Curriculum Detail

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World Languages

The mission of the Sage Hill World Languages Department is to awaken in students a love of the language, an appreciation of the cultures, and a competency in spoken and written communication appropriate to their level in the language they are studying. Classroom activities target development of the four skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing. The modern languages encourage students to use the target language for real communication from the very beginning, while second year and more advanced students are expected to use it for all class communication. All languages use a variety of supplementary materials including music, music videos, film, literature, news articles and visual art. Our goal is to give students the skills to go out into the community, both locally and globally, and participate proficiently using their target language of study.

All Sage Hill students must be enrolled in a language course for three years and must complete level III of one language. A student who completes level III of any language in the freshman or sophomore year may choose to continue through to an advanced class, or begin another language.
  • Chinese I

    Chinese I is an introductory course designed for learners without prior knowledge of the language. This course emphasizes fundamental communication skills in Mandarin Chinese, including listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Students learn to read and write Chinese characters and the pronunciation system. Chinese I also introduce students to the culture of China. Students speak Chinese in every class, take regular written and oral tests and do research on various aspects of Chinese culture.
  • Chinese II

    Chinese II builds on a fundamental knowledge of Chinese language and culture. In addition to helping students consolidate their knowledge of Chinese, this course focuses on oral proficiency and expanding vocabulary. Students speak Chinese in every class, refining the tones and pronunciation of Mandarin Chinese and continue to explore the art, traditions and culture of China.
  • Chinese III

    Chinese III course is designed to further students’ ability to comprehend and converse in Mandarin Chinese, build vocabulary and extend reading and writing skills. There is an increased emphasis on complex sentence structures and idiomatic expressions in speaking and reading. Students speak Chinese in every class and apply their language skills to various projects and presentations. Students will research and expand their knowledge of the culture of China and read authentic materials.
  • Honors Chinese IV: Literature and Film

    Honors Chinese IV is a course for advanced students interested in continuing to build their language skills and in learning more about Chinese culture. Students will thoroughly review elementary grammar and vocabulary, practice appropriate use of idiomatic expressions and further develop proficiency in reading contemporary Chinese texts, as well as composing essays at the intermediate level. Themes will rotate to include folk arts, history, film, music and literature. Further development of oral expression will be emphasized. This course is conducted almost entirely in Chinese. This course may be repeated for credit to include the alternate theme.
  • French I

    French I introduces students to the language and culture of the Francophone world. The course emphasizes effective, confident communication. Students sustain simple conversations in the present and past tenses on covered topics, understand the same material when spoken by a native speaker, read simple passages from authentic materials, and write descriptions of people and activities. They learn a fundamental knowledge of the geography of France, and of the culture of France and other French-speaking countries. Students speak French in every class, take regular written and oral examinations, research aspects of French culture and perform short skits.
  • French II

    French II builds on a fundamental knowledge of the French language and the cultures of French-speaking world. The course continues to emphasize effective, confident communication. Students sustain simple conversations on topics in present, past, and future tenses, understand the same material when spoken by a native speaker, read more difficult passages from authentic materials, and write with correct grammar and spelling. They expand their knowledge of the culture of France and other French-speaking countries. Students speak French in every class, take regular written and oral examinations, research aspects of French culture and perform short skits. In addition to the text and workbook, supplemental materials include music, film and a short novel.
  • French III

    In this course, students review and strengthen their knowledge of the French language, which will be presented within the context of the contemporary Francophone world and its culture. All language skills are equally emphasized and regularly assessed so that students demonstrate their acquisition of new grammatical structures and vocabulary in compositions and presentations. Computer technology and diverse audio material complement the course to further help students attain an advanced-intermediate speaking, listening and reading proficiency.
  • Honors French IV: Contemporary Society

    Honors French IV continues to enhance the student’s listening and speaking proficiency. This course includes conversation practice, vocabulary acquisition, grammar exercises and essay writing in the context of cultural themes. Students explore works of literature, films and current events to develop their critical thinking skills and understand the cultural and social contexts of the French-speaking world. In addition, there is increased emphasis on advanced level reading and writing. The intensive study of grammar continues, adding idiomatic expressions, as well as more complex sentence structures. Students create and communicate in French and the course will be conducted almost entirely in the target language. This course will rotate themes of film, culture, literature and history. This course may be repeated for credit to include the alternate theme.
  • Latin I

    The first year of Latin immerses students into a living language experience, where speaking, reading, writing and translating all play a part. Reading and translating are emphasized by following the format of the Cambridge Latin Course. Students are expected to master four noun declensions, the first four conjugations and the imperative and infinitive verb moods. Students also learn the basic forms and function of adjectives, adverbs, prepositions and adverbial dependent clauses. Latin I exposes the students to culture, history, and mythology, as well as to classical influences on western society and language.
  • Latin II

    Latin II continues the study of language, culture, history and mythology begun in Latin I. Students will read sample texts by authors such as Catullus, Caesar, Ovid and Cicero. Students are also expected to be proficient in all noun, pronoun and adjective declensions, noun and pronoun syntax, all regular conjugations, some irregular conjugations, and other verb moods. Students review the forms and functions of adjectives, adverbs, prepositions and adverbial dependent clauses, and also learn relative clauses and participle phrases.
  • Latin III

