduced. At the end of the course, students should be able to write Chinese with their computer and carry out simple daily conversations concerning age, zodiac, animals, food, clothes, vehicles, colors, shopping, locations, and time in Mandarin Chinese. They should also be able to write in simple Chinese.


Chinese III
2 terms, solid, 1 credit, B

Maintaining the same textbook, Chinese 3 continues the sequence. Students will learn to read and write an additional 400 characters and will display their knowledge of the spoken language in a variety of classroom exercises. Key grammatical structures will continue to be introduced. Further education of Chinese society and culture also continues. By the end of the course, students will be able to carry out simple conversations on everyday topics (directions, housing, weather, vacations, and school life) in Mandarin Chinese. They should also be able to write a focused narrative using major grammatical structures.


Advanced Composition in Chinese
2 terms, solid, 1 credit

The emphasis in this course is on writing the Chinese language at an advanced level.  Through models of style, related grammar, examples of usage and exercises for writing practice, students will develop a feel for the structure needed to write correctly in Chinese.  It is also a training class for Chinese key board skill - typing Chinese in a prompt and efficient way.  The reading references cover a variety of authentic works and articles, including some pieces which are similar to AP Chinese readings.  This is a one term course, open to students who have successfully completed Chinese III.

AP Chinese Language and Culture
3 terms, solid, 1.5 credit, C

A continuation of Chinese 3, this course begins with a review of previously studied concepts. More key grammatical structures and an additional 400 characters are taught. Students go deeper with the Chinese way of thought in both language and culture. Short, type-written essays in Chinese are required on regular basis. By the end of the course, students should be able to carry on conversations concerning Chinese language, culture, art, music, and songs and will take the AP Chinese Language and Culture exam in May.



Discovering French 1
2 terms, solid, 1 credit, A

Students will discover the wonders of francophone culture and the French language through the study and use of basic vocabulary and essential grammar points, all taken contextually from authentic visual and audio sources such as advertisements, recipes, songs and television shows.


Exploring French 2
2 terms, solid, 1 credit, B

The voyage towards proficiency in French continues with more in-depth exploration of vocabulary and grammar through an increased use of French in all four skill areas, while investigating more complex and sophisticated cultural topics such as authentic French literature and current events.


Living French 3
2 terms, solid, 1 credit, B 

Having successfully navigated the first two levels of French study, students are now prepared to live the language in an authentic manner.  Just as a native Quebecoise, Algerien, Senegalais or Francaise might do, students will read authentic sources such as letters or magazine articles, listen to authentic sources such as podcasts, write professional emails and persuasive essays, and make oral presentations comparing different cultures. 


French 4 (Choose from four one-term courses)

Advanced Topics in French: Cinema
1 term, solid, ½ credit, B 

Students will study Francophone films covering a variety of directors, genres and time periods.  Examples from recent years include Truffaut's Jules et Jim, Nuyetten's Camille Claudel and Kassovitz's La Haine.  At the end of the course, students will have an understanding of French film history and be able to make intelligent contributions to discussions about French cinema. 


Advanced Topics in French: Cuisine
1 term, solid, ½ credit, B

Students will study the culture of various francophone regions through the lens of food.  They will have the opportunity to hone all of their French skills while learning about the cuisine of France, Senegal, Quebec, and the like.  This student-centered, project-based class also affords students the opportunity to prepare their own francophone dishes while discovering the rich culture of food in the French speaking world. 


Advanced Topics in French: Culture
1 term, solid, ½ credit, B 

With the study of francophone cultures and histories as the context, students will increase their knowledge of and familiarity with topics of interest relevant to college level French.  This course is an introduction to cultural literacy of the francophone world.  Student input will help to determine the themes explored. 


Advanced Placement French Language and Culture
3 terms, solid, 1½ credits, B

The AP French Language and Culture course engages students in an exploration of culture in both contemporary and historical contexts. The course develops students' awareness and appreciation of cultural products, both tangible (e.g., tools, books, music) and intangible (e.g., laws, conventions, institutions); practices (patterns of social interaction within a culture); and perspectives. When communicating, students in the AP French Language and Culture course demonstrate an understanding of the cultures(s), incorporate interdisciplinary topics, make comparisons between the native language and the target language and between cultures, and use the target language in real-life settings. The three modes of communication (Interpersonal, Interpretive and Presentational) are foundational to the AP French Language and Culture course. Course work provides students with opportunities to demonstrate their proficiency in each of the three modes in the Intermediate to Pre-Advanced range.



