Search
Walnut Hill School for the Arts

World Languages Program & Faculty


Requirements in French or Spanish

All incoming students in grades 9, 10, and 11 are required to complete through French II or Spanish II with the Walnut Hill World Languages Department.

Those incoming students who have earned two or more credits in a foreign language at the high school level may, but are not required to, take further language courses at Walnut Hill.

Incoming 12th-grade students who have not completed two credits of foreign language may apply for special consideration with the World Languages Department, the Director of Studies, and the College Counseling Office.

Students who are citizens of a country in which English is not the native language and who are native speakers of that language are not required to take French or Spanish.

Students who have completed the language requirement or have been exempted for the above reasons may choose to enroll in French or Spanish as an elective, but are required to complete both levels IA and IB if they enroll.

Courses in French

FRENCH 1A

This introductory course is the first step into the world of language immersion classes at Walnut Hill. It is designed for students who have had little or no previous language experience. Upon completion of this course, students can hold basic conversations in the present tense on a wide variety of topics. Activities include readings, discussions, the study of introductory grammar, films, and writing.

FRENCH 1B

In this course, students continue to develop the four communication skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing in French as they learn new verb tenses and begin expressing themselves in paragraphs. Students widen their vocabulary and knowledge of basic grammar structures through film, simplified readings that highlight French culture, and discussions.

FRENCH II

This course completes the study of the basics of the language with particular attention to grammar, vocabulary growth, conversation, and reading comprehension. In this course, students transition from specially designed readings for students of French to authentic material. Students should be able to communicate effectively and creatively about the past, present and future. Upon completion of this course, students have fulfilled the Walnut Hill requirement in world languages.

FRENCH III

In this elective course, students increase their proficiency through the study of select literary texts and movies. In addition to work that reinforces all of the basic grammatical elements of the language, the course engages students in work on ever more advanced linguistic constructions. The students will add to their foundation in French, improve their ability to understand what they hear, read fictional and nonfictional texts, and express themselves in writing.

FRENCH IV

This elective course pushes the students to develop close reading and analytical skills through the study of modern French plays and films. Themes studied include, but are not limited to, relationships and interpersonal dynamic. This elective course also provides a review of French grammar. Grammatical structures and vocabulary acquisition are developed through discussions, writing, and reading about literary works. Students are also required to work on their presentation skills, through the study and discussion of current events.

FRENCH V/VI

Throughout this elective course, students learn to hone their critical thinking skills and analytical work through reading varied texts and through writing about French literature, music, and films. Students also continue to engage with current events through presentations and debate. This course alternates topics.

In the course entitled “Le survol de la littérature et de la poésie française” the focus is on literature and poetry from the 17th century to the present. Students will develop the necessary skills for interpreting literature and for writing effectively in French. They will also learn to do close reading and analysis of a variety of literary works and to write critical essays.

In the alternate course, “Les arts à travers le cinéma français”, the focus is on the various art majors studied at Walnut Hill through French cinema. At this level, students come to understand and appreciate a variety of writing styles. They also develop broader, deeper, and more analytical work. Throughout the course, students learn to employ their critical thinking skills through reading and writing about Francophone cultures.

Courses in Spanish

SPANISH 1A

This introductory course is the first step into the world of language immersion classes at Walnut Hill and is designed for students who have little or no experience in Spanish. Classes that are conducted entirely in Spanish encourage students to build basic conversational skills in the present tense. Targeted readings and grammar exercises cement students’ understanding of basic sentence structures and vocabulary.

SPANISH 1B

This course builds on the fundamental grammar and vocabulary of Spanish IA by introducing students to a wider variety of verb tenses and vocabulary. Students are encouraged to speak in more detail using short narratives in the present and the past. Students begin to explore culture and history in more depth by reading simplified texts that highlight Hispanic culture and that simultaneously grow students’ linguistic skills.

SPANISH II

This course focuses on the more advanced study of Spanish with particular attention to grammar, verb tenses, vocabulary growth, conversation, and reading comprehension. In this course, students transition from specially designed readings for students of Spanish to authentic short stories and poetry texts. Upon completion of this course, students have fulfilled the Walnut Hill requirement in world languages.

SPANISH III

This elective course completes the study of the basics of the language and pushes students to increase their proficiency through the study of authentic literary texts. In addition to work that reinforces all of the basic grammatical elements of the language, the course engages students in work on ever more advanced linguistic constructions. The students will add to their foundation in Spanish, and improve their ability to understand what they hear, to read fictional and nonfictional texts, and to express themselves in writing.

SPANISH IV

This elective course pushes the students to develop close reading and analytical skills through the study of modern Spanish plays, poetry, and films. Themes studied include, but are not limited to, oppression and the traditional role of women in society, familial relationships, and societal injustice. Students begin to acquire a more refined vocabulary and employ what they have learned previously during discussions and in their writing. Students are also required to work on their presentation skills, through the study and discussion of current events.

SPANISH V/VI

Throughout this elective course, students learn to hone their critical thinking skills and analytical work through reading varied texts and through writing about Spanish and Latin American literature, music, and films. Students also continue to engage with current events through presentations and debate. This course alternates topics.

In the course entitled “El arte político” students study conflict and culture through the lens of critical art. Authors studied include Francisco Jiménez, Alfonsina Storni, Rubén Darío, Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer and Manuel Puig. Themes include but are not limited to identity and discrimination, art activism, and relations between the United States and Latin America. Students culminate their experience in the course by designing an art-based community service or education project proposal.

In an alternate version of the course, students read and analyze literary works from various genres of 20th century Latin American and Spanish literature. Authors studied include Isabel Allende, Julio Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez, and Carmen Laforet. Themes include but are not limited to cultural adaptation/assimilation, identity, social conflict and power dynamics. Students learn about the historical context in conjunction with the literary work that is being studied. Students also do an in-depth research project on an assigned Spanish-speaking country, and do a presentation on their own cultural identity. Students are encouraged to lead and actively partake in discussions and hone their oral and written expression.

World Languages Faculty

Powered by Finalsite