World Languages and Classics Course Descriptions

The World Languages Department at St. Andrew’s encourages lifelong learning of world languages and cultures and helps students develop a broad world view, an awareness of interconnectedness, an appreciation of linguistic and cultural differences and similarities, a commitment to contribute positively to their communities, and the ability to communicate and collaborate with people from other countries and cultures.  The Department offers instruction in five modern languages:  Spanish, French, Mandarin, Italian, and German.  In each language and at each level, emphasis is placed on developing communicative and cross-cultural competencies, with exchange and travel programs for each language complementing classroom instruction.

Spanish I

This is a dynamic course which adapts to the needs and abilities of the students through differentiated instruction.  Students develop a strong foundation in the fundamentals of the Spanish language through a variety of creative, interactive activities that integrate presentational, interpretive, and interpersonal communication. Students learn to appreciate the diversity of Spanish and Hispanic culture through authentic audiovisual materials, direct oral and written contact with native speakers, and connections and comparisons with their own culture and communities.

Spanish II

In this course, students build on the foundation established in Spanish I. We continue to emphasize the fundamentals of the Spanish language and to challenge students to increase the breadth and complexity of their language skills through a variety of creative, interactive activities that integrate presentational, interpretive, and interpersonal communication. Students learn to appreciate the diversity of Spanish and Hispanic culture through authentic audiovisual materials, direct oral and written contact with native speakers, and connections and comparisons with their own culture and communities.

Spanish III

Spanish III is conducted almost entirely in Spanish. Students continue to develop their skills by hearing and speaking Spanish in class, studying authentic texts, doing internet research, writing essays, seeing videos, corresponding with Spanish speakers, and listening to guest speakers. Students improve their vocabulary and more advanced language functions, including persuasion, are introduced.

Spanish IV

With this class, students proceed with an accelerated study of the language enabling them to pursue more advanced levels. Here, students will continue perfecting oral production, auditory comprehension, reading and writing. Students are encouraged to acquire knowledge and skills to communicate effectively in both formal and informal settings. The activities in the classroom, projects, and assignments are designed to expose students to communicative situations that promote the practice of grammar, idiomatic expressions, pronunciation and vocabulary in context. Also, students will continue to explore the culture and history of Spanish-speaking countries.

Spanish V

With this class, students proceed with an accelerated study of the language enabling them to pursue more advanced levels. Here, students will continue perfecting oral production, auditory comprehension, reading and writing. Students are encouraged to acquire knowledge and skills to communicate effectively in both formal and informal settings. The activities in the classroom, projects, and assignments are designed to expose students to communicative situations that promote the practice of grammar, idiomatic expressions, pronunciation and vocabulary in context. Also, students will continue to explore the culture and history of Spanish-speaking countries.

AP Spanish

Permission of the instructor required.
This course prepares students for the AP Spanish Language and Culture Examination. Classroom activities expose students to a variety of communicative situations to familiarize them with different nuances of the language and to promote fluency and accuracy in language use. It engages students in the exploration, awareness, and appreciation of the cultures of Spanish-speaking countries, focusing on cultural products, practices and perspectives as described in the National Standards for Foreign Language Education. The course also emphasizes the development of the students’ interpersonal, interpretive and presentational communication. The exercises, AP sessions, and evaluations provide practice to help the students improve test-taking techniques.

The Spanish-Speaking World Through Film

 This semester course is intended for advanced level students who, having taken Spanish 4 or Spanish 5, would like to further develop proficiency in the language as they learn more about the cultures in which Spanish is spoken. Students will expand their cultural and historical knowledge of Latin America as they use language in a meaningful way to discuss the different historical and cultural aspects portrayed in the films, while further developing their proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students will keep a journal in Spanish, which will be turned in at the end of the course. This exercise will provide them with the opportunity to reflect on the themes of each film and write their own critical commentary.

French I

This course is an introduction to the language and cultures of the French-speaking world. Students will demonstrate knowledge of the sound system and verb structures in the present, past and near future tenses. They will describe themselves, ask questions to elicit information about each other, discuss school-related activities, likes and dislikes, hobbies and pastimes. Students will experience culture through a variety of media and through researching various French-speaking locations. They will develop their proficiency through daily oral participation, role-playing, class discussions, listening, reading and writing activities. Students will complete daily homework assignments and will show proficiency through oral interviews, written quizzes, presentations and unit exams.

French II

Students in French II will continue the progressive development of the language skills which they learned in French I. They will expand their knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and linguistic structures with a focus on communication.  They will further investigate the cultures and civilizations of the French-speaking countries through special research projects. Students will practice their conversational skills through dramatization, cooperative learning, paired practice, oral presentations and class discussions. In class, students will express themselves in French whenever possible. They will complete daily homework assignments and will show proficiency through oral interviews, written quizzes, presentations, in-class compositions, spontaneous conversational skills and unit exams.