Advanced Placement German
3 terms, solid, 1½ credit, C 

The course is similar to German 3, but the reading makes greater demands upon the students, challenging their comprehension, interpretation, thinking, and sensitivity to expression. The reading represents the best not only in German literature but also in world literature.



Latin 1
2 terms, solid, 1 credit, B 

Latin 1 includes a study of grammar fundamentals and the reading of simple Latin prose passages. Readings contain information about ancient Rome, while cultural sections in English provide a contextual background for learning the language. The course is intended to prepare students to read Latin literature and to improve their command of the English language by studying the derivation of English words from Latin.


Latin 2
2 terms, solid, 1 credit, B 

Latin 2 provides a thorough review of material studied in Latin 1 and presents new forms and syntax to prepare the student to translate Latin literature. In this course, students begin to examine passages of original Latin, while continuing to learn about the life and customs of the ancient Romans through their readings. The course further emphasizes the linguistic relationship and debt of the English language to Latin.


Latin 3 / Honors Latin 3
2 terms, solid, 1 credit, C

Honors Latin 3 embark on the final book of the Ecce Romani series, building on the first two years of study, and focuses on the reading of authentic Latin texts. Readings begin with selections of Roman history from the 4th century A.D. writer Eutropius, and continue with writings from some of the most important authors or the late Republic and early Empire, including Cicero, Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar, and Petronius. Students also gain an introduction to Latin poetry through the writings of Catullus, Horace, Vergil and Ovid, some of the finest poets of Western civilization. The book concludes with selections from Pliny, whose letters chronicle the devastating eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Both courses use the same text and workbook, with the primary differences being pacing and the quantity of material covered. Honors Latin 3 is designed to prepared students to advance to the AP course.


Latin Lyric Poetry
1 term, solid, 1/2 credit

The course will include selections from the Roman poets Catullus and Horace.  The poems of Catullus will treat many topics, including people whose behavior Catullus did not like, what constitutes good poetry, and affection for his friends or anger at people who betrayed him.  Most, however, will revolve around his passionate love affair with a woman who he refers to in his poems as Lesbia.  Many of the selected poems of Horace, one of the great poets of the Augustan Age, reflect the Epicurean philosophy and his literary preoccupation with the ineluctability and universality of death, in which he exhorts the reader to adopt the Epicurean view of enjoying live while one can and living for the moment.  In addition to translation and analyzing poems, students will learn the rules of prosody and figures of speech found in Latin poetry. 

Advanced Placement Latin
3 terms, solid, 1½ credit, C

AP Latin devotes three terms to an in-depth study of two Roman authors, one prose writer (Caesar), and one poet (Vergil).  The class will read selections from Caesar's De Bello Gallico, the collected reports about his campaigns in the conquest of Gaul, for years a standard school text admired for its straightforward Latin and for its historical interest. For the Vergil section of the course, we will read excerpts from the Aeneid, lingering over many of the epic's most compelling passages, including the description of the fall of Troy and the account of Aeneas's ill-fated love affair with Carthaginian queen Dido.  Class discussions will revolve around some of the dominant themes of Roman literature:  the discord between personal choice and civic obligation, the relationship between human beings and the gods, and the brutal martial reality involved in establishing and maintaining an empire.  This course prepares students to take the College Board Advanced Placement exam in Latin.



Spanish 1
2 terms, solid, 1 credit, B

This is the first in a three-year sequence designed to develop communicative competency. The test focuses on basic, high-frequency language functions, and subsequent lessons include cultural briefs and address a unique set of clearly identified language performances. Active participation is encouraged through student-centered activities. Grammar is introduced lexically and then reinforced through a formal explanation of structure. Continual reinforcement of key concepts encourages mastery. Audio files, sound recordings, authentic texts, and written exercises ensure ample practice in all four language skills.


Spanish 2
2 terms, solid, 1 credit, B

This course continues the development of the four language skills begun in the first year. It offers rich and varied ancillaries to guide the student toward proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Culture is incorporated into each lesson, focusing on peninsular as well as Latin American customs and history. In addition to cultural prologues accompanying each lesson, the text includes contemporary active vocabulary in dialogue and narrative style. Grammar exercises and creative vocabulary drills are recorded for classroom use.


Honors Spanish 2
2 terms, solid, 1 credit, B

This course offers the motivated student an in-depth study of Spanish grammar, presented in 14 lessons in which vocabulary and structure are introduced through pictures, dialogues, and reading selections. While understanding and speaking are important goals, increased emphasis is given to broadening the vocabulary base and developing reading and writing skills. Students achieving the course objectives will express themselves with some oral fluency, understand a moderate rate of spoken Spanish, read with comprehension material within their range of interest, and write with a reasonable degree of accuracy.


