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MISSION: To lead an educational partnership with the Community, maintaining an environment that challenges all students to reach their potential as lifelong learners and responsible members of society.

World Languages

Bethel Park School District World Languages Curriculum
Mission:

The mission of the Department of World Languages at Bethel Park is to prepare students for citizenship in a global community. To that end, the department supports proficiency in languages, knowledge of cultures and a systematic approach to ensure that all Bethel Park students are provided with the skills to be able to function culturally and economically in the broader community (World Languages Evaluation Committee Report, 2007).

The goal of the Department of World Languages is to provide a comprehensive program through which students can achieve proficiency in the target language. Students gain an indispensable communication skill needed in an interdependent world. The study of language heightens students’ knowledge and appreciation of the personal and professional advantages of being multilingual. To attain the greatest benefit of the World Language program, students are advised to begin their study as early as possible and to continue through their senior year. Students also have the opportunity to study more than one language.

The study of a World Language is an essential component in the education of students coming of age in the 21st century. The reality of the growing interdependence of peoples and cultures mandates that education prepare students to participate fully and responsibly in the local, national, and world communities.

In order for students to acquire both linguistic and cultural empathy, world language learning should occur in a non-threatening and student centered environment. The instructional strategies at the core of the World Language curricula should involve students in a creative and authentic use of the target language. Cultural comparisons should emphasize similarities that unite the world community and note the differences that enrich and blend. When language activities are implemented in a sequential and articulated program over an extended period of time, students will be better able to communicate with linguistic, social and cultural experience (World Language at Elementary School Committee Report, 2007).

Description:

The World Languages Department currently offers education experiences in four languages; Latin, German, French and Spanish. Students in grades 5 and 6 participate in an exploratory program which provides an introduction to each language. Beginning in grade 7, students are able to choose one country for in-depth study of their language and culture. All courses are aligned to the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning.

Christine Schipani
5-12 World Language Curriculum Facilitator
412-854-8678

Middle School World Languages:

This middle school program introduces students to four languages in grades five and six while building readiness for more formal study of world language in grades seven and eight. Listening, speaking, reading and writing skills are emphasized in each language while connecting learning to other disciplines. Culture lessons are included to strengthen learning in other disciplines to better prepare students for citizenship in a global community.

Introduction to World Languages 5 and 6:

The Introduction to World Language courses are exploratory in nature (also known as a FLEX program). These courses allow the students to study four languages in the following order: Latin, German, French and Spanish on an introductory level through a nine week rotation. Skills emphasized include listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students become familiar with sounds, common words and phrases of each language. The vocabulary and grammatical structures taught are expressions a child would use in everyday spoken language and center on age appropriate topics of interest. The programs adhere to the National Standards of Instruction and also link foreign language learning with other disciplines. 

German A & B – Grades 7 and 8:

German A and B are full year courses offered at the middle school level and combine to form what is considered German I at the high school. Successful completion of both German A and B enrolls a student into German II Honors.

German A and B are presented in thematic units which provide a solid foundation for students to build proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Topics of these courses include meaningful and contextual information relevant to students who plan on using German in their lives daily, with travel, or in their future professions.

Within each unit, the lessons present new information including useful vocabulary and grammatical structures. Students are expected to use the vocabulary and grammatical structures within the standards-based instruction. Constant and frequent practice and assessment are expected as these courses are student-centered, comprehensive and longitudinal. 

Spanish A & B – Grades 7 and 8:

Spanish A and B are full year courses offered at the middle school level and combine to form what is considered Spanish I at the high school. Successful completion of both Spanish A and B enrolls a student into Spanish II Honors.

Spanish A and B are presented in thematic units which provide a solid foundation for students to build proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Topics of these courses include meaningful and contextual information relevant to students who plan on using Spanish in their lives daily, with travel, or in their future professions.

Within each unit, the lessons present new information including useful vocabulary and grammatical structures. Students are expected to use the vocabulary and grammatical structures within the standards-based instruction. Constant and frequent practice and assessment are expected as these courses are student-centered, comprehensive and longitudinal. 

