Learning

Curriculum

Languages

The mission of the Languages Department is to develop in students the language skills that will enable them to gain a firsthand appreciation and understanding of other people’s languages, literatures, histories, and cultures. Students learn to respond creatively and critically to the challenges and opportunities for communication in the world today. Our ultimate goal is to help students cultivate a healthy vision of the future that includes not only themselves but past and present peoples from around the world.

As an objective framework for our mission statement, we have adopted the five goals as set forth by the American Council for the Teaching of Languages:

•  Communication: Communicate in languages other than English.
•  Cultures: Gain knowledge and understanding of other cultures.
•  Connections: Connect with other disciplines and acquire information.
•  Comparisons: Develop insight into the nature of language and culture.
•  Communities: Participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world.

Six languages are offered – two classical and four modern – with Honors sections available. The Classical Honors Program attracts students who achieve a high level of competence in Latin and Greek.

The School Year Abroad program (SYA) offers students studying French, Spanish, and Chinese opportunities to improve their language skills dramatically in an immersion setting. Exchanges with the Seikei School in Japan; the École Alsacienne in Paris, France; and the Humboldt Gymnasium in Leipzig, Germany, offer similar benefits for one term of study abroad.

Enrollment in language courses is subject to permission of the department head.   
  • Chinese 1

    Full Year: 3 credits

    This is an immersion course for beginners. Students learn to express themselves and understand others by focusing on topics closely related to their daily life. The four tones and the pronunciation are introduced through the rhythmic verses in order to help students to develop a natural ear and tongue for the language. The pedagogy known as TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Story-telling) serves as a backbone for both oral comprehension and reading skills. Students also write the characters daily as they build up the foundation by practicing the strokes, stroke orders, and radicals. The course evokes a high energy level with each and every in-class activity.
  • Chinese 2

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite: Chinese 1

    This course is a continuation of Chinese 1. Using increasingly complex vocabulary and sentence structures, students respond to a variety of functions: formulating questions, describing, and narrating. Students read and write short compositions on a weekly basis. Cultural aspects of the language are emphasized through projects. Students are expected to have a combination of typing and writing characters regularly, as a supplement to intensive handwritten character writing.
     
  • Chinese 2 Honors

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite: Chinese 1

    The course is designed for students who have a solid mastery of the grammar and vocabulary covered in Chinese 1.  Students will continue to build essential vocabulary in order to read and write level appropriate passages, to develop speaking skills as well as to become acquainted with aspects of Chinese culture and society. In addition, the study of syntax is quite intense in this class and students are expected to express themselves with grammatical precision. Homework, essays, and chapter tests are completed in pencil.
  • Chinese 3

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite: Chinese 2
     
    This course builds on Chinese 2. Students have regular opportunities for meaningful communication by using more complex structures, vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. The focus of the course is to combine and expand elements previously learned in order to enable students to express themselves more accurately through the story based approach. Students are expected to discuss readings and re-write the story as the written assessment. Cultural aspects of the language are also emphasized. Multimedia aids are used. Students are expected to type their essays regularly, in supplement to intensive handwritten character writing.
  • Chinese 3 Honors

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite: Chinese 2

    This course is designed for students who have a thorough mastery of the grammatical structures and vocabulary covered in the second year. Students learn to state their own opinions in longer speeches using more complex structures and vocabulary. Reading skills continue to be developed using a variety of stories. Students are expected to have oral and written assessments regularly according to the content of the stories.
  • Chinese 4

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite: Chinese 3
     

    This course pays special attention to developing students’ oral and listening competence. Students read more extensively on various topics including short stories and other literary pieces. Idiomatic expressions are introduced through reading literary selections. Students are expected to write regularly. Cultural aspects of the language are emphasized through focused term research projects. Multimedia aides are used on a regular basis. Students are expected to type their essays regularly, in supplement to intensive handwritten character writing.
  • Chinese 4 Honors

