WORLD LANGUAGES

The goals of the West Hartford World Language Department are to enable students to communicate effectively in languages other than English, gain knowledge and understanding of other cultures, connect with other academic disciplines, and develop new insights into the nature of language and culture.

The West Hartford standards are based on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and the CT State Frameworks for World Languages.  The five goal areas identified in these standards stress the application of learning a language beyond the instructional setting and are referred to as the "five Cs".  The standards address the following five areas:

Communication: Communicate in at least one language other than English
Cultures: Gain knowledge and understanding of cultures
Connections: Make connections with other areas of study and acquire information
Comparisons: Understand the nature of language and cultures through comparisons
Communities: Participate in multilingual communities within a variety of contexts

Classical Languages
Modern Languages

Full Year Courses: 

  • Ancient Greek I - Conard Only
  • Ancient Greek II, II Honors - Conard Only
  • Ancient Greek III, III Honors - Conard Only
  • Ancient Greek IV, IV Honors - Conard Only
  • Latin I
  • Latin II, II Honors
  • Latin III, III Honors
  • Latin IV, IV Honors

Full Year Courses:

  • American Sign Language I
  • American Sign Language II
  • Chinese I
  • Chinese II
  • Chinese II Honors
  • Chinese III, III Honors
  • Chinese IV, IV Honors
  • AP Chinese Lang. and Culture
  • French I
  • French II
  • French III, III Honors
  • French IV, IV Honors
  • French V, V Honors
  • French VI
  • Advanced Contemporary French Studies
  • AP French Language and Culture (ECE)

Full Year Courses: 

  • Spanish I
  • Spanish II
  • Spanish III, III Honors
  • Spanish IV, IV Honors
  • Spanish V, V Honors
  • Spanish VI
  • AP Spanish Language and Culture (ECE)
  • AP Spanish Literature and Culture
  • Summer Spanish Exchange Program

   

Advanced Contemporary French Studies

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: French V Honors

The course objective is to maintain a high level of skill in understanding, speaking, reading and writing in French while deepening student's understanding of francophone cultures. Through cinema, the arts, current events and literature, students will explore French culture and its place in history and in today's world. Through the use of media and technology, students will create journals and portfolios to explore their skills and interests, and showcase their talents through a capstone project.

Advanced Placement Chinese Language and Culture

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Chinese III or Chinese III Honors

The AP Chinese Language and Culture course in Mandarin Chinese emphasizes communication (understanding and being understood by others) by applying interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational skills in real-life situations. This includes vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness. The AP Chinese Language and Culture course strives not to overemphasize grammatical accuracy at the expense of communication. To best facilitate the study of language and culture, the course is taught almost exclusively in Chinese. This course engages students in an exploration of culture in both contemporary and historical contexts. The course develops students' awareness and appreciation of cultural products, (e.g., tools, books, music, laws, conventions, institutions); practices (patterns of social interactions within a culture); and perspectives (values, attitudes, and assumptions). Participation in the Advanced Placement exam is an expectation of this course.

Note: May be offered in conjunction w/ Honors Chinese IV; see Department Supervisor for additional details.

Advanced Placement French Language and Culture

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: French V Honors

The AP French Language and Culture course emphasizes communication (understanding and being understood by others) by applying interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational skills in real-life situations. This includes vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness. The AP French Language and Culture course strives not to overemphasize grammatical accuracy at the expense of communication. To best facilitate the study of language and culture, the course is taught almost exclusively in French.

The AP French Language and Culture course engages students in an exploration of culture in both contemporary and historical contexts. The course develops students' awareness and appreciation of cultural products (e.g., tools, books, music, laws, conventions, institutions); practices (patterns of social interactions within a culture); and perspectives (values, attitudes, and assumptions). Participation in the Advanced Placement exam is an expectation of this course.

Advanced Placement Spanish Language and Culture

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Spanish V Honors

The AP Spanish Language and Culture course emphasizes communication (understanding and being understood by others) by applying interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational skills in real-life situations. This includes vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness. The AP Spanish Language and Culture course strives not to overemphasize grammatical accuracy at the expense of communication. To best facilitate the study of language and culture, the course is taught almost exclusively in Spanish. This course engages students in an exploration of culture in both contemporary and historical contexts. The course develops students' awareness and appreciation of cultural products (e.g., tools, books, music, laws, conventions, institutions); practices (patterns of social interactions within a culture); and perspectives (values, attitudes, and assumptions). Participation in the Advanced Placement exam is an expectation of this course.

