Cristina Perez, Department Chair
The benefit of knowing another language contributes to Friends’ Central’s commitment to developing globally minded, culturally aware graduates. Students are required to take two consecutive years of a language, and most take a language for four years. The majority of students enter the Upper School having already completed the first level of French, Spanish, or Latin and further their studies for two more years and beyond to the advanced level. Other students start their language studies or begin a new language in grade 9. In French and Spanish, the curriculum is rich with opportunities for speaking, listening, reading, and writing. In Latin, the focus is on developing translation skills through the mastery of grammatical concepts and the acquisition of vocabulary. Courses in each language range from introductory to advanced literature and analysis.
The process of teaching a modern language begins with the belief that each student can attain advanced proficiency. Our approach is multidisciplinary and contemporary, taking advantage of technology to expose our students to a variety of na tive speakers and cultures and to stress that language is a communication tool. Students are encouraged to speak and write in the target language, gaining confidence in their abilities with practice. Latin is not spoken in class and prose composition is not emphasized. Understanding the cultures of antiquity and the medieval world is essential in placing literary works in context and an important component in instruction.
Each language’s classroom experience is supplemented by opportunities for travel abroad. Latin students may travel to Italy to see the monuments of the Romans – ancient and modern – and read their Latin inscriptions. French and Spanish students may take part in exchange opportunities with schools in Lyon, France and Seville, Spain. Summer service programs in Costa Rica and Peru may also be available to students to further their study of the Spanish language.
Finally, interested students may take part in national language competitions and join clubs such as Le Club Francophone, Latin Club, or the Latino Culture Club.
- Spanish I: Intro to Spanish Language & Culture
- Spanish II
- Spanish II Advanced
- Spanish III
- Spanish III Advanced
- Spanish IV
- The Contemporary Latino Experience
- Spanish: History & Culture of Latin America & Spain Advanced
- Spanish Travel Abroad Opportunity: Spanish Exchange in Sevilla
- Spanish Travel Abroad Opportunity: Peru Trip to Cuzco
In the first year, students develop their communication skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish) while exploring cultural, historical, and contemporary Spanish-speaking identities. The course is project-based, and materials include cultural, geographical and political discussions, skits, games, and video resources to practice, reinforce, and develop the grammar and vocabulary found in the online textbook. When possible, units are integrated with other Friends’ Central curriculum, such as service learning, as it relates to the Spanish-speaking world. Such units might include the impact of climate change on Puerto Rico, musical performances in response to the coronavirus pandemic from Spain and Latin America, and exploring the large, varied Hispanic presence in Philadelphia. Later in the year, the curriculum includes 10-minute films, many of which explore contemporary social issues. One example is Uno, a film about a Spanish fisherman who finds the floating cell phone of an Arab migrant in a story that comments on the refugee crisis in Europe. This course provides a supportive atmosphere to help build community as students develop the confidence to communicate in Spanish while connecting to and learning about the Spanish-speaking world.
This course begins with an extensive formal review of grammar, and students are expected to keep building on foundational vocabulary, verb forms, and grammar structures introduced in Spanish I. Emphasis is given to the development of listening and speaking skills, though much importance is given to developing a connection with the Latin culture. Taught largely in Spanish, this class, like Spanish 1, is project-based. Material includes cultural discussions, skits, games, music, short books and videos all designed to teach Spanish language skills that can be used in everyday life conversation or while traveling. Students will record mini movies, create story books and write their own cartoon strips. Outings might include lunch at a Latin restaurant or visits to local Latin art exhibits, where the Latin culture can be experienced first hand. Students will also partake in the celebration of traditional South American festivities, such as Día de Los Muertos, by making their own Latin dishes in class (this year’s winning recipes included our Mexican Tortilla Soup and our Pastelitos de Guayaba, both of which were highly lauded by students and parents alike!) and creating a variety of Latin crafts, such as giant Mexican flowers, Ojos de Dios tapestries and elaborate Mexican sugar skulls. Play and building a sense of community, of course, are extremely important elements of this class as well. Students will find themselves gaining fluency in Spanish as they play popular Spanish online and in person games, learn songs by artists such as Mana and Juanes and participate in a variety of community building activities.
