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Chinese I will introduce Mandarin Chinese to students who have no or very little background in the language. The course is a basic introduction to Chinese language and culture. Students will learn the Chinese phonetic system (pin yin) and Chinese characters. We introduce basic vocabulary and basic linguistic skills including self-introduction, greetings, directions, who and how questions, time, locations, dates and numbers, what questions, and expressions. By the end of the term, the students will carry out basic face-to-face conversations, and will write more than 300 characters. In addition to verbal skills, reading, writing, and listening comprehension are also emphasized. Two major projects focusing on Chinese culture will be assigned.
Chinese II continues to develop the language skills learned in Chinese I. Students will be able to explain cause and effect, compare and contrast ideas and objects, and participate in simple discussions on a wide variety of topics, such as personal care and entertainment, clothes shopping, sports, and recreation. More new characters and vocabulary, as well as new grammar patterns, will be introduced allowing students to develop more sophisticated structures. By the end of the course, students are able to read, understand simple stories written in the “spoken style,” and write a short letter or story.
In Chinese III, students will study grammar and strengthen their abilities to express opinions, intentions, and desires. Students will practice conversational skills on topics such as hobbies, travel, culture, social activities, the environment, and education. Characters are introduced to strengthen vocabularies and to develop more sophisticated reading and writing skills. In addition to a textbook, newspapers, films, videos, authentic Chinese short stories, and other materials give practical application to the acquired language and to broaden the students’ lexicons. For mid-term and final assessments, students will write and perform a play in Chinese. With the exception of grammatical explanations, Chinese will be the official language of the classroom. Students will write longer and more complex essays.
In Chinese IV, students learn more grammar and concepts that allow them to communicate accurately in various social and cultural contexts. New Chinese characters and vocabulary are continually introduced to increase skills to read authentic Chinese materials. Students also focus on reading short stories and paragraphs from novels and start to build translation skills. We will focus on increasing conversational skills, building vocabulary that is not covered in the textbook, and developing skills of exchanging one’s opinions and critical thoughts. We frequently discuss current issues from the newspaper and TV news. Video or culturally authentic materials and literature tie in with the theme of each chapter. This year’s proficiency goal is intermediate-mid-to-high.
Chinese V (honors level)
Chinese V polishes students’ speaking, reading, and writing skills as they explore Chinese literature, philosophy, and current events. Authentic Chinese materials are used: novels, magazine articles, Chinese television programs, and full-length movies. As students engage in literary discussion, debate, or simple daily conversation, and as they write creative and expository papers, they are encouraged to put aside their own cultural vision of life in order to interpret what they see or read from another culture’s set of values. They review and deepen their understanding of Chinese grammar to develop greater sophistication in their oral and written expression.
The course gives students the ability to function adequately in French as they develop reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Students acquire basic vocabulary and grammatical structures, including present, past, and future tenses. The course is conducted in French, with English explanations if necessary, particularly with respect to grammar. The students are introduced to the everyday lives of French speakers, as well as the countries of the French-speaking world. The class makes ample use of videos, conversation skits, magazines, newspaper articles, TV clips, games, PowerPoint presentations, and guest speakers. Cultural knowledge, which incorporates the concepts of global citizenship, conflict resolution, diversity, human rights, interdependence, social justice, sustainable development, values, and perceptions, is an integral part of the curriculum. Students are evaluated on the the basis of skill development, effort, and cultural awareness.
French II involves continued work on acquiring grammatical structures and vocabulary as well as developing greater competence in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The text, Latitudes 2, promotes a massive review of basic vocabulary and structures, while introducing students to the richness and diversity of the Francophone world. Students understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics. Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings, and exchange opinions.
The main goal in French III is to increase students’ overall language proficiency – their ability to hear, speak, read and write French with ease and confidence, while simultaneously expanding their cultural knowledge and broadening their world view. The course is conducted in French and most materials used are authentic. Course materials include the Latitudes 3 books, Grammaire en Dialogue, news articles and podcasts, French websites, songs and films, plays, fables and poetry. Through exposure to these materials and a focus on new grammatical concepts, students learn to use more sophisticated vocabulary, complex grammatical structures and all of the major verb tenses and moods. In addition to exploring current topics in the media, students in French III study 17th century French literature. French III concludes with a survey of the many francophone countries of the world.
French IV involves further study of grammatical structures, verb tenses, and increased vocabulary through short audio narrations, as well as a rich selection of articles, opinion polls and statistics. Designed to build the comprehension and verbal expression of the students, this informative course explores geography, history, and economics through the lens of current events. Students are expected to participate verbally on a daily basis.
French V (honors level)
French V polishes students’ speaking, reading, and writing skills as they explore Francophone literature, philosophy, and current events. The class uses authentic French materials: novels, magazine articles, television programs, the Francophone press, and full-length movies. As students engage in literary discussion, debate, or simple daily conversation, and as they write creative and expository papers, they are encouraged to put aside their own cultural vision of life in order to interpret what they see or read through another culture’s set of values. They deepen their understanding of grammar to develop greater sophistication in their oral and written expression. In the spring, students view, discuss, and write reviews on movies, read a novel of their choice, and write a literary analysis that they present to the class.