Advanced Placement Spanish Literature and Culture - Conard only

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Spanish V Honors; AP Spanish Language and Culture

The AP Spanish Literature and Culture course uses a thematic approach to introduce students to representative texts (short stories, novels, poetry, and essays) from Peninsular Spanish from the Middle Ages through the Spanish Golden Age to the 21st century, Latin American, and United States Hispanic literature. Students develop proficiencies across the full range of communication modes (interpersonal, presentational, and interpretive), thereby honing their critical reading and analytical writing skills. Literature is examined within the context of its time and place, as students reflect on the many voices and cultures present in the required readings. The course also includes a strong focus on cultural connections and comparisons, including exploration of various media (e.g., art, film, articles, literary criticism). Participation in the Advanced Placement exam is an expectation of this course.

Note: Heritage language speakers of Spanish require department supervisor approval.

American Sign Language (ASL) Level I

1 Credit
Grades 9-12

Students in Level 1 will develop beginning level ASL receptive and expressive communication skills with vocabulary and grammar in a cultural context. American Deaf culture and history will be introduced with an emphasis on making comparisons and connections to one’s own culture. Course instruction and activities are primarily in ASL.

American Sign Language is a two-year sequence of study. Students enrolled in these courses should know that completion of this two-year sequence might not be sufficient for entrance requirements in certain high demand colleges.

American Sign Language (ASL) Level II 

1 Credit
Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: ASL Level 1 (or equivalent) or permission of department supervisor

Students in Level II ASL classes will continue to develop ASL receptive and expressive communication skills - with vocabulary and grammar in a cultural context. American Deaf culture and history will be expanded upon with an emphasis on family dynamics and making comparisons and connections to one’s own culture. Course instruction and activities are conducted almost completely in ASL.

American Sign Language is a two-year sequence of study. Students enrolled in these courses should know that completion of this two-year sequence might not be sufficient for entrance requirements in certain high demand colleges

Ancient Greek I - Conard Only

1 Credit
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: None

The aim of this course is to enable students to read ancient Greek early in the year and to accomplish this within the context of classical Greek culture. Daily life, political events, mythology, religion, philosophy, literature, art and architecture are among the areas explored. As with Latin, one of the goals of the study of ancient Greek is to achieve a better understanding of English. Greek roots, prefixes, and suffixes that appear in English are highlighted as well as the influence of Greek on the language of politics, philosophy, literature, science and medicine.

Ancient Greek II, Ancient Greek II Honors - Conard Only

1 Credit
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Ancient Greek I

Ancient Greek II builds upon the linguistic, cultural and historical foundations established in the first year of Ancient Greek. Continued emphasis is placed upon the development of reading skills. The purpose of this course is to master the fundamentals of Greek grammar by incorporating authentic Greek texts to ultimately begin study of Ancient Greek literary, historical, and philosophical text.

Ancient Greek III, Ancient Greek III Honors - Conard Only

1 Credit
Prerequisite: Ancient Greek II or Ancient Greek II Honors
Grades 10-12

Ancient Greek III builds upon the linguistic cultural and historical foundations established in the first two years of Ancient Greek. The purpose of this course is to master the fundamentals of Greek grammar. The students will be introduced to completely authentic texts from the classical period.

Ancient Greek IV, Ancient Greek IV Honors - Conard Only

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Ancient Greek III or Ancient Greek III Honors

Ancient Greek IV introduces the student to the richness and diversity of classical Greek literature. Readings will be from a variety of genres and include the works of Thucydides, Aristophanes and Plato. Attention is given to all aspects of the writer's technique in order to fully appreciate the texts studied.

Chinese I

1 Credit
Grades 9-12

This course is designed to introduce students to the Chinese language and Chinese culture.