Spanish 3
2 terms, solid, 1 credit, B

This course includes an interactive, conversationally oriented review focusing on basic, high-frequency vocabulary and structures followed by new vocabulary and more sophisticated grammar structures. Culture is incorporated into each lesson, as is longer narrative material. The student works toward a better command of the spoken language and an improvement in writing skills.


Honors Spanish 3
2 terms, solid, 1 credits, B

This course is a flexible, innovative Spanish program designed for students who have mastered the fundamentals and are ready to apply their abilities. The text includes standard vocabulary as well as colloquial Spanish that students may use for writing about and discussing issues having to do with education, ecology, dating, the media, stereotypes, sports, and the cinema, among others. Some of the more troublesome and complex points of Spanish grammar are featured in each lesson. Students achieving the course objectives will be able to speak and write confidently and with a high degree of accuracy about a variety of topics.


Spanish 4 (Choose from four one-term courses)

Advanced Topics in Spanish: Conversation
1 term, solid, ½ credit, B 

This course will provide students with on-going oral practice intended to strengthen their verbal skills. Topics for this course may include current events in the Spanish-speaking world, art, music, and other topics that serve to broaden the students’ vocabulary base and cultural awareness. This one-term course, conducted entirely in Spanish, is open to students who have successfully completed Spanish 3, 3H, 4, or AP, but enrollment is subject to departmental approval.


Advanced Topics in Spanish: Syntax Review
1 term, solid, ½ credit, B 

The course reviews those grammatical topics in the Spanish language that tend to present particular challenges to speakers of English. Videos, short reading selections, and audio files that integrate grammar in authentic situations will serve as catalysts for topics such as verb tense formation and use, the subjunctive mode, “to be” in Spanish, and other relevant grammar points. This one-term course is open to students who have successfully completed Spanish 3, 3H, 4, or AP, but enrollment is subject to departmental approval.


Advanced Topics in Spanish: Culture and Cuisine 
1 term, solid, ½ credit


This course will explore the histories and resources of Spain and the New World to discover how different Hispanic cuisines have evolved, how these cuisines affect daily life and traditions, their effect on the social structures and economies of these countries and how other cuisines influenced the modern version of “Typical” dishes and menus.

The culminating project will include the development of a menu based on native products from the Americas, planning a small buffet for the Class which will be presented by the class and critiqued by the Spanish Department and the GSI. All instruction and resources used will be in Spanish so a proficiency level in the 4 skills as outlined by the ACTFL is required. A Guest Lecturer, short films and a field trip to the Pilsen Neighbourhood in Chicago are included in this course. 

This one-term course is open to students who have successfully completed Spanish 3, 3H, 4, or AP, but enrollment is subject to departmental approval.


Advanced Topics in Spanish: Literary Genres
1 term, solid, ½ credit, B

The course exposes students to a wealth of literary genres, such as the short story, folk tales, legends, poetry, and drama. These genres will provide a catalyst for a variety of related writing and speaking activities. This course may include guest instructors who will work with students in their genre specialty. The course is conducted entirely in Spanish and is open to students who have successfully completed Spanish 3, 3H, 4, or AP, but enrollment is subject to departmental approval.

 Advanced Topics in Spanish: Hispanic Art
1 term, solid, ½ credit, B

The goal of this course is to explore the wealth of visual arts created by Spanish and Latin American artists. The artists’ works will provide a catalyst for a variety of related writing and speaking activities. Conducted entirely in Spanish, this course is open to students who have successfully completed Spanish 3, 3H, 4, or AP, but enrollment is subject to departmental approval.

 Advanced Placement Spanish Language
3 terms, solid, 1½ credit, C

This course will develop proficiency in Spanish with no specific emphasis on literary analysis. The focus is the development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills with the following objectives: the ability to comprehend formal and informal spoken Spanish; the acquisition of vocabulary and a grasp of structure to allow the easy, accurate reading of a wide range of written material; the ability to compose expository passages; and the ability to express ideas orally with accuracy and fluency.

 Honors Seminar - Modern & Classical Language
2 terms, solid, 1 credit, A

The Honors Seminar in Modern & Classical Languages permits students to expand their knowledge of the target language, literature, and culture by completing a research paper or project under the guidance of an honors advisor.  This course is a solid, 2-term course in which honors candidates will have time to select, develop and complete their paper or project.  A student's topic must be approved by their faculty advisor and then the student will defend their project in the target language (English in the case of a student pursuing Honors in Latin) before a committee from the Department of Modern & Classical Language.

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