    The ultimate goal of Latin III is the study of Latin literature. Students will pronounce, translate, comprehend and analyze authentic Latin texts with facility and depth. A base knowledge of 1,400 vocabulary words (cumulatively from Latin I, II and III) is at the heart of this process. Students of Latin III gain a strong knowledge of verb mood and will also acquire a knowledge of Latin nouns and pronouns that will allow them to recognize and translate idiomatic Latin into colloquial English. Students learn about meter and style, including figures of speech, and will read passages of Catullus, Ovid and Vergil. Upon completion of Latin III, students will be prepared for the language and literature of Accelerated Latin IV.
  • Honors Latin IV: Vergil

    The Vergil rotation of Honors Latin IV allows the advanced Latin student to study the models and rich history of epic poetry while reading Vergil’s Aeneid in Latin (portions) and English (all). Students will delve into learning epic tropes, meter, figures of speech,
    diction, style and tone so that they might augment their abilities to interpret the verse and stories of Latin’s greatest epic. The course not only challenges students to know Latin at an advanced level but to go beyond vocabulary, morphology and syntax in order to mature their abilities to read, translate and analyze in a sophisticated manner.
  • Spanish I

    Spanish I is a foundational course that provides students with the skills to speak, read and write in Spanish. The course prepares students to speak in the present tense about several personal themes such as their family and community, their daily routines at school and at home, and their pastimes and hobbies. Other areas are the calendar and telling time, number operations, weather expressions, and introductions and greetings. The goal of the course is for students to build confidence and proficiency in these areas. Students are also introduced to features of the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world.
  • Spanish II

    Spanish II continues with the work from the previous course. Students will be introduced to communicating in the past and future tenses while continuing to strengthen their ability to speak in the present tense. More practice in various grammatical structures such as Gustar-type verbs, negative and indefinite words, reflexive verbs as well as comparative and superlative expressions will be covered. Units are built around thematic units such as clothing and shopping, food, celebrations and life cycles, health and wellness, and technology. With each unit, students will increase their proficiency in reading, writing and speaking. Celebrations and features of the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world will be emphasized within the thematic units.
  • Spanish III

    Spanish III continues to build foundational skills in Spanish. Students will be expected to speak and write in all time frames: present, past and future, and will also be introduced to the present subjunctive to express opinions and reactions as well as how to use formal and informal commands. The thematic units will include the environment and nature, the house, city life, health and well-being, and the arts. Students will be expected to read, write and speak with increased depth and fluency. As with previous courses, thematic units will be used as a lens to explore features and traditions from the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world.
  • Honors Spanish III

    In addition to covering the Spanish III curriculum, this course requires students to go beyond the basic skills of the level and work towards greater depth and breadth of expression in written and spoken Spanish. The course is designed for students who are able to quickly acquire new structures and vocabulary and, at the same time, build on their previous knowledge. The course materials use complex language and challenge students to apply what they have learned in new contexts. Students will begin to write in extended discourse, speaking with more fluency and accuracy and delve deeper into cultural themes.
  • Spanish IV

    This course allows students to build on their skills by revisiting many of the formal structures students have seen in previous courses and with each concept, refining and expanding their ability to use them with greater fluency. Students will also work toward increasing their vocabulary and oral proficiency. The course is thematically based, and with each new unit, students will practice writing with more depth and accuracy, speak more nuance and fluency and understand the varieties of Spanish spoken throughout the Hispanic world. Cultural competency is at the heart of the curriculum and students will read short literary selections, view contemporary shorts and feature-length films and read about current events.
  • AP Spanish Language & Culture

    AP Spanish Language and Culture emphasizes the use of Spanish for active communication and participation in research and discussion on six broad themes. Students work to develop oral proficiency through emphasis on vocabulary acquisition, distinguishing between formal and informal language and the ability to use each in appropriate contexts. Students also strengthen their ability to express themselves with increased fluency and accuracy in written Spanish. Through each theme, students increase their knowledge and familiarity of the cultures of the Hispanic world. Students must be independent learners, able to go beyond the surface and show outstanding critical thinking and analytical skills. This course is conducted entirely in Spanish.
  • Photo of Jeffrey Feland
    Jeffrey Feland
    Latin Teacher, World Languages Department Chair
  • Photo of Samari Batres
    Samari Batres
    Spanish Teacher
  • Photo of Analaura Brophy
    Analaura Brophy
    Spanish Teacher
  • Photo of Joanne Chen
    Joanne Chen
    Chinese Teacher
  • Photo of Diego Izurieta
    Diego Izurieta
    Spanish Instructor
  • Photo of Nadine Phares
    Nadine Phares
    French Teacher
  • Photo of Seher Rowther
    Seher Rowther
    Spanish Teacher
  • Photo of Ruth Rubio-Gilbertson
    Ruth Rubio-Gilbertson
    Spanish Teacher

Sage Hill School

Sage Hill School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. The School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship programs, and athletic and other School administered programs.