    Full year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite: Chinese 3 Honors

    This immersion course pays special attention to developing students' oral competence and listening skills through vocabulary, communication, listening exercises, readings and discussions around various themes. Students read more extensively on various topics including newspaper articles, short stories, and other literary pieces. Idiomatic expressions are introduced through literary selections. Students are encouraged to discuss current events and to develop their creativity through projects using posters, videos, oral presentations etc. Multimedia aides are used.
  • Chinese 5 Honors

    Full Year:  3 credits
    Prerequisite: Chinese 4 Honors
     
    This course, designed for more advanced students, further develops overall Chinese language proficiency and knowledge of Chinese culture through movies, discussions, and extensive reading of various texts, including materials from newspapers, magazines, and other authentic documents. Students master advanced-level language structures, expressive styles, and conventions of communication through topics reflecting multiple aspects of Chinese society and culture and the use of various authentic multimedia materials in different linguistic registers.
  • Chinese Seminar

    Fall, Winter, or Spring Term: 1 credit
    Prerequisite: Chinese 5 Honors

    This course is designed for advanced students who have completed Chinese 5 Honors. The focus is on reading, class discussion, and writing. The materials for this course are chosen mostly from modern literary writings, but classical literary pieces are introduced as well.
  • French 1

    Full Year: 3 credits

    This course offers students an introduction to the language and culture of contemporary French-speaking countries. Grammar, vocabulary, and syntax are studied using a film-based textbook with simple dialogues, oral and written drills, building conversational skills. Work in the Language Center reinforces the development of listening and speaking. The class is conducted mostly in French.
  • French 1 Honors

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite: Permission of the Department Head

    This course is designed for students with a strong basic background in French. Emphasis is placed on refining the listening, speaking, and writing skills of the students. Proficiency is honed through work in the Language Center and the use of a variety of multimedia materials that accompany the text. Grammar is reviewed thoroughly. The class is conducted in French from the beginning.
  • French 2

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite:
    French 1 or French Review

    This course is the continuation of French 1 and French Review. The basic study of grammar is completed, and reading selections and writing exercises of increasing complexity help students work on their language and conversational skills. The cultural component of this course gives students an understanding of the diversity of France and the Francophone world today.
  • French 2 Honors

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite: French 1 Honors

    This course continues and consolidates the study of grammar. Readings of increasing difficulty are introduced as the basis for expanded oral and written work through task-oriented and creative writing techniques. Texts studied represent a broad spectrum of cultures and ideas across Francophone societies.
  • French 3

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite:
    French 2 or French 2 Honors

    In this course, emphasis is placed on refining the listening, speaking, and writing skills of the students aided by a more complex study of grammatical structures. A variety of the multimedia materials accompanies a textbook which is rich in readings and articles that widen the students’ knowledge about societal trends in the Francophone world. The short readings and one-act plays enrich the understanding of French, and they also provide the basis of discussion, performances, and writing exercises in French.
     
  • French 3 Honors

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite: French 2 Honors or permission of the Department Head

    Using texts and materials that address contemporary societal trends, this course focuses on learning more about and connecting with the Francophone world and its literature. Oral proficiency is emphasized, grammar is thoroughly reviewed, reading skills are honed and analytical essay writing techniques are introduced.
  • French 4

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite:
    French 3

    Cultural and historical Francophone themes are explored through literature, film and music. Critical reading skills continue to be developed using a variety of texts which include novels, short stories, plays and poetry. This course emphasizes analytical discussions, writing assignments and projects. Grammar continues to be reviewed with particular attention to its finer points.
  • French 4 Honors

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite: French 3 Honors

    Francophone cinema, literature and contemporary events serve as springboards for discussion as we delve into issues facing the 21st century French-speaking world.  This course explores a wide array of traditions and styles of discourse. Oral and aural proficiency are refined in conjunction with rigorous grammar review. Writing and reading skills are broadened across all genres.
  • French 5

