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World Languages

World Languages at Avon Old Farms School

We offer 23 World Language courses and host international festivals to celebrate our vast diversity, further aiding students to understand that selflessness is a key attribute in developing a strong moral compass.

Our modern language classes focus on building a solid foundation of correct pronunciation and the development of aural comprehension so that the advanced classes may be conducted entirely in French, Mandarin, or Spanish. Once that foundation is constructed in lower-level courses, every opportunity is used to introduce the cultural wealth of the civilizations of the French-, Mandarin-, and Spanish-speaking people of the world through studying geography, customs, and history.

The goal of the Latin program is to expose English-speaking students to the origins of their own language, and, through reading selections, to the culture and history of the classical world.

Boys Private High School World Languages Teacher

"I believe that we educate best when we care for and connect with those we teach and those we learn from."

Darell Tibbles, Mandarin TEacher

World Languages Courses

French II

French II

In French II, basic grammatical concepts are reviewed and expanded, and reading and writing also play a significant role in the course. The student gradually acquires a stronger vocabulary and mastery of the syntax. Through the use of certain videotapes and audiotapes, the student arrives at a better understanding and command of the language.

French III

French III

French III is designed for students who have acquired basic grammatical skills in French I and II. Classes are conducted in French, and the student is encouraged to answer questions about what he has heard or read. More complex grammatical concepts are also introduced. Reading and writing in the language are emphasized, and each lesson presents new vocabulary in context. Conversations and compositions strengthen the student's ability to apply basic grammatical principles.

French III Honors

French III Honors

French III Honors is designed for the student who shows the ability and motivation to go beyond the third year of French. In addition to the regular curriculum, students engage in a variety of activities chosen from books, magazine and newspaper articles, videotapes, and computer programs. This course is for the student who shows a willingness to work independently and beyond what is covered in the classroom.

Advanced French Studies

Advanced French Studies

Advanced French Studies is for students who have satisfactorily completed the requirements of French III and wish to continue their study, but at a more moderate pace than that required in an honors-level course. Grammar is reviewed at a more sophisticated level and writing is done on a more frequent basis. Classes are conducted predominantly in the target language, and the student is given exercises to strengthen his oral skills. Certain literary readings are also introduced.

Advanced French Studies Honors

Advanced French Studies Honors

In French IV Honors the emphasis is placed on developing fluency in speech and writing. Students examine advanced grammatical concepts. Compositions play an integral part in expanding a student's awareness of stylistic nuances found in foreign language. The course requires extensive reading with an introduction to literary analysis.

Mandarin Chinese I

Mandarin Chinese I

This introductory course is intended for students with minimal or no knowledge of Mandarin Chinese. Throughout this course, the students will learn the foundation of the Chinese language. The students will be introduced to PinYin, the Chinese phonetic system, the basics of writing characters, and vocabulary. Students will also be able to develop basic conversation skills by practicing self-introduction, introduction of family members, questions and statements about time and dates, invitations, and discussion of hobbies.

Mandarin Chinese II

Mandarin Chinese II

At this level, the students will continue to develop speaking and writing skills by expanding their vocabulary base. Along with a more extensive vocabulary, they will also explore and learn more complex grammar and sentence structures to differentiate their speaking and writing styles. A key objective for this course is to have students develop the proficiency to express a unique daily narrative of school life and to be able to discuss various points of cultural differences they have learned through the language.

Mandarin Chinese III

Mandarin Chinese III

The daily lessons of Mandarin Chinese III will progress from working to read, speak, and write shorter paragraphs and dialogues to working on more extensive passages involving complex vocabulary and grammar structures. Mandarin Chinese III students are required to put their knowledge into practice by being put into verbal situations where their individuality and personal speaking style will be displayed and developed.

Mandarin Chinese IV

Mandarin Chinese IV

Students continue to work to develop their writing, speaking, and reading skills through presentational and interpersonal communication. Students learn idiomatic expressions and proverbs, and they analyze, debate, and give potential solutions or advice in different situations.

Latin I

Latin I

Latin I provides a sound grammatical background, emphasizing correct syntax and vocabulary. Since Latin is an inflected language (where word endings rather than word order determine a word’s syntax), students of Latin learn a new way of coding and decoding thoughts and ideas that can prove beneficial in improving writing skills. The Latin I student is introduced to the basic declensions of nouns and conjugations of verbs. Case usage of nouns for subjects, direct objects, indirect objects and in prepositional phrases are covered from the very beginning of this course, as are voice, mood, person, number and tense of verbs. To reinforce skills and prepare for classical translations in subsequent years, students are given numerous translation exercises. Latin's close affinity to other languages is referred to throughout the course with emphasis on the role it plays in the etymology of many words in the English language.


Latin II

Latin II

The Latin II student completes his study of essential grammar, construction, declension, and conjugation, and now possesses a solid understanding of the language sufficient to begin classical translation, which is introduced mid-year. A variety of readings are used to help students make intellectual connections across the millennia. They begin to appreciate the differences between modern Western culture and the culture of the classical period while also developing understanding that human nature is, in many ways, unchanged. Latin's relationship with English continues to be stressed, thus underlying Latin's relevance to, and importance in the student's academic life.