Students learn the pronunciation patterns and tones of the Mandarin dialect, the official dialect of the People's Republic of China. Students study lessons such as greetings, family, friends and hobbies for oral practice and conversation. Students learn to read and write approximately 350 characters. Lessons on Chinese culture and history complement the language portion of this course. Chinese I Honors credit is offered upon approval of the Department Supervisor to students who have successfully completed a middle school Chinese program.

Chinese II

1 Credit
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite:
Middle School Chinese program or Chinese I (high school)

This course is designed for students who have demonstrated solid performance in the middle school Chinese program or Chinese I in high school. The broad aims of this intermediate course are: to understand the spoken and written language without frequent references to English, to communicate orally on a variety of familiar topics, and to write using intermediate levels of sentence structure, and create short paragraphs on familiar and everyday topics.

Chinese II Honors

1 Credit
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: 
Middle School Chinese program or Chinese I (high school), teacher recommendation strongly suggested

This course is designed for students who have demonstrated excellent performance in the middle school Chinese program or Chinese I in high school, and are considering the Advanced Placement Program. While the basic goals of the course are similar to those of Chinese II, the materials used and expectations are more demanding in all skill areas (reading, writing, listening and speaking). Listening skills are enhanced by authentic media. Students are expected to be able to discuss a range of topics and readings in the target language.

Chinese III, Chinese III Honors

1 Credit
Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Chinese II or Chinese II Honors

Students who complete Chinese II will be eligible to continue with their Mandarin Chinese language study in Chinese III. Students will continue to read and write approximately 400 new characters, bringing the total character recognition to over 1,000 characters. Students will continue to use their speaking skills to communicate almost exclusively in Chinese and continue to learn about the culture of China, Taiwan and other Chinese-speaking countries. Students will have the option of taking this class for honors credit and will be required to memorize more characters for reading and writing, write longer and more in-depth essays utilizing those characters and speak more consistently and fluently in Chinese.

Note: Native speakers may be approved by the Chinese language teacher and Department Supervisor for either class.

Chinese IV, Chinese IV Honors

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Chinese III or Chinese III Honors

This advanced course is designed to reinforce a high level of proficiency in Chinese. Students will master an additional 300-400 new characters, increase total character recognition to over 1300 characters and be able to understand and put to use grammatical patterns both in oral and written communication. Students will increase their ability to read and understand authentic materials such as newspaper articles and book excerpts. This course contains Pre-SAT II and AP Chinese content designed to prepare students for Chinese standardized testing.

French I

1 Credit
Grades 9-12

This introductory course is designed for the development of language skills in French, with early emphasis on listening and speaking and to introduce students to the rich and varied cultures of the French speaking world. Classroom activities include: use of audio material and visual aids for comprehension, pronunciation, and conversation stimuli; dialogues, oral and written exercises; explanation of basic grammatical patterns in French; reading of short passages with discussion; vocabulary building; and use of video for reinforcement. Practical communication in various areas, including home and school life, enhances student language skills.

French II

1 Credit
Grades 9-12

This course is a continuation of French I for those who begin French in high school. The course is also designed for some students coming from the middle school program. Students will continue to build proficiency in the four basic skills: listening for imitation and comprehension of simple conversations; speaking in basic sentence patterns and in a manner acceptable to native speakers; reading simple dialogues, paragraphs, and culturally oriented selections for purposes of answering questions about the material and building vocabulary; and writing using vocabulary and structures which have already been learned orally. Practical communication in various areas, including food, transportation, shopping and clothing, enhances student language skills.

French III

1 Credit
Grades 9-12

Prerequisite: French II

This course is for students who demonstrated solid achievement in French in the middle school or have completed French II in high school. The broad aims of this course are: to understand the target language without frequent references to English; to ask questions and give information on basic survival topics; to read both dialogues and short stories and connected prose on cultural topics; and to write using intermediate-level syntax and create short paragraphs on topics which have been discussed orally. Listening skills are enhanced by authentic media in the language lab. Practical communication topics include daily living, housing, health and transportation.

French III Honors

1 Credit
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: French II

This course is for students who demonstrate excellent achievement in French in the middle school program or from French II, and are considering the Advanced Placement Program. While the basic goals of the course are similar to those of French III, the materials used and expectations are more demanding in all skill areas. Listening skills are enhanced by audio tapes and CDs as well as authentic media in the language lab. Students are expected to be able to discuss a range of topics and readings in the target language. Practical communication topics include daily living, housing, health and transportation.