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of French 4

    This course is taught in the same manner as French 4. Students continue to strengthen their reading, writing, listening/understanding and speaking skills. Francophone culture and history provide the context for in-depth discussions and writing assignments on literary works, films and news media.
  • French Seminar 1

    Fall, Winter, or Spring Term: 3-credit sequence

    Prerequisite:
    French 4 Honors

    This course offers a survey of French literature. In fall and winter the students read French literary classics, beginning in the Middle Ages and focusing on one work per century. In spring they study novels from the contemporary Francophone world. The students also view French language films at home and draw connections with the readings. Class discussions focus primarily on close readings and assess the works within their historical and literary contexts. The writings and films additionally serve as springboards for thinking through social constructs and theoretical concepts such as race, gender, sexuality, and intersectionality. The students improve their writing skills through frequent short writing assignments and in class essays. Leading discussions and delivering presentations allows them to fine-tune their speaking abilities.
  • German 1

    Full Year: 3 credits

    This course offers students an introduction to the language and culture of contemporary German-speaking countries. Grammar, vocabulary, and syntax are studied through oral and written drills and through simple conversations. Work in the Language Center reinforces the development of listening and speaking skills. The class is conducted in German from the beginning.
  • German 2 Honors

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite: German 1 and Permission of the Department Head

    This course is a continuation of German 1 and is taught in the same manner. The basic study of grammar is completed, and readings of increasing difficulty are introduced as the basis for expanded oral and written work. The course includes an introduction to German history, literature, film, and cultural topics through the German language. By the end of the course, students are able to use workable, basic German in normal situations they encounter and are able to enjoy works written in simple German.
  • German 2

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite:
    German 1

    This course is a continuation of German 1 and is taught in the same manner. The basic study of grammar is completed, and readings of increasing difficulty are introduced as the basis for expanded oral and written work. By the end of the course, students are able to use workable, basic German in normal situations they encounter and are able to enjoy works written in simple German.
  • German 3

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite: German 2

    This is a multifaceted course, designed to introduce students to German culture through literature, history, contemporary politics, music and popular culture.  Materials used include shorter literary works such as short stories, novellas, plays and poetry, as well as film and a variety of news media.  Proficiency and grammatical accuracy continue to be emphasized through written and oral exercises.
  • German 3 Honors

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite:
    German 2 and permission of the Department Head

    This is a multifaceted course, designed to introduce students to German culture through literature, history, contemporary politics, music and popular culture.  Materials used include shorter literary works such as short stories, novellas, plays, and poetry, as well as film and a variety of news media.  Proficiency and grammatical accuracy continue to be emphasized through written and oral exercises.
  • German 4

    Full Year: 3 credits

    Prerequisite:
    German 3

    Issues and themes of cultural and historical relevance are explored through literature, film and current events.  Critical reading skills continue to be developed using a variety of texts which include plays, lyric poetry, fiction and news articles.  The course emphasizes discussion, analytical papers and projects.  Grammar continues to be reviewed with particular attention to its finer points and the use of idioms.
  • German 4 Honors

    Full Year: 3 credits

    Prerequisite: German 3 Honors

    Issues and themes of cultural and historical relevance are explored through literature, film and current events.  Critical reading skills continue to be developed using a variety of texts which include plays, lyric poetry, fiction and news articles.  The course emphasizes discussion, analytical papers and projects.  Grammar continues to be reviewed with particular attention to its finer points and the use of idioms.
  • German 5 Honors

    Full Year: 3 credits

    Prerequisite:
    German 4 Honors
     
    This course is a continuation of German 4 Honors and is taught in the same manner.  Students continue to strengthen their four language skills of reading, writing, listening/understanding and speaking.  German culture and history provide the context for in-depth discussions and writing assignments on literary works, film and news media.
  • German Seminar