This course is designed to challenge students who have demonstrated a high level of proficiency during Spanish 1, and is by invitation only. In this course, students expand –in an immersion-style environment – grammatical concepts presented to them during their first-year course. Besides building on listening and speaking skills, an increased focus is given to the acquisition of vocabulary and grammar skills through extensive exposure to reading and writing assignments. This course is project based and designed to encourage students to engage with one another as they become increasingly proficient with Spanish. To supplement the text, students will participate in activities that include cultural discussions, skits, games, music, short books, and videos. Students will work in groups to produce mini movies, create storybooks and even make YouTube vlogs. Outings might include lunch at a Latin restaurant or visits to local Latin art exhibits, where the Latin culture becomes very tangible to all. Students will also partake in celebrations of traditional Latin American festivities such as Día de Los Muertos, making their own Latin dishes during class. Dishes might include Mexican chicken tortilla soup, empanadas, pastelitos de guayaba, chocolate caliente estilo mexicano and more. We will also be working on our creative skills, designing traditional South and Central American crafts such as giant Mexican flowers, Ojos de Dios tapestries, and elaborate Mexican sugar skulls. Because play and building a sense of community are extremely important elements of this class, students will find themselves gaining fluency as they play popular Spanish online and in-person games, learn songs by popular Latin artists such as J. Balvin, Mana and Juanes, and participate in a variety of bonding activities. In the second semester, more time will be dedicated to watching movies in Spanish and analyzing these movies. An example of the type of movies students will be exposed to is Frida, which addresses Kahlo’s unparalleled tenacity throughout her life, her immense creativity, and her highly unconventional views on sexuality and politics. Enrollment in this course is by teacher recommendation.
This course begins with an extensive review of the grammar principles covered in the previous years, followed by a study of advanced grammar structures. Students are expected to use their growing knowledge to communicate in different situations that are relevant to them such as asking for directions when traveling. For example, students use tourist maps of Seville, Spain or Mexico City, and they have to ask and give directions to different parts of the cities. When learning vocabulary about cars and learning how to drive, students watch videos and describe what they see in Spanish. The focus is on developing communicative skills. As students learn advanced grammatical skills, compositions are assigned to strengthen writing skills. For example, students watch the documentary Harvest of Empire and discuss in Spanish the history of interventions of the US in Latin America and how it affected the immigration crisis that we still face today. Students work individually to reflect in writing what they saw in the documentary. They work in groups to prepare creative projects and oral presentations based on what we discuss in class. Throughout the year, students read and/or watch a variety of short writings or short films about Hispanic history and culture, forming the basis for both written and oral production. They discuss the material to further their proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking.
This course continues the immersion-style environment introduced in the previous years. After a thorough review of grammatical principles, advanced grammatical structures are studied and applied to oral and written communication. Special attention is given to vocabulary building, oral proficiency, and strengthening writing skills. Film units are used to improve listening comprehension and promote class discussion. For example, students watch the movie El Orfanato in Spanish with Spanish subtitles. Students then discuss the movie in class, practising grammar structures and vocabulary based on the movie. Students work individually to answer comprehension questions, and in groups, they talk about the movie, and they write their first essay in Spanish. Students do creative projects like designing a house using online software while learning vocabulary about the house. Students are expected to discuss Latino cultures through music, documentaries, films, short readings, and current events. As students learn advanced grammatical skills, com positions are assigned to strengthen writing skills. For example, students watch the documentary Harvest of Empire and discuss in Spanish the history of interventions of the US in Latin America and how it affected the immigration crisis that we still face today. Students work individually to reflect in writing what they saw in the documentary. They work in groups to prepare oral presentations based on what we discuss in class. The second semester ends with the reading of an adaptation of Lazarillo de Tormes. The focus is the development of written and oral communicative skills to prepare the students for advanced literary analysis. Enrollment in this course is by teacher recommendation.
