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Foreign Language

The foreign language curriculum at Xavier High School strives to incorporate the "Five C's" of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign languages: communication, cultures, connections, comparisons and communities.

The emphasis on a strong grammatical underpinning serves as the foundation for students' ability to employ their target language in written and spoken interpersonal communication.

At higher levels this focus expands to include the examination of and comparison with target cultures through the use of authentic written, visual and interactive media.

French I, II, III, AP

Honors French I - Course #511, Full Year, 1 Credit, Freshmen

French I is an introductory course to the French language. It is taught under the assumption that all students are new to both French and to foreign language study in general. The class focuses on the acquisition of fundamental vocabulary and grammar, and on developing basic proficiencies in reading, writing, speaking and general comprehension. In covering the first half of our textbook, we will move through such topics as the characteristics of nouns and pronouns, qualities and conjugations of regular and irregular verbs, prepositions, adjectives, adverbs, and both the present and past tenses.

Honors French II - Course #521, Full Year, 1 Credit, Sophomores

Honors French II continues the establishment of fundamental grammar, syntax and vocabulary from the first year course. After an initial review of the most essential introductory topics the course moves on to focus largely on student use of the two primary past tenses, object pronouns, adverbs, and both the simple future and conditional tenses. There is a substantial emphasis placed on expanding proficiencies in reading and writing, and speaking practice is emphasized in both small projects and daily classroom exchanges. This course is conducted roughly 50% or more in the target language, depending on the makeup of the class.

Honors French III - Course #531, Full Year, 1 Credit, Juniors

Honors French III transitions students away from a strictly grammar- and vocabulary-oriented curriculum to a curriculum that is more inclusive of culture and comprehension, in anticipation of a full immersion in French IV. All major grammar topics from the preceding two years are reviewed and examined in greater depth, and more advanced concepts are introduced. Language structures are reviewed in the context of intermediate-level dialogue and narrative in the target language throughout the course of the year. Students are introduced to various characters and are forced to examine the events of the story with the gradual addition of new syntax. Whereas previous years' vocabulary encouraged more general themes along the elementary and limited-proficiency levels, vocabulary in French III pushes students at times into the realm of academic and professional vocabulary as each new chapter of the story dictates. Throughout, students are asked to produce both writing and prepared/rehearsed speech that demonstrates their grasp on general language proficiency. The majority of the class is conducted in French, and students are expected to attempt responses in unrehearsed, spontaneous French.

AP French Language & Culture - Course #555, Full Year, 1 Credit, Seniors

This course is designed as a culmination of students’ French studies in high school. At this point, they have already learned the structures necessary to communicate in French. In AP French, students review and refine those grammatical structures while learning new vocabulary to communicate in French of a variety of topics. AP French emphasizes all aspects of language: listening, speaking, reading, writing and culture. All activities in this class are examined through the lenses of the six themes for all AP language courses. This course is designed to prepare students for the AP French language and Culture examination in May. AP French is conducted exclusively in French. Registration in this course requires approval of the Foreign Language Chairman.


Spanish I, II, III, IV

SPANISH I

Honors - Course #512, Full Year, 1 Credit, Freshmen

This full year course in Spanish I at the Honors level is structured for students who have demonstrated a preexisting proficiency in basic written and spoken Spanish. Class pacing will be much faster than in other levels. Target language use will be significantly higher than in other levels, particularly in simple teacher-student interactions. Students will move beyond work in the present tense and into the use of the preterit past tense.

Accelerated - Course #514, Full Year, 1 Credit, Freshmen

This full year course in Spanish I at the Accelerated level is designed to provide a strong foundation for language study and establish an appropriate level of proficiency in the target language. Particular focus will be given to expression in the present tense and near future. Both teacher and students make use of the target language throughout the instructional process via the many type of activities, such as conservation, listening, and reading. Students are exposed to a variety of experiences, lessons, and information which provide topics of culture, society and the Hispanic heritage.