French IV

1 Credit
Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: French III

This course combines conversation, grammar review, and reading of selected prose as the students continue to build their proficiency in the four skills. Units on the francophone world and on current events provide many opportunities to practice skills as well as to expand ability and learn new material. Listening skills are enhanced by audio tapes/CDs as well as authentic media in the language lab. Higher-level grammatical concepts are introduced through a variety of themes emphasizing the practical use of the language.

French IV Honors

1 Credit
Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: French III Honors

The emphasis in this course is on a high level of oral and written communication while continuing to work toward mastery of French grammar. Students read short stories, poetry, newspaper and magazine articles and a French novel. Students write compositions in French with an increased level of accuracy of expression on an increasing variety of topics. Different authentic print materials will be used in the classroom. Situational activities, authentic media, interviews, classroom discussions and email activities with other language students provide opportunities to improve and develop language ability.

French V

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: French IV

This course emphasizes the application of the student's ability to use the spoken and written language in a wide variety of situations, especially in the areas of business and travel. Readings consist of contemporary prose, short stories and drama as well as magazines and newspapers. Cultural and current events of the French speaking world provide opportunities for students to use their language to improve skill development in all skill areas. Authentic media will be included to reinforce, challenge and extend student learning.

French V Honors

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: French IV Honors

This course is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Language class and expands students' ability to express themselves in spoken and written forms in French. Along with a general review of French grammar, students will read appropriate and representative works of literature. They will read about life in the francophone world, and will be expected to discuss readings and contemporary issues in French. Authentic media will be included to reinforce, challenge and extend student learning. Activities and assessments incorporated in the curriculum provide practice with content and format for the AP Exam.

French VI

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: French V

This course relies heavily on authentic print materials and contemporary literature representative of the francophone world. Composition and speaking assignments reflect advanced grammatical concepts. Current global issues discussed reflect and acknowledge differences in cultural perspectives. Authentic media will be included to reinforce, challenge and extend student learning.

Latin I

1 Credit
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: None

This is an introductory course in which the students will learn to read and comprehend passages of basic Latin prose. Instruction will focus on the grammatical fundamentals of the Latin language. Students will receive a foundation in Roman mythology, civilization and history as well as build a rich English vocabulary through the study of word etymologies and Latin phrases and mottoes commonly used in English. This course is especially recommended for the student who may consider specialization in areas such as English literature, law, modern languages, or similar fields.

Latin II, Latin II Honors

1 Credit
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Latin I

This course further develops the reading skills of the student within the context of a continuing story set in the Roman Empire. Students will continue to read and comprehend passages of basic Latin poetry and prose. This course will continue to focus on the study of Latin grammar and vocabulary, English derivatives, Roman culture and mythology, and ancient history with a focus on the Imperial period. Through our readings as well as passages in translation, students will examine the social institutions, customs, and advances that made Rome an ancient world power, with further emphasis on Roman influences in Britain, North Africa, the Near East, and Gaul.

Latin III, Latin III Honors, Latin IV, Latin IV Honors

1 Credit
Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Latin II / Latin II Honors

This is an advanced course in which students will learn to read and comprehend passages of authentic Latin prose and poetry. Incorporating an ongoing and complete grammar review of the material covered in Latin I and II, we shall study major works from such authors as Cicero, Livy, Catullus, Vergil, Martial, etc. With continuing focus on vocabulary building and derivative study, students will not only study the poetics of Latin literature but also the role of culture, politics, law, and philosophy in these author's lives and works. In this year, we will explore Roman history and culture as a whole with a particular emphasis on the founding myth of Rome and the early legendary heroes of the early Republic.

Spanish I

1 Credit
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: None

This course begins the development of language skills in Spanish with early emphasis on listening and speaking to introduce students to the rich and varied cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. Classroom activities include: use of taped/CD material and visual aids for comprehension, pronunciation, and conversation stimuli; dialogues, oral and written exercises; explanation of basic grammatical patterns in Spanish; reading of short passages with discussion; vocabulary building; and use of video for reinforcement. Practical communication in various areas, including home and school life, enhances student language skills.