This course strengthens and reviews the language skills students have developed through their first three years of study. Students improve listening comprehension by listening to Latin music and watching films and shows in Spanish. For example, the Day of the Dead is explored through contemporary music, short videos, and the film Coco. Themes of social justice, gender roles, and class are explored and discussed in the series Street Food Latino America and accompanying articles. Grammatical concepts are reviewed to allow the students to clearly express their ideas. Writing is developed and focused on comparing and contrasting these cultural traditions and experiences. Student discussions are encouraged to bring their own stories and perspectives to the class while at the same time exploring the Spanish speaking world. This course is open to students who have completed Spanish III.
This course continues the development of students’ cultural understanding of the Spanish-speaking world as they build skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students explore issues of injustice affecting the Latino community and its historic and present struggles. These struggles include Latino activism, particularly Mexican and Puerto Rican activism to overcome injustice. The course is discussion-oriented and project-based. Some topics focus on our local Latino community, including El Mejor Restaurante: Best Latino Restaurant in Philadelphia; others are more global in nature and focus on issues of wealth, poverty, and justice, such as Narcotráfico: Drug Wars in Mexico. Another unit – ¿Qué Hablas?: The Variety of Spanish Accents – focuses on developing careful, exact pronunciation as well as an understanding issues of global wealth and poverty. Students deconstruct and then read aloud a speech given by Facebook's Mark Zukerberg about the internet/connectivity as a driver of social justice in the world. Grammar is studied as it arises in the articles, recipes, songs, videos, and movies that provide the foundation for hands-on activities and in-depth analysis of the cultural experiences studied, discussed, and practiced in class. This course is open to grade 12 students who have completed Spanish III and above.
This college-level Spanish course has as its focus Latin American identity with respect to its complicated relationship with Spain. One of the main units in the course is La Reconquista, the unique history of the Iberian Peninsula from 711-1492, during which Moors, Jews, and Christians coexisted in what is now Spain and Portugal. The Reconquista unit includes an architectural study of the Cathedral Mezquita de Córdoba and a research project about the city of Toledo, where Moors, Jews and Christians lived together and thrived for centuries. (An example is the Sinagoga de Santa María La Blanca, a synagogue commissioned in the 12th century by Jews of Toledo, built by Moslem craftsmen, and later converted to a Catholic church). Many of the readings come from Carlos Fuentes’ El Espejo Enterrado (The Buried Mirror), which he wrote in commemoration of Columbus’ 1492 “discovery” of the Americas. We read from several primary texts, including Historia de las Indias, by Bartolomé de las Casas (1474-1566), the missionary who chronicled and fought against the Spaniards’ oppression of indiginous people in Latin America. Other texts include short stories (“La Noche Boca Arriba” by Julio Cortázar) and movies (Carmen, directed by Carlos Saura). Additional major units in the course include a study of the Aztec and Inca cultures and what occurred in the 16th century when they confronted the Spaniards. We consider current events in Latin America in light of this complicated history. Grammatical structures are reviewed and incorporated into the literary analyses students write on the class readings. Students who take this course are encouraged to participate in the Spanish Exchange trip, a trip to Spain focused on the units of this course (see trip description below). Enrollment in this course is by teacher recommendation.
Every two years since 1997, we participate in the Spanish exchange with our partner school in Sevilla, La Academia Pre universitaria (La Preu). In the fall, approximately 20 students from La Preu come to Philadelphia and live with partner FCS Spanish students for three weeks. During the day, the Spaniards attend school, go to different landmarks in Philadelphia, and visit NYC and Washington, D.C. In the spring, the Friends’ Central Spanish exchange students go to Spain. We spend the first four days sightseeing in Madrid and then take the high-speed train to Sevilla, where the Spanish families of the kids we hosted pick up our students and host them for the remainder of our stay. Though the Spanish History & Culture course is not a prerequisite, the trip to Spain is closely aligned with the curriculum of that course. Our sightseeing while in Spain focuses on its unique history between 711- 1492, the eight centuries during which the Iberian peninsula was occupied by the Moors.