French III

Students will improve those language skills acquired in French I and II. They will gain greater oral proficiency in the language and increase their knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and syntax. Students will use their language skills to acquire a background of the history and culture of French-speaking countries by reading short stories and poetry and authentic documents such as newspaper and magazine articles.  Short skits will be used also.  They will complete daily homework assignments and will show proficiency through oral interviews, written quizzes, presentations, in-class compositions, spontaneous conversational skills and unit exams.

French IV

Students will improve upon those language skills acquired in previous levels. They will increase their command of the spoken and written language through reflection and analysis. Students will continue to develop language skills based upon abstract concepts. They will read and write more extensively while examining advanced grammatical structures. Students will continue to investigate the history and culture associated with the target language.  They will also read authentic documents and listen to French news broadcasts. They will complete daily homework assignments and will show proficiency through interviews, written quizzes, presentations, in-class compositions, spontaneous conversations and unit exams. The class will be conducted primarily in the target language.

French V

Permission of the instructor required.
In this course, students will start preparing for the Advanced Placement French course.   Students will write narrations and do research projects, present and justify their own opinions orally, and communicate facts and ideas with a good accent and in a grammatically correct fashion. Students will increase their appreciation for the richness of Francophone literature, history and culture. They will read authentic documents and listen to broadcasts from a variety of Francophone countries.  Students will complete daily homework assignments and will show proficiency through oral interviews, written quizzes, presentations and unit exams. Upon successful completion of this course, students may be able to approach the AP French level with confidence.

AP French

Permission of the instructor required.
In this course, students will prepare for the Advanced Placement French Language Examination. Students will write narrations and research projects, present and justify their own opinions orally, and communicate facts and ideas with an accurate accent and in a grammatically correct fashion. Students will increase their appreciation for the richness of Francophone literature, history and culture. They will read authentic documents and listen to broadcasts from a variety of Francophone countries.  Students will complete daily homework assignments and will show proficiency through oral interviews, written quizzes, presentations and unit exams. They will also have the opportunity to practice AP style exams before the actual exam.  Upon successful completion of this course, students may receive college credit through the Advanced Placement Examination offered by the College Board.

Mandarin I

This course is a beginning Mandarin Chinese language course designed for students with no Chinese language background.  Following the guidelines of the National Standards for Foreign Language Education, this course provides a firm base of knowledge and skills for subsequent courses in Mandarin.  In this course, students will develop the skills to comprehend readings of simple sentences and short paragraphs containing the characters required in the book; ask questions and carry on simple conversations about such topics as family, nationality, and the calendar; share likes and dislikes regarding animals, food, and fruit; give brief oral messages and presentations about people, family, and school; write characters with the correct stroke order; write simple sentences in Chinese characters regarding the topics covered.  In addition, the students will be able to gain an understanding of basic aspects of Chinese culture. In addition, each student will be corresponding with Chinese pen-pals of our partner school in China.

Mandarin II

This course will build on the knowledge and skills developed in Mandarin I and will continue to follow the National Standards and to focus on the three primary modes of communication: impersonal, interpretive, and presentational.  In this course, students will develop the skills to comprehend short, simple conversations and narratives on topics covered; comprehend readings of short paragraphs containing the characters required in the book; initiate and carry on conversations to exchange information and express opinions about such topics as weather, transportation, location, and sports; give brief oral presentations about topics such as school and daily life activities; tell stories based on pictures that reflect familiar daily contexts; and write messages to respond to email in Chinese characters regarding familiar contexts. In addition, students will be able to gain understanding of basic aspects of Chinese culture, such as festivals, street markets, and students’ activities.  In addition, each student will be corresponding with Chinese pen-pals at our partner school in Kunming.

Mandarin III

Designed for students who have successfully completed Mandarin II, this course will continue the building-block approach  to skill development and focus on the three primary modes of communication: impersonal, interpretive, and presentational.  This course is conducted mostly in the target language, with listening and speaking skills developed by having students interact regularly in Chinese with classmates and the teacher.  In this course, students will develop the skills to understand main ideas and key facts from simple texts, such as public announcements and short, straightforward instructions dealing with daily life (e.g., recipes); read consistently with increased understanding simple, connected texts, such as short, straightforward descriptions of places and travel itineraries; demonstrate increased ease and accuracy in pronouncing Chinese sounds and tones; and give both brief oral presentations and written messages about topics such as schools, school schedules, and communities.  Students will continue to develop their understanding of basic aspects of Chinese culture, including festivals, foods, and cooking, as well as important places and scenic spots in China.  In addition, each student will be corresponding with Chinese pen-pals at our partner school in Kunming.

