Foreign Language Courses

Chinese 7

Chinese 7 explores the study of the Mandarin Chinese and Chinese culture. Students develop the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing within a given context and acquire proficiency with the sound and the character representation of the language. Students perform basic real-life functions with the language. They become familiar with some cultural elements including family structure, food, games, songs, major festivals and festival traditions. Twenty-first century learning and Web tools are purposefully integrated with the curriculum to enrich learning activities.

Chinese 8

Chinese 8 expands the study of the Mandarin Chinese and Chinese culture from the previous year to develop more in-depth content of some familiar topics as well as introducing new topics such as transportation, daily schedules and hobbies. Students continue to strengthen their linguistic skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing within a given context. Students gain confidence in performing the basic functions of daily living and interacting with native speakers. A general introduction to the culture and practices is part of the class. Twenty-first century learning and Web tools are purposefully integrated with the curriculum to enrich learning activities. Successful completion of this course will qualify the student for the level two Chinese course at the Upper School.

French 5

Fifth-grade French offers an introductory program that makes language acquisition a natural, personalized, enjoyable and rewarding experience. It provides all the elements for a full-year course. It incorporates and reflects foreign language learning in the 21st century — Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons and Communities.

French 6

Sixth grade is a continuation of fifth-grade French in that students continue to build upon the skills that they mastered. Discovering French Nouveau (bleu) consists of eight units. The first four units are covered in sixth grade. They will experience France and the Francophone world, communicate with confidence, and extend and enhance their learning through integrated technology. Students who successfully complete this course will move on to seventh-grade French. Sixth-grade French has five basic goals: communicating in French; gaining knowledge and understanding of the cultures of the Francophone world; connecting with other disciplines and expanding knowledge; facilitating students’ insight into the nature of language and culture; and participating in communities at home and around the world.

French 6N

French 6 New is a beginning French class for students new to Durham Academy. It is a traditional course, with emphasis on the four basic skills of language acquisition: reading, writing, listening and speaking. We use “Discovering French Bleu” as our text, covering the first four units of the book. We also use the accompanying Workbook, Activités pour tous, DVD and CD materials. We use as much French as possible in class with an emphasis on also understanding English grammar and making connections between English and French. Each lesson is followed by a quiz, with a test at the end of each unit. Culture is incorporated as we go along, using movies, cooking, literature, music and current events. The students have pen pals who are students their age at Collège Anne-Marie Javouhey in Senlis, France.

French 7

French 7 is the second half of a French 1 course, beginning where French 6 and 6N leave off. It is a traditional course, with emphasis on the four basic skills of language acquisition: reading, writing, listening, and speaking.  We use the “Discovering French Bleu” textbook, covering Units 5-8. We use the accompanying Workbook, Activités pour tous, DVD, and CD programs. We use as much French as possible in class with an emphasis on understanding English grammar and making connections between English and French. Each lesson is followed by a quiz, with a test at the end of each unit. Culture is incorporated as we go along, using authentic French materials such as movies, poems, songs, and recipes. We have a class blog, French Frites, where the students periodically post writing.  We have pen pals at the Collège Le Mourion in Villeneuve-lez-Avignon.

French 8

French 8 is a French 2 course. It is a traditional course with emphasis on the four basic skills of language acquisition:  reading, writing, listening, and speaking. We use the “Discovering French Blanc” textbook series (working through at the least the first six units), the accompanying workbooks, and DVD and CD series. Students also subscribe to Yabla, a French video program. We use as much French as possible in class with an emphasis on also understanding English grammar and making connections between English and French. Each lesson is followed by a quiz, with a test at the end of each unit. Culture is incorporated as we go along, using movies, cooking, literature, music and current events. We have a class blog, French Fish, where the students periodically post their writing in French. We have pen pals at the Collège Le Mourion in Villeneuve-lez-Avignon, France. Each year, a trip to France is offered during our spring break. The trip is a combination travel trip (Paris and Normandy) and homestay with families in Villeneuve-les-Avignon.

Latin 7N

Latin 7, a traditional, grammar-based course, is the first half of Latin 7-8; these two classes together equal level 1 of Upper School Latin. Latin 7 covers basics Latin vocabulary and grammar, as well as English grammar and English vocabulary building.  Students learn to translate simple sentences from Latin to English and from English to Latin.  Latin class is taught in English; Latin students do not speak Latin, although they learn proper pronunciation.  Students are required to learn and memorize noun and verb forms with their different endings and to understand the proper uses of the various forms. As lateral enrichment Latin 7 students research a cultural topic, and they prepare and present to the class a project based on their topic.