Every two years in the summer, FCS Spanish students have the opportunity to travel to Cuzco, Perú. For two weeks, students stay in pairs with Peruvian host families in the evenings and at night. They work as volunteers at a children’s clinic/ orphanage in the morning (Hogar Clínica San Juan de Dios) and attend Spanish classes and visit historical landmarks in Cuzco in the afternoons. Though the Spanish History & Culture course is not a prerequisite, the trip to Cuzco is closely aligned with the curriculum of that course. Our sightseeing focuses on Inca culture and architecture and on what happened in Perú after Pizarro’s arrival in 1532. After two weeks in Cuzco, students hike through the Andes for four days on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
- Spanish Literature Advanced: Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar and Ana Maria Matute
- Spanish Literature Advanced: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende and Miguel de Unamuno (Offered 2022-23)
This yearlong course is the equivalent of an early intermediate college literature course covering selected works by the Argentinian authors Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortázar, and by the Spanish author, Ana María Matute. Borges, a polymath, is known for his brilliant stories that are like puzzles. In them, there are riddles and labyrinths, mysteries and red herrings - but all of his games are meaningful. They all connect to the philosophical questions he is inviting his readers to explore. Cortázar, a writer who was greatly influenced by Borges, also plays games with his readers, asking us how we really know what is real and what is not, is our consciousness as reliable as we think? Ana María Matute is a great contrast; born in Barcelona in 1925, she is a realist who writes about much of the suffering and upheaval Spaniards suffered during WWII and Franco’s regime, but her main characters are children - and in Matute’s writing, children are not sweet, innocent, sympathetic characters, but rather they are often cruel, cunning, and always complex, as is the adult world they navigate. We will read all works in their original form, and we will take the time to analyze the texts in depth. The emphasis of this course is on the advanced development of critical analytical skills and oral discussion. Special attention will be given to writing expression and vocabulary acquisition. Grammatical structures are reviewed and applied to the written analyses. Enrollment in this course is by teacher recommendation.
This yearlong course is the equivalent of an intermediate college literature course covering selected works by two of the best-known Latin American authors, Gabriel Garcia Márquez (Colombia) and Isabel Allende (Chile) and by the Spanish poet, playwright, and philosopher Miguel de Unamuno. Gabriel García Márquez is considered by many to be the father of the genre known as magical realism, and as we delve into his short stories, students understand the genre and the humorous way Márquez uses it to portray his fictional Colombian town of Macondo and its characters with dignity and complexity. Isabel Allende, who describes herself as a “raging feminist,” passionately rejects the idea that “women should be more like men to achieve equality and success,” and the Allende stories we read contain vivid representations of her feminism in her characters and in their conflicts. Unamuno, one of the most important European writers and philosophers of the 20th century, described his life as a perpetual struggle to create meaning in the face of our mortality. His plays, short stories, poems and novellas are often searching and poignant representations of this inner struggle. All works are read in their original form and analyzed in depth. The emphasis of this course is on the advanced development of critical analytical skills and oral discussion. Special attention will be given to written expression and vocabulary building. Grammatical structures are reviewed and applied to the written analyses. Enrollment in this course is by teacher recommendation.
- French I: Intro to French Language and Culture
- French II/II Advanced
- French III/III Advanced
- Paris: Yesterday and Today
- Francophone Identities, Cultures and Societies Through Time and Space
- The Contemporary French Experience (Offered in 2022-23)
- French Literature Advanced (Offered in 2022-23)
- French Travel Abroad Opportunity: French Exchange in Lyon
In this course, students develop their communication skills through listening, speaking, reading, and writing in French. Videos, dialogues, skits, and e-textbook activities are used to practice vocabulary, grammar, listening comprehension, and pronunciation. A supportive classroom atmosphere helps students develop the confidence to talk about themselves. We emphasize the diversity of the French culture by studying authentic documents that show French people from diverse social and ethnic backgrounds. For example, in our unit about family, we study a song from Black M “Le plus fort du monde,” which portrays the admiration of the singer for his father who had to overcome many difficulties as an African immigrant in France. As the year progresses, the course is taught increasingly in French.