Mandarin IV

Intended for students who have successfully completed Mandarin III, this course will continue the process of skill development, digging deeper into the Chinese language and culture, while still focusing on three primary modes of communication: impersonal, interpretive, and presentational.  This course is conducted in the target language.  In this course, students will develop the skills to initiate conversations and respond to questions relating to personal experiences; express personal views or exchange opinions about social issues, such as generation gaps, student driving, and pollution; comprehend readings of short paragraphs containing a wider variety of characters; write short stories based on pictures using level-appropriate syntax with accuracy; and write short paragraphs concerning different social issues using culturally-appropriate vocabulary and structures.  In addition, students will develop a broader understanding and appreciation for different aspects of Chinese culture, including festivals and Chinese medicine, as well as famous figures of Chinese painting and calligraphy.  In addition, each student will be corresponding with Chinese pen-pals at our partner school in Kunming.

MANDARIN V

Permission of the instructor required.
This course is intended for highly motivated students with a solid base in the Chinese language. The course is conducted in the target language, and students are expected to use the target language in class. This course explores a variety of topics to enhance the four skills of language – listening, speaking, reading, and writing – and to help students develop a deeper understanding of Chinese culture, geography, and history. Among the topics covered will be the teachings of Confucius, which will be learned in the classical Chinese language.  Students also will be required to read short stories and write summaries, and to keep a diary as requested. A wide range of authentic audio, visual, and online materials will complement the classroom instruction and exercises. In addition, each student will be corresponding with Chinese pen-pals at our partner school in Kunming.

ITALIAN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Seniors only
Students develop skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking within a cultural frame of reference. The study of grammar is interwoven with the rich Italian cultural context. Students may also choose to participate in an optional spring break study in Italy, which includes both classroom and field lessons in Italian usage and culture. This course will not fulfill the foreign language requirement.

GERMAN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Juniors and Seniors Only
This course will build upon the already familiar linguistic skills acquired in other languages taught at St. Andrew’s. It will emphasize conversation for every-day situations, expanding both vocabulary and grammar at an intensive level. It will focus on the three German-speaking countries in Europe (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), integrating textual, audio, video, and cultural components. This course will not fulfill the foreign language requirement.

Latin


The study of Latin at St. Andrew’s is intertwined with the study of the multi-cultural Roman civilization. Students studying Latin will derive an understanding of the history and culture from which our own civilization is produced. The beginning courses emphasize Latin grammar. The upper courses develop translation skills and critical thinking through reading such authors as Catullus, Horace, Vergil, Ovid, and Cicero. St. Andrew’s offers the Latin Advanced Placement course consisting of Caesar and Vergil. Students may choose to begin Latin in the seventh grade and may carry this choice through a four- to five-year study of the language. Alternately, students may choose to begin Latin in the ninth grade and study the language for three or four years in the Upper School. The department also conducts an Italy study program for its students.

Latin I


The first-year study emphasizes pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar, and English vocabulary derived from Latin. Translation skills are developed by reading Latin stories about Pompeii, Rome, and the larger Roman world. Students also study the culture and geography of the ancient world and present research projects.

Latin II


The course begins with an extensive review of Latin I and builds on these skills to complete the study of grammar emphasizing the subjunctive mood. Students build their translation skills through reading more complex Latin stories and acquiring an extensive Latin vocabulary. The course also focuses on English derivatives and Roman history, culture, and geography.


Latin III


The course begins with an extensive review of all Latin grammar. Students learn about significant Roman writers and read selections from the works of Cicero, Horace, Ovid, Catullus, and Vergil. The most important part of Latin III is learning to translate well by reading original works and acquiring the essential vocabulary and grammar necessary for this skill. Students continue their study of Roman culture and geography.


Latin IV


Students continue to read the primary Roman writers such as Cicero, Horace, Ovid, Catullus, and Vergil. Students gain an extremely high level of translation and vocabulary skills, and discuss and write significant literary essays about the works they are reading and the culture from which these works grew.


AP Latin V


Students in the Advanced Placement Latin course read extensively from Vergil and Caesar according to the dictates set by the curriculum. The students translate, write literary criticism, scan poetry, and study the culture that produced these works.


World Mythology


This course focuses on the mythology of various cultures and includes myths, legends, and fairy tales that represent central cultural and moral values. Students read and analyze basic Greco-Roman, Norse, African, Christian, Egyptian and Native American mythology and trace parallel elements found in the myths. Students also explore the basic relationships between myths and the people who produced them through literature, film, art, architecture, and music. Students gain a better understanding and appreciation of different cultures and a familiarity with mythology’s vast influence on language, literature and lifestyle. 


South Campus • Pre-K3 to 4th grade • 4120 Old Canton Road • Jackson, MS 39216 • 601-987-9300
North Campus • Grades 5 to 12 • 370 Old Agency Road • Ridgeland, MS 39157 • 601-853-6000

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