Latin 8

Latin 8, a continuation of Latin 7, begins with intensive review, followed by the introduction of new material and continued review. Students gain a deeper understanding of Latin and English grammar by translating increasingly complex and challenging sentences from Latin into English and from English to Latin, as well as by reading brief stories in Latin. To aid in memorization, a variety of review strategies are used, including computer programs, cooperative and competitive games, and regular homework. As lateral enrichment students read and discuss the heroic legends of the ancient Greeks and Romans, focusing on the myths themselves as well as their deeper historical significance, their common elements, and the heroic pattern. After successfully completing Latin 8, students can enter level 2 Latin at the Upper School.

Phenomenon of Language

Phenomenon of Language (POL) is a class offered for eighth-graders new to Durham Academy and for current eighth-graders by teacher recommendation. The goals of this class are to enhance the students’ ability to understand language and to provide students with skills essential to learning a foreign language effectively. POL teaches the students basic foreign language study skills and techniques, building their confidence in their foreign language ability and ensuring a positive foreign language experience. Students study basic concepts central to the understanding of foreign language and transferable to English and other languages (subject, direct object, noun-verb agreement, noun-adjective agreement, etc.). The POL class samples several languages: Spanish, French, Latin, Chinese and Esperanto. Emphasis is placed on vocabulary, language structure and study skills.

Spanish 5

Our fifth-grade Spanish students are expected to start reproducing the language in verbal and written form. Student are given context and situations to begin thinking and communicating in the Spanish language. Our program’s goal is to make language acquisition a natural, personalized, enjoyable and rewarding experience. It provides all the elements for a full-year course.  It incorporates and reflects foreign language learning in the 21st century — communication, cultures, connections, comparisons and communities.

Spanish 6

In sixth-grade Spanish, the foundation is solidified and expanded as students become more comfortable and proficient with regard to hearing, speaking, reading, and writing Spanish. In addition, they gain a more in depth awareness and appreciation for Hispanic cultures around the globe. We continue to incorporate foreign language learning in the 21st century via communication, cultures, connections, comparisons and communities.

Spanish 7

The Spanish 7 class is a continuation of Spanish 6. It is open to students who have successfully completed Spanish 6 or to students new to Durham Academy who place into Spanish 7 by examination. Spanish 7 continues to add on and teach grammar as it picks up where the previous year ends. Students will learn concepts that will allow them to increase their ability to communicate in the target language. In addition, cultural aspects of Latin Countries will be presented.

Spanish 7N

Spanish 7 New is a beginning level class and is open to students with no previous Spanish, as well as to new students whose level of Spanish is not sufficient to enter Spanish 7. The goals of the Spanish 7N classes are to develop practical and useful vocabulary, form full sentences and exchange ideas, comprehend messages in a Spanish-only environment, read paragraph length texts and lists, and develop an appreciation and understanding of Latino culture. Students will learn about each other and their world through Spanish music, projects, games, dramatizations, stories, festivals and food.

Spanish 8

Spanish 8 is a continuation of Spanish 7. It is open to students who have successfully completed Spanish 7 and to new students who test into this level. In Spanish 8, we teach grammar and vocabulary by means of thematic units. We review and elaborate on vocabulary and grammatical structures such as the family, object pronouns, reflexive verbs and commands. We also increase memorization requirements and do an in depth study of the preterit and imperfect verb tenses. In Spanish 8, students move from expressing themselves in the present to relating and then describing events in the past. The learning process in Spanish 8 follows the sequence of introduction, modeling, practice/repetition, application, evaluation/assessment. The primary focus of Spanish 8 is the ability to communicate effectively; ie, to be able to speak and write in the target language in a comprehensible manner and to be able to understand written and spoken Spanish at a Spanish 2 level or above.

Spanish 8B

Spanish 8B is a continuation of Spanish 7N. It is open to students who have successfully completed Spanish 7N and to those who do not successfully complete Spanish 7. In Spanish 8B, we teach grammar and vocabulary by means of thematic units. Some grammatical structures and vocabulary from Spanish 7 are recycled and elaborated on, and memorization requirements increase. The sequence of learning is introduction, practice/repetition, application, evaluation/assessment. The primary focus of Spanish 8B is the ability to communicate effectively; i. e., to be able to speak and write in the target language in a comprehensible manner and to be able to understand written and spoken Spanish at a Spanish 1 level or above.

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