This course initially reviews and then builds on the skills developed in French I, reinforcing pronunciation and essential grammatical, lexical, and cultural material while providing more advanced material in each domain. Students develop greater confidence and facility in expressing themselves in French, as well as in understanding others. Taught in French, this course encourages students to talk about themselves, their families, and their world, as well as to explore the lives and cultures of people of the French-speaking world, emphasizing the beauty and diversity of other traditions and lifestyles. For example, in our unit about food and nutrition, not only do we look into classical French culinary specialities but we also discover the diversity of culinary traditions from the Francophone world like couscous or nems. Skits and presentations help students internalize new vocabulary and grammatical structures and use them in context. Students increase their oral proficiency through active practice using a variety of listening comprehension materials. Along with the D’Accord-2 program and films, students explore online resources and, in the spring, read short texts in French. Enrollment in the advanced level is by teacher recommendation.
Film is the critical component in this course. Taught in French, the course emphasizes discussion, oral and written proficiency, and listening comprehension. Students learn about important cinematographic movements, different film genres, and how to understand the role of the camera, while developing increasing confidence and oral proficiency; they discuss themes, relationships, and character development through their study of the films. Students in the advanced course become significantly more proficient in their mastery and use of complex grammatical structures; students in the non-accelerated course focus on improving their oral and written expression to convey their perceptions. The text, Cinéphile, coordinates the study of most of the program’s 10 films, along with current events, geography, culture, grammar, and vocabulary development. Building upon the study of film, viewing and analyzing short films, or “courts métrag es,” is also an integral part of the course. One 7-minute film, titled Très Touchant, sparks a discussion of social justice and poverty, wealth and class, the haves and the have-nots, the northern and southern hemispheres – as a wealthy boy offers his shoes to another who is barefoot. As an introduction to literature, the course ends with the study of Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, providing the foundation for studying essential themes, such as the meaning of life and death, as well as understanding the human experience – especially concerning the role of interpersonal openness and compassion towards others. This course is meant to serve as a bridge from the early levels where we do a lot of talking about ourselves, to connecting with other French speakers around the world, one of the primary goals of language study! Enrollment in the advanced level is by teacher recommendation.
This course focuses on cultural units about Paris, France’s capital city. We will look below the surface of this amazing tourist destination and investigate what really makes the City of Light tick. Grammar and vocabulary are studied in the context of these cultural units, not as separate units unto themselves. The objective is to encourage students to develop their French comprehension, expression and cultural understanding via their study of Paris – past and present. Units of study are historical and sociological. Hier et Aujo urd’hui (Today and Yesterday) examines historic and modern Parisian layout, architecture, and populations – including the wide range of immigrant experiences. The unit, Grèves, Manifestations et Révolutions (Strikes, Demonstrations and Revolutions), covers the French Revolution of 1789 to the student uprisings of May 1968 to today’s yellow vests, the French approach to demanding large scale social change. This unit also serves a public purpose, where we use an illustrated version of the French novel Les Misérables to compare and contrast French and American experiences of unions, strikes, demonstrations and revolution. Other units take social media, gastronomic or artistic views of Paris. In Infogram et Snapchat à Paris (Infogram and Snapchat in Paris) students research Paris using Infogram and Snapchat. Le film parisien (Parisian Film) looks at movies, such as Amélie, made in and about Paris. La Chanson parisienne: French music is specifically about Paris. Two songs we study demonstrate both the heart and the periphery of Parisian life. “Il est cinq heures du matin” (“It’s five o’clock in the morning”) runs the students through the rat race of the city as it awakens. “DKR,” a Senegalese song by the rapper Booba, shares how he did not leave Paris, but rather Paris left him to leave to return to his home in West Africa. Finally, a fun and tasty unit brings French bread to the forefront – Le meilleur croissant de Philly (Philly’s Best Croissant) is about finding the very best local croissant and visiting a local bakery to see how they are made. This course is open to students who have successfully completed French III or above.
