Communication improves understanding improves communication...
World language education is integral to Green Vale’s mission to graduate true global citizens. To understand our own culture, it helps to insert ourselves into a different one. When the ability to communicate with others is challenged, an experience replicated in language immersion classes, we are forced to abandon our most basic comfort zone. Yet, learning to be resourceful in our interpersonal contact as we seek common ground is one of life’s great rewards. Language skills are indeed a form of freedom.
Intellectually, the process of understanding a different linguistic system from vocabulary to sentence structure leads to more facile use of our native language. It also exercises spatial, memory, and auditory abilities.
Surveys of recent Green Vale graduates indicate high levels of foreign language placement in their secondary schools.
Building skills for any language
Green Vale’s World Language program provides a firm grounding in useful vocabulary and grammatical concepts, as well as cultural literacy and familiarity with the countries where their language is spoken. Listening, speaking, reading and writing are stressed in tandem.
Students engage in interpersonal as well as intrapersonal communication and thinking; they are exposed to visual and audio stimuli that present not only grammar, but also cultural and historical content. We engage students in (TPR) Total Physical Response scenarios that reach the more bodily-kinesthetic learners, whether using gestures to express vocabulary, acting out scenes from a skit, or dancing.
The department is proficiency-oriented, in that it believes that no matter how disparate the level of cognitive ability may be in a classroom setting, all students are capable of achieving high levels of proficiency. Differentiated learning is the standard, as students are expected to gain the same knowledge, but are allowed to go about presenting their knowledge in myriad ways.
- Smartboards in all classrooms promote interactive activities and expose students to authentic language and culture
- Through Skype, Early Childhood students interact with children at a school in Madrid
- Linguascope allows for review and extension with entertaining games and activities
- Spanish twice weekly for 30 minutes
Following this three-year introductory program in Spanish, students are able to interpret a calendar, describe weather and seasons, express simple feelings, and verbalize personal information in role-play situations.
These young students enjoy playing games and singing songs to practice vocabulary. The transition from word recognition to independent conversation happens naturally as the curriculum builds on previous learning from grade level to grade level.
- Students take one semester in French & one semester in Spanish
- Following 3rd Grade, students choose to continue with either French or Spanish for Grades 4-8.
- Classes meet twice weekly for 40 minutes
In third grade students take one semester of French, for language and culture, so that they may consider French future study. With their basis in Spanish, they make immediate connections to learning a new language. After one semester each of French and of Spanish, students and parents make an informed decision as to which language to continue studying.
- Students continue with language choice from Grade 4
- Classes meet 3 times/week for 40 minutes
Classes are conducted almost exclusively in the target language based on research proving that such instruction is the most effective in accelerating language acquisition. Language study is more formalized as textbooks are introduced and the study of grammar becomes more precise.
- Students continue with language choice from Grade 4
- Classes meet daily for 40 minutes
At this level, the goal is to provide students with a solid foundation in vocabulary and grammatical structures that will allow them to enter at least a level two language course in high school and to motivate them to achieve the highest level possible. To that end, vocabulary is taught in situational, true-to-life contexts, encouraging students to use and have fun with the target language. Literature begins to enter the curriculum. French students participate in the National French Contest.
In introductory Latin, the primary goal is to develop an appreciation for classical studies and to help 21st century students discover the connective thread and relevance that Latin shares with all disciplines.
Starting in 7th Grade Latin is offered to honor students as an elective sixth course (in addition to French or Spanish), provided that they maintain a B+ average in all other academic disciplines. Latin 70 is the first part of a two-year Latin 1 course and introduces students to the language, culture, history, and mythology of Ancient Rome.
This course focuses on reading Latin, building a foundation of grammatical concepts, morphology, and vocabulary. While oral Latin is not the primary focus of this course, students are taught that Latin remains a communication tool that is very deeply connected to the English and romance languages. Latin 80 is a continuation of Latin 70, which focuses on mastery of basic Latin grammatical concepts, morphology, and vocabulary. Latin students participate in National Latin Exam