Middle & Upper School World Languages

Foreign language education is an essential part of the curriculum at Boston Trinity Academy. The study of languages engages students in communication, whether it be face-to- face, in writing, or across the centuries through the reading of authentic literature. It immerses students in the culture that uses that particular language. It exposes students to the art and music that enrich a culture. To study a foreign language means to make connections relating to other areas of the curriculum; the French student, for example, understands in a new way the French Revolution as studied in a European history class. It also means a student of foreign languages will necessarily make comparisons with his own language, thus developing critical thinking skills in the process of contrasting and comparing languages. Fluency in world languages and familiarity with foreign cultures enable students to participate in multi-lingual communities, to think beyond their own experience, and to learn how to love their neighbors.

At Boston Trinity Academy, our goal in offering world languages is to foster an appreciation of other languages, cultures, and peoples. We believe that loving our neighbor is embodied in the study of foreign languages.

World language courses are tracked by ability not grade level. This is to ensure each student adequately understands the concepts before advancing to higher levels. Upper School students are required to take three consecutive years of world languages. Incoming students may test into any language level. Unless they otherwise test out, Middle School students are required to take the introductory Middle School I and/or Middle School II courses.

French

Middle School French I

This first-year course introduces Middle School students to the French language and culture. Students learn to introduce themselves, talk about their interests, and discuss their communities. They learn verb conjugations and sentence formation, building a solid understanding of communication in the present tense. They grow in the area of interpretive communication by reading gradually more complex texts and practice the presentational mode of communication through in-class activities.

Middle School French II

This second-year course allows Middle School students to grow in interpersonal communication through conversation and written exercises. Students practice the interpretive mode of communication by reading increasingly complex texts and viewing various genres of media. They practice the presentational mode of communication through skits and other in-class activities. New vocabulary and new grammatical concepts enable them to communicate on a more sophisticated level.

French I

This introductory Upper School course provides students with the foundation to develop the skills to communicate both in spoken and written French. Students learn the basic elements of French grammar and engage in a variety of activities that encourage them to express themselves clearly in French, all while developing cultural awareness of the francophone world.

French II

In this course, students learn and practice new vocabulary and grammar, building extensively on concepts and vocabulary learned in French I. This course focuses heavily on grammar, while continuing to expose students to French culture through videos and articles. Students practice understanding and constructing narratives of past, present, and future events, and learn to give orders and discuss hypothetical situations. They strengthen their comprehension by reading one volume of the popular French series Le Petit Nicolas.

French III

Students solidify the skills necessary for mastery of the French language: speaking, reading, writing, and listening. They practice extended conversations using complex sentences and appropriate pronouns and draw comparisons between people, things, and actions. Students learn to discuss a diversity of topics and construct longer written pieces as they encounter numerous short films, articles, and fictional works relating to French and francophone culture and history.

French IV

This fourth-year elective course allows students to build on skills developed in previous levels, gaining mastery of written French and continuing to learn about French and francophone culture. Students read classical and modern French poetry, novels, stories, plays, and essays. This course features intense review and practice of all aspects of grammar, further development of conversational skills, and the use of movie clips as catalysts for conversation. Students lead class discussions on a variety of topics, from French history to popular culture and contemporary issues.

AP French Language and Culture

AP French Language and Culture is a college-level course designed for students who have a good understanding of French grammar and are proficient in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The focus of the course alternates, with one year presenting francophone Europe and the other francophone Africa. Students gain fluency and accuracy in communication through class discussions on a range of topics, and discussions with native speakers. Students interact with diverse resources such as films, podcasts and songs along with complete works of French literature to solidify their vocabulary, grammar and linguistic skills. This course prepares students to be successful on the AP French exam in May.

Spanish

Middle School Spanish I

In Spanish I-A, Middle School students form foundational skills for the comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing of Spanish and are introduced to important elements of Spanish and Latin American culture. Beginning with simple greetings, students progress through the vocabulary of daily life and learn to use increasingly complex grammatical structures to express themselves. Students master narration in the present tense and in the simple past tense.

Middle School Spanish II

In Spanish I-B, Middle School students continue to learn the basic elements of communication in Spanish and study cultural aspects of family life and community. They review the present tense and build their knowledge and mastery of the past tense. They continue to progress through vocabulary about daily activities and use complex grammar to summarize personal experiences, give basic descriptions, and navigate common social situations. Students read a condensed version of a classic Spanish novel, and watch a film entirely in Spanish as a culmination of the course.