This advanced class will focus on the rich history of francophone cultures and societies throughout the world. Where and why is French spoken in the world? How does the feminist movement in France relate to the current gender questions in the US? From the Paris Accord to the controversial carbon tax abandoned by president Macron after the Yellow Vest protests, what are the challenges and the limits of an environmental movement outside the US? Who were the Francophone intellectuals from the Pan-African movement that emerged during the civil rights struggles of the 60s and 70s? What are the similarities and differences in the immigration debate in Europe compared to those in the US? Why do we call the millennials in the francophone world the “génération engagée”? Do their fights relate to yours? What are the current debates about race and multiculturalism in France and Québec?
The course will enable students to gain a better understanding of these topics while becoming more proficient in French. We will explore a variety of authentic materials, including recordings, videos, newspaper articles, and podcasts which will trigger class discussions entirely in French. The vast majority of the assessments will be based on tasks which will develop project management skills as well as comprehension/expression competencies in the target language. Grammatical structures are reviewed and applied to the written analyses.
By reflecting on “otherness,” the final aim of this course is to rethink our own identities. In what ways do our language, our institutions, and our history shape our identities?
This class is the most advanced French class. Enrollment in this course is by teacher recommendation.
This course will focus on continuing the development of students' French skills via cultural units of current interest for the students and the teacher. Grammar and vocabulary are typically studied in the context of those cultural units, not as separate units unto themselves. The objective is to develop the students’ comprehension, expression, and cultural understanding via their study of the French-speaking world: France, Africa, Asia, The Pacific, The Caribbean, Québec, and the USA. An important theme in the study of France and Paris is the racial injustice found in the suburbs of Paris, particularly towards youth of Arab and African descent. The film Les Misérables engages the class to observe this forced under class and their dire social situation in the Parisian suburbs. Global engagement is an important goal during our study of language and culture beyond the borders of France. Our focus is primarily on Africa, the fastest growing French-speaking region in the world. Other units of study include Le Pain Quotidien, where we taste and rank baguettes from local bakeries and then bake our own baguettes; Les Francophones, looking at French speakers outside of France; and La Chanson, exploring many styles of French music – traditional, pop, rap/hip-hop. An important movie we study, La Vie en Rose, serves a public purpose. It is about Edith Piaf’s life, during which the singer suffered from serious substance abuse. We discuss the role it played in making her a famous, talented, yet isolated and self-destructive, performer. This course is open to students who have successfully completed French III or above.
This course is structured like an introductory college level course. Thematically organized, it focuses on famous plays, short stories, pieces of poetry and novels from the 17th through 21st centuries by Maupassant, Molière, Reza, Camus, Faye, and Sartre, among others. The course explores themes such as fear and folly, class and gender equality, satire and philosophy. All works are integral texts in the original French. Lively and provocative discussions, led by the teacher or students, focus on the evolution of the protagonist, the narrator’s point of view, and structural components of the works which enhance the students’ understanding. Films offer an additional layer to help students further grasp the historical period and the author’s message. Students will search the Internet for current events related to French government, politics, and society to increase their awareness of French culture, mores, and thought.
This class is the most advanced French class. Enrollment in this course is by teacher recommendation.
French students have the opportunity to make lasting friendships and immerse themselves in French culture and language by participating in French exchanges – a two-week exchange or a three-month exchange with the Cité Scolaire Internationale, Lyon. CSI has been our partner school in France for close to 20 years. The school is organized in different sections: Japanese, Italian, Polish, English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, German, and Portuguese. With the French school, our students get to meet friends from around the world as well as local residents who come from diverse ethnic backgrounds.
Our students can choose whether to participate in the two week exchange program or the three-month exchange program. Each exchange runs every two years. During the two week exchange program, the French students are first hosted in the fall by their American partners and attend Friends’ Central, taking field trips to New York, Washington DC, and Philadelphia landmarks. The following spring of the same academic year, FCS students and their French teachers travel to France, where they spend four days in Paris and then two weeks in Lyon, staying with the CSI student they hosted in the fall. This exchange focuses on sightseeing and discovering a rich culture while being accompanied by FCS teachers. The three-month exchange program constitutes a true immersive experience. During this time, our students share the experience of a French family and get a deep knowledge of the French school system on their own. It is an intense and rewarding program as they learn to be independent travelers and how to adapt to a foreign environment.
