Language Department

Today we live in a global village. There is little that happens anywhere in our world that does not affect people living in other areas. Learning another language must be part of every educated person's academic preparation. No longer can we rely on speaking only English as an effective tool for communication. Americans, sadly, lag behind in language study as part of their education and culture.

The Language Department is ready to make a difference. Offering four years of instruction in French, Latin and Spanish, St. Thomas prepares young men for life in the 21st Century. All freshmen at St. Thomas take the first year of a foreign language: Latin I, French I, Spanish I or Advanced Spanish I.

Comprehension, reading and writing skills are taught on all levels in all languages; speaking is taught as well in the Modern Languages.

Like most departments at St. Thomas, the Language Department has designed a curriculum that will prepared motivated students to earn college credit through AP Spanish courses. In fact, our students have been extremely successful on the AP Spanish exam.

The language clubs (French, Latin and Spanish) are among the most popular clubs on campus. These clubs offer language competitions and interesting cultural experiences as well as many opportunities for community service.

LANGUAGE COURSES

LATIN I

This course is designed for the serious, motivated student. This course teaches the student to read Latin with comprehension and to write Latin with precision. The student is introduced to the history, geography and mythology of the Roman world. The student also acquires grammar and vocabulary skills that help in his understanding of the English language. The student who elects Latin I must continue on to Latin II.

LATIN II

This course is designed to further develop the student’s skill in reading, writing, understanding, and pronouncing Latin. The student deepens his knowledge of the history and mythology of ancient Rome. He continues his study of the relationship of Latin to the English language. The student begins serious reading of the writings of Julius Caesar.

ADVANCED LATIN III/IV

Third and fourth year Latin classes challenge the student to become more aware of the richness of the language, the literature, the society, and the culture of the Roman Empire. The discipline and coherence of Latin help the student think and work with greater precision. Authors studied include Cicero, Virgil, Livy, Pliny, Sallust, Catullus and many others. Pre-requisite: 80 in previous Latin course and recommendation.

FRENCH I

This visual-audio-lingual course is designed to teach French to students with no previous knowledge of the language. The four language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing are emphasized, and the students are introduced to French culture and traditions.

FRENCH II

This visual-audio-lingual course continues to develop the four language skills. More sophisticated instruction is given in the target language. Readings are more in-depth and French culture and civilization are emphasized. Students view feature films in French.

ADVANCED FRENCH III; ADVANCED FRENCH IV

These visual-audio-lingual courses are for dedicated students only. Emphasis is placed on expanding the four language skill areas: comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Short literary selections are included for French III students while French IV students will read a major work. Particular attention is given to communication in spoken and written French. Prerequisite is 80 in the previous year of French and recommendation.

AP FRENCH IV

AP French IV students will be challenged to explore in depth the target language with more emphasis on communication and cultural understanding, using the three communication modes of interpersonal, interpretive and presentational. Pre-requisite: 87 in French III, 90 or above is preferred; recommendation.

Spanish Regular Track (3 year option)

SPANISH I

This visual-audio-lingual course is designed to teach Spanish to students with no previous knowledge of the language who scored below 75% on the entrance exam. The four language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing are emphasized and the students are introduced to Hispanic culture and traditions.

SPANISH II

This visual-audio-lingual course continues to develop the four language skills. More sophisticated instruction is given in the target language. Readings are more in-depth and Hispanic culture and civilization are emphasized. Feature films in Spanish are viewed.

SPANISH III

This visual-audio-lingual course is for interested students only. It places particular emphasis on expanding the four language skill areas. Short literary selections are included and particular attention is given to communication in spoken and written Spanish. There is no 4th year option after this course. Pre-requisite: 80 in Spanish II; application and departmental approval.

Spanish Advanced Track (4 year option, Advanced Placement Spanish option in Senior Year)

ADVANCED SPANISH I

This visual-audio-lingual course develops the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students are introduced to Hispanic culture and tradition.
This course is designed for the following students:

1.         Any highly motivated student who scored in the top 25% on the Entrance Examination. No previous study of Spanish is needed. The same texts are used in this course as are used in the regular Spanish track; however, the pace is quicker.

2.         A highly motivated student who has had significant study of Spanish in elementary or middle school and who enjoys the language and really wants to speak and write Spanish.

3.         A highly motivated Hispanic heritage student with some exposure to spoken Spanish in the home environment who wants to further develop his reading and writing skills.   Special attention is given to the needs of motivated Spanish speakers.

ADVANCED SPANISH II

This course continues to develop the four language skills. Emphasis on reading and writing help students perfect these skills. The use of a multi-unit video develops students’ oral-aural skills.
Pre-requisite: 75 in Advanced Spanish I or 95 in Spanish I and recommendation.

 

ADVANCED SPANISH III

This course is both challenging and enjoyable. Students continue to develop the four language skills. Short literary passages are introduced and a multi-unit video as well as feature length films in Spanish are viewed. Instruction is almost completely in Spanish. Pre-requisite: 80 in Adv Spanish II or 95 in Spanish II; application and departmental approval.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT SPANISH IV

Students who have completed Advanced Spanish III are well prepared for this course. Instruction and classroom conversation are entirely in Spanish. Students thoroughly review Spanish grammar; several short stories and poems by major Hispanic authors are studied. A multi-unit video as well as feature films in Spanish are viewed and there is a reading of a complete Spanish play. College credit may be granted for this course with success in writing the AP exam. Only students who have completed Advanced Spanish III are eligible; application and departmental approval required.

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