CP - Course #516/517, Full Year, 1 Credit, Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors

The first year course at the College Prep level is designed to introduce basic grammar and vocabulary of the target language. There is a considerable emphasis given to the present tense throughout the entirety of the course. Material such as asking and answering basic questions, introductions and descriptions, daily routine, and verb conjugations become a foundation for students before beginning the second level course. Students will begin to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the target language through simple speaking, writing, listening, and reading activities. Also, throughout the course, there will be an emphasis on establishing proper study skills and organizational skills.

SPANISH II

Honors - Course #518/522, Full Year, 1 Credit, Freshmen, Sophomores

The second year course in Honors Spanish is designed to build upon the foundation of the language established in the previous year. Skills are reinforced, cultural themes revisited and grammar reviewed in the opening weeks of the year’s program. Vocabulary study focuses upon relevant and current words and expressions which are part of everyday life in these modern time. Students advance their knowledge of grammar and study new tenses enabling them to speak, write and read on a much higher level.

Accelerated - Course #524, Full Year, 1 Credit, Sophomores

The second year course in Accelerated Spanish II is designed to build upon the foundation of the language established in the previous year making use of the target language more real to students as their knowledge of Spanish develops. Students will concentrate a great deal on the preterit tense with regular and irregular verbs as well as direct, indirect, and double object pronouns, imperfect tense, and other topics.

CP - Course #526/527, Full Year, 1 Credit, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors

The second year course at the College Prep level is designed for students to continue building upon the foundation established in the first year course. As the student’s understanding and knowledge of the language increases a focus will be placed on the use of material learned in the target language. Students will continue to concentrate on the present tense however many new verbs, including irregulars, will be introduced. The present progressive tense, reflexive verbs, direct, indirect, and double object pronouns will also become a focus throughout the entirety of the course. Throughout this course, students will demonstrate their understanding of the target language through speaking, reading, listening, and writing skills.

SPANISH III

Honors - Course #528/532, Full Year, 1 Credit, Sophomores, Juniors

This intensive full year course is designed to continue to develop a strong foundation for all students studying the Spanish language. Communicative skills are further reinforced and refined, cultural themes are further expanded upon, and previous grammatical concepts and vocabulary are reviewed. Students will also be introduced to new vocabulary and grammatical and syntactical concepts. Grammatical concepts covered this year will include: future, conditional, present subjunctive, imperfect subjunctive, and the perfect tenses. The overall goal is for students to demonstrate fluency in the target language through their speaking, reading, listening, and writing skills.

Accelerated - Course #534, Full Year, 1 Credit, Juniors

This third year course is designed to continue to develop a strong foundation for all students studying the Spanish language. Students will examine and create complex sentence structures, learn advanced grammatical concepts, expand their vocabulary, and speak the target language in class. A major goal of this course is proficiency of the components of the target language. Students will also demonstrate fluency in the target language through their speaking, reading, listening, and writing skills.

CP - Course #536, Full Year, 1 Credit, Juniors, Seniors

This third year College Prep course is designed to continue to provide a strong foundation for all students studying the Spanish language. Students will examine and construct complex sentence structures, further their knowledge of advanced grammatical concepts, expand their vocabulary, and speak the target language in class. The overall goal of this course is for the students to develop better proficiency in all components of the target language.

SPANISH IV

Honors - Course #538/542, Full Year, 1 Credit, Juniors, Seniors

Honors Spanish IV focuses on bringing together students' previous, grammar-based language studies and combining them into a literature- and culture- based seminar-style course. This advanced level Spanish Language course is taught exclusively in the target language. As a consequence, the expectation is that students enrolled are capable of meeting the various requirements of the course program while making use of the target language exclusively on a daily basis. Since all students have learned the major components of Spanish grammar, grammatical emphasis will be on an “as needed” basis; throughout the year a variety of learning activities will be utilized in order to develop the four language skills. These include but are not limited to level-appropriate authentic readings, listening activities, oral presentations in Spanish, and the use of technology. Homework assignments as well as active class participation in Spanish are integral parts of this course.

