Modern Languages

Upper School Spanish Teacher Spring 2023

Whether students study French, Mandarin Chinese, or Spanish, our classes are designed for students to not only become proficient but to also gain insights into the culture and traditions associated with that language.

At Catlin Gabel, all high school students are required to complete three years of the same language or demonstrate proficiency. Each language includes foundational and honors courses, with opportunities for advanced study and cultural immersion.

Modern Languages Approach to Learning

Each of our beginning language programs are designed for 9th grade students to develop basic skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Vocabulary acquisition, verb use, and grammar essentials are emphasized. Students will read, listen, and watch authentic texts and media to enhance their cultural competence. Most of the time, the course is conducted in the language being learned. These language courses are aligned with national standards set forth by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).

As students progress through their second and third year of study, they expand their language skills, with the goal of moving from being novice speakers to ones who can communicate with confidence, using more sophisticated language and verb conjugations. Classroom activities range from listening to songs and videos to writing short stories and engaging in round table discussions.

For students interested in continuing their French, Mandarin Chinese, or Spanish language studies, we offer both a fourth year class and an honors seminar. In the fourth year, students will explore many different types of text from newspaper articles to music, literature, and film. These classes also include a focus on complex grammatical structures, idiomatic expressions, and specialized vocabulary. The honors seminars are designed for students to gain an advanced level of language proficiency. Students are given the opportunity to bring into the curriculum what they are learning in other courses. All instruction is conducted in the language of study.

In addition, students may also become Teaching Assistants, either for a semester or year. TAs help resolve questions and run extra-help sessions. As the year progresses, TAs plan and teach full lessons.

For More Information

To see details regarding our French, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish classes, please see the upper school course catalog. While the Global Online Academy (GOA) offers courses in languages like Arabic and Japanese, these do not meet Catlin Gabel’s graduation requirements but can provide additional language learning opportunities. To see GOA courses, please visit their website.