Spanish I

In Spanish I, Upper School students form foundational skills for the comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing of Spanish. Students gain practical vocabulary and learn how to express themselves in day-to-day conversation and writing. Upon completion of Spanish I, students have mastered both the simple present and simple past tenses, and have read several short stories entirely in Spanish.

Spanish II

In Spanish II, students learn all the tenses of the Spanish language. With the vocabulary from this course, students are able to summarize past life experiences and narrate the future, as well as describe their desires and wishes. To deepen their fluency, students engage with Spanish advertisements, read a novel in Spanish, watch films, and participate in conversation on themes related to these materials. Students also memorize several Bible verses and the Lord’s Prayer in Spanish.

Spanish III

Spanish III is an intermediate course providing students the tools to refine their speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. This course begins with a review of the present, progressive, and past tenses. Students also review the subjunctive mood and its uses, as well as the future, conditional, and perfect tenses. They discuss cultural themes, such as personal relationships, immigration, and adaptation to new cultures. Students encounter Spanish and Latin American culture through watching films and reading a novel in Spanish.

Spanish IV

This fourth-year elective course is conducted entirely in Spanish and develops on all aspects of grammar and communication. Students gain fluency of speech and a mastery of written Spanish. The course includes classical and modern poetry, novels, stories, and plays from Spain and Latin America. Along with intense review and practice of all aspects of grammar, students further develop their conversational skills through the use of films. In addition, students lead class discussions and activities on a variety of topics ranging from history to popular culture and contemporary issues.

AP Spanish Language and Culture

AP Spanish Language and Culture is a college-level course designed for students who have a good understanding of Spanish grammar, as well as proficiency in the skill areas of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The focus of the course alternates, with one year presenting Spain and the other Latin America. Students gain fluency in communication through class discussions on a range of topics, and discussions with native speakers. Students interact with diverse resources such as films, podcasts and songs along with complete works of Spanish literature to solidify their vocabulary, grammar and linguistic skills. This course prepares students to be successful on the AP Spanish exam in May.

ESL

ESL I

ESL I helps middle school students achieve higher proficiency in English grammar and pronunciation as well as the four skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Key features of the course include:

  • work on building both academic and general vocabulary;
  • intensive and extensive reading of adapted articles, texts, and novels;
  • projects, papers, surveys, and discussions on a wide range of topics such as tech startups, feminine pronouns, negativity, synesthesia, creative thinking, health foods, quitting, cyber-friendships, stereotypes, art of reading, and extraterrestrials.

Students will also have the opportunity to read books at their current level of proficiency and build their cultural literacy and understanding of concepts in Western thought through a wide range of reading from the news to classic texts such as the Bible. Gaining fluency and grammatical accuracy is emphasized in the course. Gentle but specific feedback on accuracy is regularly given through homework assignments, quizzes, tests, and projects so that students hone their skills. Students will gain more precision in English and begin to write with more accurate grammatical structures.

Overall, this course is designed to ease the student’s transition to Boston Trinity Academy, prepare them for the challenges of academic coursework, and build up their confidence as thinkers and users of the English language within social as well as academic contexts.

ESL II

ESL II is designed to help intermediate and high intermediate level students achieve advanced level English proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Key features of the course include:

  • continued work on building both academic and general vocabulary;
  • intensive reading and listening of more advanced-level texts and lectures;
  • projects, papers, surveys and discussions on a wide range of topics including sports, education, consumer behavior, branding, medicine, and food.

Students will also have opportunities to read books at their current level of proficiency and build their cultural literacy through units on American history, proverbs, culture, and the Bible. Gaining fluency as well as grammatical accuracy are both emphasized in the course. Students will gain more precision in English verb tenses and begin to write with more complex grammatical structures.

ESL III

ESL III helps advanced level students achieve college-level English proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. At the end of the course, students should be able to achieve a 90 or above on the TOEFL. Key features of the course include:

  • intensive work on expanding academic vocabulary;
  • extensive reading at current level of proficiency;
  • intensive reading and listening of academic texts and lectures.

Students will give presentations, complete projects, and write papers on academic topics such as the entrepreneurship, environment, innovation, new media, sustainability, and non-profits as well as on the Bible and American history and culture. Grammatical topics are similar to those covered in ESL II; however, the forms covered are more complex and require greater precision.

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