Our goal is twofold: to prepare our students for future target language interactions in the real world, and to motivate them to seek out those experiences. Gilman language studies students attain proficiency across interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes of communication.
This course is the standard sequel to the introductory course and is intended for those students who are entering in ninth grade with some preparation. Students will consolidate their knowledge of French grammar, vocabulary, and phonetics through the exploration of thematic material. They will widen their appreciation of and engagement with the cultural, political, and social particularities of Francophone life. Two principal themes will be: the city (from a broad human geographical perspective) and the environment (from a glocal perspective, drawing on situations from a range of Francophone countries). Students will demonstrate their understanding and ideas through regular, short composition assignments, and conversational and presentational activities appropriate to this level. Underpinning these cultural explorations will be a focus on the key areas of grammar that will enable them to discuss in the longer term any number of subjects. In particular, a mastery of the pronoun system as well as a deepening and widening of their understanding of tense-aspect-mood in the language will ensure that they are well placed to tackle material in future years. Students will master commonly used core vocabulary, including adverbial expressions, in order to communicate effectively in full sentences across a range of discussion topics. Lastly, the students will improve their accent and intonation with regular recording opportunities being used to measure and celebrate progress across the year.
French III (Honors) is the prerequisite for the French AP Language and Culture course. It is an advanced intermediate level course, which builds on and sharpens the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communication skills that students acquired in French II. The class is conducted entirely in French and there is greater rigor in terms of the pace of the class and expectations for student work than French III. In contrast to regular French III, honors students will employ critical thought in comparing and contrasting cultural perspectives and issues that are important to today’s globalized world. Students will continue to improve their listening, speaking, writing, and reading skills as they tackle a variety of authentic resources that include short stories, poems, songs, online publications, videos, news broadcasts, and a feature-length film. In projects, presentations, debate, and essays, students will demonstrate the acquisition of a variety of advanced grammar and vocabulary. An emphasis will be placed on the process of writing with the goal of students refining their writing skills in order to create more coherent and fluid essays. This course has a required summer assignment.
Spanish IV is designed for students to continue to sharpen their communication skills while broadening their cultural base. Spanish IV students will analyze various topics relevant to today’s globalized world, including the environment, urban life, health, the world of work, and the arts. Through projects, presentations, and exposure to level-appropriate authentic resources, we will consider these topics in relation to students’ immediate lives while at the same time examining these issues within the greater context of the Spanish-speaking world. Throughout the course, new vocabulary and grammar will be introduced in context, including through presentation of short reading selections, original songs and excerpts from local and international media sources. Additional activities will provide students with opportunities to further refine their listening and reading skills. In terms of grammar, the focus will shift towards the subjunctive and imperative moods. Students will also delve further into the perfect tenses in both the indicative and subjunctive moods and the conditional and future tenses. In their writing, students will create more coherent and fluid texts through more sophisticated use of transitional phrases and relative pronouns. The process of writing will be stressed as students will respond to teacher feedback on early drafts and correct their own errors in final drafts. Orally, students will be able to effectively participate in predictable and concrete exchanges (ACTFL mid-intermediate range). Students will be assessed on their participation in class, homework, short essays, projects, quizzes, and tests.
The AP Spanish Language and Culture course takes on an interdisciplinary, thematic approach that engages student learning through the in-depth study of six principal themes: personal and public identities, families and communities, contemporary life, world challenges, science and technology, and beauty and aesthetics. The ultimate goal of the course is for students to be able to understand and make themselves understood in interactions with native speakers of distinct backgrounds in a variety of contexts. To this end, students will engage with authentic resources from throughout the Spanish-speaking world, including online publications, newscasts, literary texts, essays, podcasts, songs, and films. Additionally, students will make comparisons and connections between their native language and culture and that of diverse areas of the Spanish-speaking world, focusing on the products, practices, and perspectives of the target cultures. Students will attain and practice multiple learning strategies, including the use of context in interpreting texts, the synthesis of information from various sources (including graphs and visual media), the use of graphic organizers, and effective paraphrasing. Grammatical and lexical topics will focus on the difference between formal and informal registers and written academic language versus spoken colloquial language. Other such topics will be addressed as dictated by student needs. Instruction and class interaction will occur exclusively in Spanish. Students are required to take the AP Exam in Spanish Language. This course has a required summer reading assignment.
This level of Spanish is designed to get students ready to take the AP Exam in May. The students learn about the six thematic areas as prescribed by the AP Board: las sociedades en contacto: pluralismo racial y desigualdad económica, la construcción del género, el tiempo y el espacio, las relaciones interpersonales, la dualidad del ser, la creación literaria. The students come to understand authentic text in relations the historic time and the literary genres. Throughout the year the students gain a better understanding of the overarching themes and concepts that are found in the different texts that they read. Through a focus on essential questions students come to be more aware of the Spanish culture. The text that is used for this level is “Reflexiones.” Students are expected to take the AP Exam in Spanish Literature. Summer reading counts for 20% of the first marking period grade.
Offered at RPCS, this course introduces the Russian sound system and alphabet and some of the fundamental structures of Russian grammar. Students learn to write in script, acquire a basic vocabulary, and begin to develop reading fluency. They learn how to interpret and convey basic information about themselves and others and are introduced to some of the products, practices, and perspectives associated with Russia and the Russian-speaking world. Considerable time is devoted to preparing for the Maryland Olympiada of Spoken Russian, an annual event that gives high school students of Russian the opportunity to use their language skills and show off their knowledge of Russian culture. Students with prior knowledge of Russian must consult the RPCS World Languages Department for guidance on placement.
Offered at RPCS, Chinese III will expand and spiral previous knowledge into more complex structures that link to daily life topics in all four aspects of communication throughout the year. Special emphasis will focus on vocabulary and grammar in order to achieve more independent reading and writing skills. Students will also develop oral skills and strategies to express themselves and communicate with others in Chinese.