Accelerated - Course #548, Full Year, 1 Credit, Seniors

This fourth year course is designed to reinforce the material learned in previous years of Spanish. It continues developing the fundamental language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, but places more emphasis on incorporating concepts previously learned. Students are also introduced to new vocabulary, syntax and complex grammar which is always presented in context and compared and contrast with previous material. The main emphasis of the course is to improve the communication skills of the students as well as their reading comprehension and listening skills. Students will have to read and talk about news in Spanish, specific topics and literature in the target language. Students will also practice listening activities on a regular basis. This course is conducted roughly in Spanish with constant Spanish interaction between the teacher and the students and among the students themselves.

Latin I, II, III, AP

Honors - Course #510, Full Year, 1 Credit, Freshmen

Latin I is an introduction to the Latin Language. The course will consist primarily in the study of the study of vocabulary (with emphasis on English derivatives of Latin words), Latin forms/grammar, and Latin sentence structure. Multiple aspects of Greco/ Roman Culture will be studied. The major aim of the course is that the student will develop a basic fluency in the reading/translation of Latin texts.

Honors - Course #520, Full Year, 1 Credit, Sophomores

Latin II continues the building of skills started in Latin I. The course will consist of the study of vocabulary (with emphasis on English derivatives of Latin words), Latin forms, and Latin sentence structure. The aim of the course is that the student will develop a fluency in the reading/translation of Latin texts. At the end of the school year, the student should be able to read Caesar and other selected Latin authors.

Honors - Course #530, Full Year, 1 Credit, Juniors

Latin III continues the building of skills started in Latin I and Latin II. The course will consist of the study of vocabulary (with emphasis on English derivatives of Latin words), Latin forms, and Latin sentence structure. The aim of the course is that the student will develop a fluency in the reading/translation of Latin texts. At the end of the school year, the student should have developed sufficient competency to translate adequately Cicero, Caesar and other selected Latin literature. The course will emphasize the reading of Caesar and begin the study of Latin poetry with the reading of Ovid. Literary figures and the mechanics of poetry will be studied in-depth. The course will cover the Advanced Placement curriculum relative to the reading of Caesar’s Gallic War

AP - Course #540, Full Year, 1 Credit, Seniors

AP Latin Literature (Latin IV) continues the building of skills started in the first three years of Latin study. The course will consist of the study of vocabulary (with emphasis on English derivatives of Latin words), Latin forms, Latin sentence structure, and the mechanics of Latin poetry. The aim of the course is that the student will develop a fluency in the reading/translation of Latin texts. At the end of the school year, the student should be sufficiently knowledgeable to read Vergil, Caesar and other selected Latin literature. The student should also have an in-depth knowledge of the mechanics of Latin poetry. The student should develop a critical, historical, and literary sensitivity to the Latin Literature studied.

AP Spanish Language & Culture

AP - Course #556, Full Year, 1 Credit, Seniors

This course is a fully-immersive Advanced Placement Spanish class that focuses on the areas of proficiency set forth by the College Board. The curriculum is arranged around six essential themes: Beauty and Aesthetics, Contemporary Life, Families and Communities, Global Challenges, Personal and Public Challenges, and Science and Technology. Students work on establishing advanced written and oral communication skills in a variety of contexts, including digital media. Emphasis is placed on awareness of Spanish-speaking cultures, and the ability to make comparisons between these cultures and the students' own is essential. Students are also expected to synthesize material taken from a range of authentic, target-language sources and produce high-quality presentations and class discussions in Spanish. Enrollment in this course requires departmental approval.

Language Department Faculty

Marta Castro-Maguder

Marta Castro-Maguder

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Tracy Costa

Tracy Costa

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Brian Fitzgerald

Brian Fitzgerald

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Michele Gerardi

Michele Gerardi

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Heidi Lane

Heidi Lane

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Br. John Sullivan, C.F.X.

Br. John Sullivan, C.F.X.

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