French A & B – Grades 7 and 8:

French A & B introduces vocabulary, pronunciation, and basic grammar and conversation skills. Life and customs in French speaking countries are included as an important part of language learning. Materials include basic textbook and workbook, audio compact discs, textbook videos, and other ancillaries. Cultural videos, the Internet and various regalia are also used to enhance cultural enrichment.

Latin A and B – Grades 7 and 8:

Latin A & B provide an in-depth examination of Latin grammar and vocabulary, including the basic use of nouns and adjectives in a sentence and the use of regularly conjugated verbs. Numbers, enclitics, basic Greek/Roman mythology and everyday life are also emphasized. The goal of these courses is to teach the students to read Latin literature of the Classical period. Cultural lessons are included to provide the students context for that literature.

High School World Languages:

Increased importance of taking a foreign language, regardless of the careers students wish to pursue, is being stressed by the Department of Education surveys, employers and others. The first three years of study give students a fundamental speaking ability and knowledge of the language structure while the latter years emphasize the development of fluency and provide some background in the literature and deep-rooted customs of the language and the people who speak it.

While world languages are electives, a minimum of three years of study in one language is strongly recommended. Beginning with the class of 2012, Honors weighted QPA enhancement will be given for those students enrolled in world languages Honors courses. Honors courses are available in French, German, Latin and Spanish II through IV. AP status is designated for all languages at level V.

Course Offerings:

French I
Grade 9-12
Level 2-3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite: None

French I introduces vocabulary, pronunciation, and basic grammar and conversation skills. Life and customs in French speaking countries are also included as an important part of language learning. Materials include basic textbook and ancillary materials, as well as authentic materials to enhance cultural enrichment.

French II – Advanced and Honors
Grade 9-12
Level 2-3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite: French I

French II enables the students to continue to develop the skills they learned in level I. Emphasis is placed on communication and improving writing skills. Materials include basic textbook and ancillary materials, as well as authentic materials to enhance cultural enrichment. 

French II Honors covers the curriculum for French II and also incorporates the content for Le Grand Concours (National French Exam). Students are strongly encouraged to take the exam in March. 

French III – Advanced and Honors
Grade 10-12
Level 2-3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite: French II

French III enables the students to continue to develop the skills they acquired in levels I and II. Classroom activities provide for increased cultural insight. 

The French III Honors course covers the French III curriculum and also incorporates the content for the level III National French Exam. Students are strongly encouraged to take the exam in March. Selected stories from Le Petit Nicolas are chosen to develop reading and speaking enrichment. Students also practice grammar and reading with Lingua Fun software developed for the National French Exam. Oral-Aural proficiency practice is provided through computer recording and iTalk, iPod recording. 

French IV – Advanced and Honors
Grade 11-12
Level 2-3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite: French III

French IV enables the students to continue to develop the skills they acquired in level III. Students also practice grammar and reading with Lingua Fun software developed for the National French Exam. Oral-Aural proficiency practice is provided through computer recording and iTalk, iPod recording. Additionally, the students are introduced to the study of French literature by means of short readings. This course can be used to fulfill the senior project requirement.

AP French V   
Grade 12
Level 3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite: French IV

Students in French V will be able to advance their skills in speaking and listening as well as learning more culture of Francophone countries. In addition to the oral program, students will sample various excerpts of literature from the Middle Ages to the present day with an emphasis on Moliere (17th Century). Writing skills will be enhanced by compositions throughout the year. Students will become well prepared for the AP exam via this course. This course can be used to fulfill the senior project requirement.

German I
Grade 9-12
Level 2-3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite: None

This beginning program introduces the highly phonetic German pronunciation system, offering students the ability to obtain near native pronunciation skills by the end of the first full year. Conversations and presentations follow actual students in the three major German-speaking countries: Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.

German II (Honors)
Grade 9-12
Level 2-3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite: German I

Communicative competency is expanded while proficiency work in all four language skill areas is continued. Situations, real to the lives of this age group, will be presented as we follow the individuals from the German-speaking countries introduced in level I.

German III (Honors)
Grade 10-12
Level 2-3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite: German II

This level will stress vocabulary acquisition, especially idioms, allowing students to express themselves using more natural speech patterns. This will enable them to communicate more naturally and comfortably. Short readings will provide cultural information and exposure to new “foreign” options and cultural differences.