    Prerequisite: German 5 Honors

    This course is designed for advanced students who have completed German 5 Honors. Current events focusing on German-speaking countries, lyric poetry, longer literary works and German film provide the basis for discussions and writing assignments. Reading, Writing, Listening/Understanding and Speaking skills continue to be refined based on the needs of the students.
  • Greek 1

    Full Year: 3 credits

    This course provides an introduction to Attic Greek forms, vocabulary, and grammar, employing readings of graduated difficulty. Students also learn Greek mythology, the historical origins of Greek civilization, the geography of Greece and the eastern Mediterranean, and aspects of daily life in ancient Greece.
  • Greek 2

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite: Greek 1

    This course begins with a review of Greek grammar, then introduces the more complex verb forms and dependent clauses using the subjunctive and optative moods. Students learn the history of the classical period, including the Athenian Empire and the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars. Toward the end of the course, students encounter readings from prose authors such as Herodotus, Xenophon, Lysias, and Lucian.
  • Greek 3 Honors

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite:
    Greek 2

    In the Fall Term this course concludes the introduction to Greek prose with extended readings from texts such as Plato’s dialogues and Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War. In the Winter and Spring Terms students are introduced to Greek poetry through selections from Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, the lyric poets, or Athenian tragedy and comedy.
  • Greek 4 Honors

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite: Greek 3 Honors
     
    This advanced reading course provides a survey of the rise and fall of Athenian democracy through extended readings from the historians Herodotus and Thucydides, the philosophers Plato and Aristotle, and Greek tragedy and comedy.
  • Latin Bridge

    Full Year: 3 credits

    This course is for students who have some background in Latin. Students obtain a solid foundation in vocabulary, forms, grammatical constructions, and reading comprehension. Students also gain an overview of classical mythology, Roman history, daily life, and the geography of the ancient world.
  • Latin 1

    Full Year: 3 credits

    This course provides an introduction to the Latin language and syntax. Graduated readings in Latin explore events in the life of a typical Roman household while also teaching vocabulary, forms, and grammatical constructions. Students also gain an overview of classical mythology, Roman history, daily life, and the geography of the ancient world.
  • Latin 2

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite:
    Latin 1

    This course begins with a review of material from Latin 1. Students learn more advanced grammatical concepts such as purpose and result clauses, conditional sentences and other uses of the subjunctive, and gerunds and gerundives. Students continue to develop reading proficiency via textual narrative. Students also examine pertinent cultural and historical topics.
  • Latin 2 Honors

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite: Latin 1
    This course offers an accelerated approach to the language. Emphasis is placed on advanced syntax, including uses of the subjunctive, uses of the cases of nouns, and techniques for translation and reading comprehension. Students study and pursue projects on a wide variety of cultural, historical, and linguistic topics. Toward the end of the course, students encounter readings from prose authors such as Caesar, Livy, and Nepos.
     

  • Latin 3

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite:
    Latin 2

    This course begins with a brief review of grammar and syntax learned in the previous two years. Students continue to reinforce grammatical concepts and improve their Latin-to-English translation as they read graduated selections from adapted texts by prose authors such as Eutropius, Livy, Nepos, and Caesar. Emphasis is placed on improving sight translation and reading comprehension. The readings also introduce students to major figures, events, and cultural topics from the legends of early Rome and the history of the Roman Republic.
  • Latin 3 Honors

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite:
    Latin 2 Honors

    This course offers a rapid review of the fundamentals of grammar combined with accelerated readings from a selection of Latin prose authors such as Caesar, Livy, and Cicero. Through these readings students trace Rome’s development from city-state to world empire and the concomitant evolution of the constitution from the Monarchy through the Republic to the Principate.
  • Latin 4

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite: Latin 3

    This is a reading-based course focused on selections from the poetry of Catullus, Virgil, and Ovid. Formal review of advanced grammatical concepts will be provided as necessary. The course provides students with an opportunity to analyze Roman texts as they improve their reading comprehension and sight translation skills. Various cultural and historical projects may include studies of Roman poetry, mythology and love in the Roman world, and the reception of the works read in later artists and authors.
  • Latin 4 Honors