Latin III Honors

Latin III Honors

After a brisk review of the grammar and vocabulary covered in Latin I and Latin II, Latin III students are introduced to the translation of classical prose and verse. Students are encouraged to become more "free" in their translation, moving away from the literal and developing an individual interpretation of classical writings. Starting with poetry, students will be introduced to the concept of meter, which is critically important in Latin poetry. Following poetry, students will move onto reading Caesar’s De Bello Gallico—his account of his eight-year conquest of Gaul (modern France). Both the poetry and prose units are designed to prepare the student for Advanced Placement Latin if he so desires.

Latin IV Honors

Latin IV/V Honors

Latin 4 is for the student who has satisfactorily completed the requirements of Latin 3 or AP Latin and wishes to continue his study of Latin literature and classical culture. Latin 4 continues with the translation of classical prose and verse (in alternate years). The student, now experienced in the process of translation, continues to augment his skills in the interpretation of classical writings.

Prose authors: Cicero (Pro Caelio, Catalinarians), Petronius (Cena Trimalchionis), Sallust (Bellum Catalinae), Tacitus (selections) and a Plautus comedy.

Poetry: Catullus, Horace, Ovid, Propertius, Tibullus, Vergil and Juvenal. There will be one semester of lyric and elegiac poetry and one semester focusing on Latin satire, a uniquely Roman contribution to the literary universe.

Spanish I

Spanish I

The first year of study in Spanish is a concise and comprehensive presentation of the essential elements of both the oral and the written language. Beginning students concentrate on vocabulary, grammatical structures, idioms, pronunciation, and comprehension. Every effort is made to afford the student the opportunity to become well versed in all aspects of basic Spanish and to communicate in the language.

Spanish II

Spanish II

A continuation of Spanish I, this course is designed to strengthen a student's aural comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Students are given a thorough grounding in the principles of grammar, which are applied in class discussions and in short written assignments. The student gradually acquires a stronger vocabulary and mastery of the syntax that is used in both oral and written work. Through the use of videotapes and audiotapes, the student arrives at a better understanding and command of the language. Attention is also given to the culture and heritage of the people of the Spanish-speaking world.

Spanish II Honors

Spanish II Honors

Those students who have shown particular promise in a foreign language are selected for a more intensive course of study. In addition to the basic curriculum, students are required to do a number of extra readings selected from a diverse group of works including short stories, poems, and cultural material. Less time is spent on the classroom drill of grammar, and students must be motivated to master this material independently.

Spanish III

Spanish III

Spanish III is for students who have acquired basic grammatical skills in Spanish I and II. Classes are conducted predominantly in Spanish, and the student is encouraged to reply orally to questions about what he has read or heard. More complex grammatical concepts are also introduced. Reading and writing the language are emphasized, and conversations strengthen the student's ability to apply grammatical principles.

Spanish III Honors

Spanish III Honors

Spanish III Honors is designed for the student who shows the ability and motivation to go beyond the third year of Spanish. In addition to the regular curriculum, students engage in a variety of activities chosen from books, magazine and newspaper articles, videotapes, and computer programs. This course is for the student who shows the willingness to work independently and beyond what is covered in the classroom.

Spanish IV

Spanish IV

Spanish IV is for students who have satisfactorily completed the requirements of Spanish 3 and wish to continue their study, but at a more moderate pace than that required in an honors-level course. Grammar is reviewed at a more sophisticated level and writing is done on more frequent basis. Classes are conducted predominantly in the target language, and the student is given exercises to strengthen his oral skills. Certain literary readings are also introduced.

Spanish V Honors: Hispanic Culture Through Literature and Film

Spanish V Honors: Hispanic Culture Through Literature and Film

This course will use informative and thought-provoking materials to focus on the contemporary history, art, and culture of Spain and Latin America. Films studied in this course will include fictional portrayals of real-world events and dramatizations that portray the various viewpoints and opinions that exist in the Hispanic world regarding its history and current events. Supplementary literature, texts, articles, video clips, music and presentations will provide background to historical events. Students will participate in debates and activities that promote effective oral and written communication. This course is open to students who have completed Spanish IV or Spanish IV Honors.

Spanish IV Honors

Spanish IV

Spanish IV Honors is an advanced course emphasizing speaking, reading, and writing the language correctly. This course also endeavors to cultivate an ability to understand and accept the logic of another cultural dynamic. An advanced grammar review textbook is studied in conjunction with literary selections from Spain and Latin America. Social customs and traditions are discussed with a view toward encouraging students to compare their cultural perspective with that of a Hispanic counterpart.

Advanced Placement Spanish Language

Advanced Placement Spanish Language

Advanced Placement Spanish Language is designed for the motivated student who has excelled through the first three or four years of language. Conducted entirely in Spanish, this course prepares students for the Advanced Placement Language examination given in May. Students review nuances of advanced grammar with extensive reading and writing outside of the classroom and various oral activities within the classroom. A variety of media is used including audio and videocassettes, magazines, newspapers, films, and literary works.