AP German IV                                                                                    
Grade 11-12
Level 2-3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite: German III

Students enrolled in this course do extensive work with synonyms, antonyms, and idioms. Contextual understanding of readings will be emphasized as material will be drawn from modern and classical literature. This will include cultural and historical information using audio, video, and printed matter both set in history and in contemporary society as happenings from that very week. This course can be used to fulfill the senior project requirement.

AP German V
Grade 12
Level 2-3
Full Year Course 1- Credit
Prerequisite: German IV

Students enrolled in this course continue their extensive study of synonyms, antonyms, and idioms. Contextual understanding of readings will be continued to be emphasized as material will be drawn from modern and classical literature. This will include cultural and historical information using audio, video, and printed matter both set in history and in contemporary society as happenings from that very week. This course can be used to fulfill the senior project requirement.

Latin I
Grade 9-12
Level 2-3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite: None

This course develops basic Latin grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and comprehension. The goal is not only to begin to understand simple Latin reading but also to understand Latin and its relationship to English grammar and vocabulary, thus improving each student’s understanding of his or her own language. Mythology and culture are studied through supplemental readings and discussions.

Latin II (Honors)
Grade 9-12
Level 2-3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite: Latin I

This course completes the study of Latin grammar and continues the development of vocabulary as it relates to English. Students also begin to study Latin authors such as Caesar, Livy, and Ovid and discuss them in the context of their time and literary worth. 

Latin III (Honors)
Grade 10-12
Level 2-3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite: Latin II

Latin III begins as a rotating three-year curriculum covering the following Latin literature: Vergil’s Aeneid, the lyric poetry of Catullus and Horace, the poetry of Ovid and selected works of Cicero and Pliny the Younger. In addition to practicing translation skills, students will develop the ability to analyze and discuss an author’s literary technique. Not only will students be expected to understand Latin syntax, but they must be able to establish a thesis and compose an essay discussing the content of the Latin text. 

AP Latin IV and V
Grade 12
Level 2-3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite: Latin III

These courses will continue the curricular cycle begun in Latin III. In these years, the students will be expected to have achieved the goals of an Advanced Placement curriculum and will be urged to take the Advanced Placement Exam. This course can be used to fulfill the senior project requirement.

Spanish I
Grade 9-12
Level 2-3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite: None

Spanish I is designed to enable students to attain a novice level of communicative competency and proficiency in each of the four language skills with the primary stress on listening and speaking and the secondary stress on reading and writing. Spanish I students are provided with basic verb structures, selected active vocabulary, and a limited variety of grammatical structures. Spanish sounds, customs, and lifestyles are all part of the Spanish I experience.

Spanish II – Advanced and Honors
Grade 9-12
Level 2-3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite: Spanish I

Spanish II is designed to enable students to enhance their level of communicative competency and proficiency in each of the four language skills through continual review and reinforcement of the level I material while acquiring additional verb and grammar structures and expanding their vocabulary.

Spanish III – Advanced and Honors
Grade 10-12
Level 2-3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite: Spanish II

In Spanish III, vocabulary acquisition will be stressed with an emphasis on developing natural speech patterns through the use of idioms. Verbs and grammatical structures will be reviewed, expanded upon, and incorporated into enriching the students’ knowledge of the language to enable them to communicate more comfortably in given situations. Selected short readings will be used to provide cultural information. 

Spanish IV – Advanced and Honors
Grade 11-12
Level 2-3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite: Spanish III

The goal of Spanish IV is to acquire language proficiency while reviewing and broadening the foundation of Spanish grammar and vocabulary. Frequent cultural readings and excerpts from authentic Spanish literature are accompanied by an abundance of exercises and conversation-stimulating activities.

AP Spanish V  
Grade 12
Level 2-3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite: Spanish IV

The Spanish V program is designed to enhance the skills acquired in the previous courses for the purpose of effective spoken and written communication. Students read selections from modern and traditional literature including stories, essays, novels and plays. Students prepare for the Advanced Placement test with a comprehensive review of advanced grammar, emphasizing the subjunctive.