Japanese V (honors level)
This honors-level course is designed to continue building students’ proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing the Japanese language. They are expected to use the language in a culturally appropriate manner. Practice for authentic pronunciation and both humble and polite forms of speech are stressed. Kanji is also emphasized for this college-level course. Topics include gift exchange, travel, and Japanese business. Students make a storybook and film in Japanese, and they perform for other Japanese classes. Many activities are done with students of our sister school, Gifu Kita, in Japan. Students are expected to attain proficiency at the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) novice-high level at the end of this course.
In level one the oral, writing, reading, and cultural aspects of beginning Spanish are fundamental. Students are encouraged to engage in spontaneous and practical conversation using the present and near future tenses. At the same time, they learn to write simple, grammatically accurate phrases in an environment stressing cooperation, creativity, and familiarity with the culture. Students hear and employ a gradually increasing amount of Spanish in class. We incorporate the textbook Vistas I, as well as tapes, videos, games, slides, and guest speakers are incorporated into the main curriculum.
After a brief review of the basic verbs and vocabulary learned in level one, students continue formal study of the language and learn several new tenses and grammatical structures that allow them to communicate in an intermediate level of proficiency. A varied methodology is used along with technology and multimedia, acquainting students with a variety of resources and authentic materials. The course will use the textbook Vistas 2, as well as incorporate different media such as TV, videos, the internet, guest speakers, and readings introduce the culture.
Level three involves further study of grammatical structures and verb tenses, the acquisition of additional vocabulary and idiomatic expressions, and the development of a solid oral proficiency at the intermediate-high level. Students focus on mastering the skill of narrating past, present, and future events with a particular emphasis on the ability to manipulate the various past tenses, plus the conditional and the subjunctive. Classes are conducted entirely in Spanish, and students are expected to participate verbally every day. A vareity of methodologies will be used to study the language, including the use of technology and multimedia, as well as incorporating authentic materials.
The level four course involves further study of grammatical structures and verb tenses, the acquisition of vocabulary and idiomatic expressions, and the development of a sound oral and written proficiency at the intermediate-high level. Students continue the study of Spanish grammar and verb tenses: past tenses (preterit, imperfect, and present perfect), the imperative, the future, and the subjunctive. The class is conducted primarily in Spanish (the exception being some grammatical explanations), and students are expected to participate verbally on a daily basis. Students read from an anthology, as well as a selection of works (short stories, poems, song lyrics, and a novel) by authors representative of the Spanish-speaking world.
Spanish V: Survey of Modern Hispanic Literature and Hispanic Presence in Oregon (honors level)
This course offers advanced study of reading, writing, and grammar, along with experiential and service learning opportunities in our local Hispanic community. Students will explore literary works by authors such as Josefina Aldecoa, Horacio Quiroga, Laura Esquivel, José Martí, Isabel Allende, Nicolás Guillén, Wendy Guerra, Elena Poniatowska, Yoss, Aviva Chomsky, and Ramón J. Sender. Students will write several analytical and expository essays, in addition to being given many writing opportunities in both academic and nonacademic formats. Building oral fluency is an important course objective, so all students are expected to participate daily in discussions. The course provides a solid grammatical review, which will be especially helpful for those students who plan to take the SAT and AP exams in Spanish. Over the cours of the year, we will also explore the history and use of Spanish in Oregon along with the Hispanic presence in Oregon. This topic will often take us beyond the traditional boundaries of the classroom. While a variety of topics and themes will be encountered this year, the following will be explored in depth; immigration, identity, and social justice. Prerequisite: instructor approval.
Spanish VI: Advanced Literature and Film (honors level)
Spanish VI focuses on a selection of contemporary Hispanic literature and six movies that relate to the readings thematically. Students are expected to participate in the discussion and write comparative and analytical essays on the works studied. In addition, students will be exposed to a variety of speaking activities, learn a considerable amount of new vocabulary and idiomatic expressions, explore cultural topics, and discuss contemporary issues as they occur in the Hispanic world. Students will have the opportunity to review familiar grammatical structures and verb tenses, and to explore new advanced topics.
Arabic I: Language through Culture (Global Online Academy, Fall 2013)
This course will highlight Modern Standard Arabic, and the spoken dialect of the Levant. With an emphasis on Arabic culture, students will learn commonly used expressions and proverbs from North Africa, the Levant, and the Persian Gulf. Students will develop their skills in listening, reading, writing, forming grammatically correct structured sentences, and most importantly, conversation. This will be accomplished through podcasts, videos, chat logs, web conferencing, and letters, which will be exchanged between the participating students in this course and native Arabic speakers from Jordan. Since Arabic is becoming one of the most functional languages in the world, especially in the areas of commerce, business, and trade, students participating in this course can avail themselves of the opportunity to learn the language in a highly stimulating and rich cultural context. Note: This online elective course cannot be used to meet Catlin Gabel's language requirements.
Japanese I: Language through Culture (Global Online Academy, Year 2013-14)
This course is a unique combination of Japanese culture and language, weaving cultural comparison with the study of basic Japanese language and grammar. While examining various cultural topics such as literature, art, lifestyle, and economy, students will learn the basics of the Japanese writing system, grammar and vocabulary. Students will learn the Japanese language by examining different cultural topics every two weeks. The ultimate goal of this course is to raise awareness and appreciation of different cultures through learning the basics of the Japanese language. The focus of this course will be 60 percent on language and 40 percent on culture. This course is appropriate for beginning-level high-school students. Note: This online elective course cannot be used to meet Catlin Gabel's language requirements.