- Latin II
- Latin II Advanced
- Latin III
- Latin III Advanced
- Latin Literature Advanced: Vergil
- Latin Literature Advanced: Catullus and Ovid (Offered in 2022-23)
- Latin Travel Abroad Opportunity
The theme of Latin II is “Language, Structure, and Discovery.” In addition to completing the basics of Latin grammar, students read and translate selections in prose adapted from various ancient Roman authors. The focus is on the development of translation and grammar skills. By approaching Latin from a design point of view, students will discover much about their own language and about human languages generally. They can expect their own reading and writing to develop new levels of sophistication. The theme of structure and discovery is continued through The Roman Aqueduct Project, a project that is completed in our Maker space where students put down their books and computers and pick up two-by-fours, PVC pipe, and concrete mix. They learn through first-hand experience about ancient Roman engineering and how to design and build their own working model of an aqueduct and a Roman arch. (The project was featured in Edutopia.org, the publication of the George Lucas Educational Foundation, dedicated to transforming K-12 education so that all students can acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to thrive in their studies, careers, and adult lives.) Students explore ancient beliefs about power, justice, and violence that are encoded in language and story.
Advanced second year students complete their study of Lat in grammar at an accelerated pace. The goal is to acquire and master the skills necessary to read and translate passages of text as written by the ancient Roman authors. Prose composition exercises are included in the syllabus and students will develop skill in sight-reading simple Latin prose.
The theme of Latin III is “Language, Power, and the State.” Students will read selections of non-fiction prose by such authors as Cicero, Julius Caesar, and Pliny – contemporary, primary sources writing about critical issues of their time in the Roman world – examining the texts through the lens of political science. They will examine the use of language by individuals and by the state: how it can advance the aspirations of a civilization and how it can be weaponized. Students will analyze and explain an aspect of Roman government and politics relating to the authors we have read as a capstone project in the course employing various media in imaginative ways. They will explore cultural norms concerning justice and violence that are encoded in the texts we read.
The focus of this course is the translation of selections of Vergil’s epic poem, The Aeneid. Students will work collaboratively to translate sections of this great epic, examining the ways in which reading the text in the original gives an understanding of how the author used language to create an impact on meaning. In learning to read the Latin of this great tradition, students will strengthen and solidify their knowledge of Latin grammar and vocabulary, build their skills in literary analysis and interpretation, hone their literary discussion skills, and develop their analytical writing and critical thinking skills. As they explore the Aeneid’s central themes and the Roman values expressed therein, they will become versed in the epic tradition and its influence on literature and the arts to this day.
In this course, students are introduced to both the love poetry of Catullus and the epic poem The Metamorphoses of Ovid. Students will read progressively more challenging tiers of Latin culminating in sections of the original poetry of both authors. They will work collaboratively to read and translate classic stories such as the tragedy of Pyramus and Thisbe, the father-son relationship of Icarus and Daedalus, and the eternal love of Orpheus and Eurydice. They will also examine the literary style of Catullus and his tortured relationship with Lesbia. In learning to read the Latin of this great tradition, students will strengthen and solidify their knowledge of Latin grammar and vocabulary, build their skills in literary analysis and interpretation, hone their literary discussion skills, and develop their analytical writing and critical thinking skills. Every other year a trip is offered to Italy to deepen the cultural understanding of the Roman world.
A beginning and intermediate German tutorial will be offered. Sessions will be scheduled at the beginning of September after the tutorial group has been formed and will meet two to three blocks per week. Students will take advantage of some of the online language learning tools now available and will also be working with traditional printed materials, including short stories and grammatical exercises. The tutorial will not be graded and will not appear on the transcript. Students will receive mid- and end-of-year special reports, and their participation will be noted in the school recommendations that accompany their college applications. Spaces will be limited.