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite: Latin 3 Honors

    This is a reading-based course focused on the historical development and aesthetic principles of Roman poetry. Selections from Catullus, Virgil, Horace, and Ovid provide the basis for class discussions. In addition to poetic scansion and literary devices, students will explore the social, cultural, and political context of these authors.
  • Latin 5

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite: Latin 4

    This course introduces students to the comic literature of ancient Rome through advanced readings chosen from comedy, satire, invective, and the novel and culminates in the production of a play in Latin for performance on Anniversary Weekend. Authors read may include Plautus, Terence, Cicero, Horace, Petronius, Seneca, and Apuleius. Students also consult models from Greek literature in English translation and modern plays and films inspired by Roman originals.
  • Latin 5 Honors

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite: Latin 4 Honors

    This course introduces students to the comic literature of ancient Rome through advanced readings chosen from comedy, satire, invective, and the novel and culminates in the production of a play in Latin for performance on Anniversary Weekend. Authors read may include Plautus, Terence, Cicero, Horace, Petronius, Seneca, and Apuleius. Students also consult models from Greek literature in English translation and modern plays and films inspired by Roman originals.
  • Spanish 1

    Full Year: 3 credits

    This course offers an introduction to the language and culture of Spanish-speaking countries. Grammar, syntax and vocabulary are studied through oral and written drills and through simple conversations. Work in the Language Center reinforces the development of listening and speaking skills. The class is conducted mostly in Spanish.
  • Spanish 1 Honors

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite: Permission of the Department Head


    This course offers a thorough, rapid review of basic Spanish grammar followed by a continuation of intensive grammar and vocabulary studies. Exercises and drills, conducted both in class and in the Language Center, are an integral part of the course. A series of short videos reinforces listening skills and provides a context for dialogues in order to strengthen speaking skills. The course introduces students to the literature and culture of Spanish-speaking countries through a study of short literary selections and articles.
  • Spanish 2

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite:
    Spanish 1

    This course is a continuation of Spanish 1 or Spanish Review. A study of basic vocabulary and grammar is completed by the end of the year, and there is greater emphasis on cultural readings and perspectives. Students further develop communication skills and are able to use basic Spanish in varied situations.
  • Spanish 2 Honors

    Full Year:  3 credits
    Prerequisite:
    Spanish 1 Honors or permission of the Department Head
     
    This intensive course offers a challenging and thorough review of all fundamental Spanish grammar. Advanced vocabulary is introduced, increasing students’ capacity for both oral and written proficiency. The course includes adapted selections of Hispanic literature, frequent compositions, and required oral participation.
  • Spanish 3

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite:
    Spanish 2

    This course is designed to strengthen speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. During the year, students solidify the previously studied grammar and vocabulary and further develop communication skills. Students read and discuss short stories and poems that reflect cultural elements of Spanish-speaking countries.
  • Spanish 3 Honors

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite:
    Spanish 2 Honors or permission of the Department Head

    Students in this course are expected to develop a high level of proficiency in Spanish as we emphasize reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.  Students read short stories, poems, essays and articles of major Hispanic authors. Students participate in daily discussions of the literature, which include the cultural, social, and political contexts of these works. Compositions are assigned regularly. The course also includes an intensive and fast-paced review of Spanish grammar. Proficiency and grammatical accuracy continue to be emphasized through written and oral exercises.
  • Spanish 4

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite: Spanish 3

    In this sequence of classes, students explore themes of cultural and historical importance through literature, film, and current events. Students are exposed to a diversity of voices and continue to develop reading skills by reading a variety of texts, which include poetry, fiction, and news articles. In addition, students review and strengthen their reading, writing, listening, and conversational skills. Students are expected to participate actively in discussions of literature and culture.
  • Spanish 4 Honors