Spanish II

1 Credit
Grades 9-12

This course is a continuation of Spanish I for those who begin Spanish in high school. The course is also designed for some students coming from the middle school program. Students will continue to build proficiency in the four basic skills: listening for imitation and comprehension of simple conversations; speaking in basic sentence patterns and in a manner acceptable to native speakers; reading simple dialogues, paragraphs, and culturally-oriented selections for purposes of answering questions about the material and building vocabulary; and writing using vocabulary and structures which have already been learned orally.

Spanish III

1 Credit
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Spanish II

This course is designed for students who have demonstrated solid performance in Spanish in middle school or who have completed Spanish II in high school. The broad aims of this intermediate course are: to understand the target language without frequent references to English, to ask questions and give information on a variety of basic survival topics, to read both dialogues as well as short stories and connected prose on cultural topics, and to write using intermediate levels of sentence structure, and create short paragraphs on topics which have been discussed orally.

Spanish III Honors

1 Credit
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Spanish II

This course is designed for students who have demonstrated excellent performance in Spanish at the middle school program or from Spanish II, and are considering the Advanced Placement Program. While the basic goals of the course are similar to those of Spanish III, the materials used and expectations are more demanding in all skill areas. Listening skills are enhanced by authentic media. Students are expected to be able to discuss a range of topics and readings in the target language.

Spanish IV

1 Credit
Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Spanish III

This course combines conversation, grammar review, and reading of selected prose as the students continue to build their proficiency in the four skills. Units on the Spanish speaking world and on current events provide many opportunities to practice skills as well as to expand ability and learn new material. Listening skills are enhanced by audio tapes/CDs as well as authentic media in the language lab. Higher-level grammatical concepts are introduced through a variety of themes emphasizing the practical use of the language.

Spanish IV Honors

1 Credit
Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Spanish III Honors

The emphasis in this course is on a high level of oral and written communication while continuing to work toward mastery of Spanish grammar. Students read short stories, poetry, newspaper and magazine articles and a Spanish novel. Students write compositions in Spanish with an increased level of accuracy of expression on an increasing variety of topics. Different authentic print materials will be used in the classroom. Situational activities, authentic media, interviews, classroom discussions and email activities with other language students provide opportunities to improve and develop language ability.

Spanish V

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Spanish IV

The objective of this course is the understanding of one's identity as a member of a larger community through collaboration, literacy, critical thinking skills and global awareness. By listening, speaking, reading, and writing the student will apply their Spanish skills in a wide variety of contexts, including authentic documents and community resources. The course content supports 21st century skill development, by engaging students to compare and contrast cultural practices, perspectives and products, by making interdisciplinary connections, and by extending learning beyond the walls of the classroom.

Spanish V Honors

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Spanish IV Honors

This course is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Language class and expands students' ability to express themselves in spoken and written forms in Spanish. Along with a general review of Spanish grammar, students will read appropriate and representative works of literature. They will read about life in the Spanish speaking world, and will be expected to discuss readings and contemporary issues in Spanish cultures. Authentic media will be included to reinforce, challenge and extend student learning. Activities and assessments incorporated in the curriculum provide practice with content and format for the AP Exam.

Spanish VI

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Spanish V

This course relies heavily on real print materials and contemporary literature representative of the Spanish speaking world. Composition assignments will reflect advanced grammatical concepts and writing for different purposes. Current authentic media and Spanish for use in the business world will be incorporated into class activities. Current global issues that are discussed reflect and acknowledge differences in cultural perspectives.

Summer Spanish Exchange Program

1 Credit
Grades 10-11
Prerequisites: sophomore or junior Spanish students

The West Hartford Public School District has an on-going exchange program with a sister school in Madrid, Spain. During odd-numbered summers (2017, 2019 etc.) a group of students from West Hartford travels to Spain, and during even-numbered summers (2016, 2018, etc.) a group of students from Madrid comes to West Hartford. Each travel experience includes a short excursion to see some of the country followed by a three-week home stay with a Spanish family. Over the years, hundreds of West Hartford students have participated in this program and have found it to be a rewarding experience. This program involves a two-year commitment: one summer that involves hosting and one summer of travel. Students interested in participating should ask a Spanish teacher or the World Language Department Supervisor for more information.