    Full Year: 3 credits
    Prerequisite: Spanish 3 Honors

    In this class students expand their active knowledge of Spanish through the study of literature, film, and other media. In the fall we discuss a series of plays; the winter is devoted to short stories; and in the spring, we read poetry and essays. Each term also includes a film. Assessments include expository and creative writing in Spanish, frequent quizzes on class materials, and the performance of spoken exercises. No English is used in the classroom. While occasional grammar review is provided, students are expected to improve their Spanish by constant exposure to and use of the language. The class also includes occasional discussion of strategies for language learning.
  • Spanish 5

    Fall, Winter, and Spring Terms: 3-credit sequence
    Prerequisite: Full year of Spanish 4.

    In this course students continue to explore Latin American culture and history through current events, texts, and film. Students are expected to participate actively in discussions in order to continue to strengthen their communication skills. In addition, students further hone their writing skills through weekly compositions.
  • Spanish Seminar 1

    Fall, Winter, or Spring Term: 1 credit
    Prerequisite: Spanish 4 Honors.

    In this course students use literature, film, and other media to strengthen their active use of idiomatic language, a broad vocabulary, and complex sentences. The bulk of class time is dedicated to the close analysis of literary works, although we also discuss historical events, films, visual arts, music, and contemporary politics and society. Topics and materials date from medieval Iberia and colonial Latin America to the contemporary Spanish-speaking world.
     
     
  • Spanish Seminar 2

    Fall, Winter, or Spring Term: 1 credit
    Prerequisite: Full year of Spanish Seminar 1.

    Seminar 1 and 2 constitute a two-year cycle. Because very few students take both seminars, the structure of the class is the same. Thus, the description of Seminar 1 applies equally to Seminar 2. However, because some students do take both seminars, the selection of readings and other materials is different.
     
  • Photo of Patricia Ilzarbe
    Patricia Ilzarbe
    Teacher of Spanish
    (603) 229-4606
    Bio
  • Photo of Zayer Baazaoui
    Zayer Baazaoui
    Teacher of French
    (603) 229-5500, ext. 6038
    Bio
  • Photo of Margo Burns
    Margo Burns
    (603) 229-4666
  • Photo of David Camden
    David Camden
    Teacher of Latin and Greek
    (603) 229-5500, ext. 6008
    Bio
  • Photo of Elizabeth Engelhardt
    Elizabeth Engelhardt
    Teacher of Latin and Greek
    (603) 229-5500, ext. 6040
    Bio
  • Photo of Meredith Finch
    Meredith Finch
    Teacher of Spanish
    (603) 229-5500 ext. 6015
    Bio
  • Photo of Jennifer Hornor
    Jennifer Hornor
    Teacher of German
    (603) 229-4667
    Bio
  • Photo of Jeffrey Hutter
    Jeffrey Hutter
    Teacher of French
    (603) 229-5500, ext. 6079
    Bio
  • Photo of Virginia Invernizzi
    Virginia Invernizzi
    Teacher of Spanish
    (603) 229-5500, ext. 6045
    Bio
  • Photo of Zhaohong Li
    Zhaohong Li
    Head of Languages Department
    (603) 229-4606
    Bio
  • Photo of Jorane Manuel-Justinvil
    Jorane Manuel-Justinvil
    (603) 229-4848
  • Photo of Eblin Molina
    Eblin Molina
    (603) 229-5500 ext. 6030
    Bio
  • Photo of Paul Murray
    Paul Murray
    Teacher of Chinese
    (603) 229-5500, ext. 6078
    Bio
  • Photo of Matias Oviedo
    Matias Oviedo
    Teacher of Spanish
    (603) 229-5500, ext. 6023
    Bio
  • Photo of Ryan Samuels
    Ryan Samuels
    Teacher of Latin & Greek
    (603) 229-5500, ext. 6055
    Bio
  • Photo of Jeanne Windsor
    Jeanne Windsor
    Teacher of French<br>Director of Independent Study Program
    (603) 229-4849
    Bio
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