Chinese 1 - The grammatical structures, vocabulary, pronunciation, tones, and writing system of Mandarin
Chinese are presented together in an integrated, communication-oriented curriculum. College-level texts
are used and some 400 characters and vocabulary items are learned by the end of Chinese 1. Both inside
and outside the classroom, the speaking, listening, reading and writing of Chinese are reinforced through
multimedia technology, cultural activities and projects.
Chinese 2 - Grammar patterns, vocabulary, good pronunciation and the learning of characters continue to
be stressed. Students will now be familiar with most of the basic sentence patterns and will have doubled
their vocabulary and character knowledge. Speaking and other productive language skills are stressed,
while increasing cultural knowledge is approached through various media and contexts.
Chinese 2 (Honors) - Requires departmental approval. Prerequisite: Excellence in Chinese 1 (or
equivalent). The curriculum will continue to build on students’ listening, speaking, reading, and writing
skills at an accelerated pace. Students are required to speak the target language in phrases and sentences
whenever possible and understand sentences or strings of sentences when spoken to. Level appropriate
literacy in reading and writing of Chinese characters is also required. Web-based online aural and oral
training programs will be employed for speaking and listening comprehension training purposes.
Occasionally, students will be expected to do independent research on projects using a hardcopy or online
dictionary or other resources.
Chinese 3 - Speaking, listening, reading and writing continue in a communication-oriented classroom,
while the reading of intermediate level texts, using a Chinese dictionary, begins. Increasing vocabulary and
developing reading and decoding skills are primary goals, as is improving writing and composition ability.
Students will be exposed to a wide variety of media and linguistic forms to broaden their familiarity and
comfort with Chinese language and culture.
Chinese 3 (Honors) - Requires departmental approval. Prerequisite: Excellence in Chinese 2 or
Chinese 2 (Honors) (or equivalent). This class is a pre-Advanced Placement-level course that reinforces
students’ listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Students are required to speak the target language
in strings of sentences and paragraphs when spoken to. Level appropriate literacy in reading and writing
of Chinese characters is also required. Web-based online aural and oral training programs will be
employed for speaking and listening comprehension training purposes. Students will be expected to do
independent research on projects using a hardcopy or online dictionary or other resources.
Chinese 4 (AP) - Requires departmental approval. The AP Chinese Language and Culture course is
designed to be comparable to fourth semester college/university courses in Mandarin Chinese (approx 250
hrs of college level classroom instruction). The goal of the course is to further develop communicative
skills in Chinese across the three communicative modes (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational), in
preparation for the Advanced Placement Chinese exam. Students will read a wide variety of authentic texts
ranging from works in the literary form to more colloquial and modern writings. Writing and composing
in the presentational mode will take on a greater role, and as the AP exam is entirely internet based,
students will be required to submit most of their written work and communications via computer. The AP
exam also has sections evaluating listening and speaking, so the course will include a variety of activities
to improve all of the communicative areas. Cultural knowledge and awareness is also a key component of
the course. This course is open to students who have displayed strong ability in Chinese 3, or with the
permission of the instructor.
Chinese 5 (Honors) - Requires departmental approval. This course focuses on further enhancing the
student’s listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. This class will be conducted entirely in Chinese
with authentic materials, including a variety of texts of different genres as well as other media. We will be
reading Tang and Song poetry, classic and modern novels, as well as watch movies and media clips, and
then write essays or develop written and oral projects in a variety of forms.
French 1 - This course is designed for students who have never studied French before. It is an elementary
French course that also focuses on the skills needed to learn a modern language. Emphasis is placed on
communication, both oral and written, and culture. This is an interactive course that uses a variety of
media, including video, audio, print and the Internet.
French 2 - French 2 is a course that builds on the four language skills acquired in French 1. Course
content further develops the student’s ability to understand and to communicate in the language, both
orally and in writing. Students begin to read and to discuss short stories and poems and to write short
compositions. The course is conducted in French.
French 2 (Honors) - Requires departmental approval. Prerequisite: excellence in French 1 (or
equivalent) French 2 Honors is a beginning intermediate course that builds on the language skills—
listening, speaking, reading and writing—acquired in level 1. Since it is an honors course, students are
expected to work at an accelerated pace and produce oral and written work of a high caliber. In addition to
developing their linguistic skills, students study a variety of cultural themes, from music to the regions of
France. This course is conducted in French.
French 3 - This is an intermediate French course. It reviews and expands important linguistic structures
acquired during the two previous years. Students are expected to work independently on oral and written
projects and to demonstrate increasing ability to handle a wider and more complex range of topics. The
course is conducted in French.
French 3 (Honors) - Requires departmental approval. Prerequisite: French 2 or French 2 Honors
or equivalent. This is a pre-Advanced Placement-level course that reinforces the four skills. It reviews
important linguistic structures acquired during the two previous years. Students are expected to work
independently on increasingly complex oral and written assignments, which are based on traditional and
multimedia resources. They continue to develop reading skills, writing ability and cultural awareness. The
course is conducted in French.
Advanced French 4A (Honors) and Advanced French 4B (Honors) - Prerequisite: French 3 (or
equivalent). Courses offered in alternating years to students who wish to continue their study of French
beyond The Hill School requirement. Each course reinforces, expands and refines students’ ability to
communicate orally and in writing at the advanced level. As well, the classes introduce them to a variety
of literary works from the French-speaking world, allowing them insight into the history and culture of the
francophone world. Emphasis is placed on fostering oral communication in everyday situations and
developing writing skills through a process including drafts and editing. Grammatical topics are presented
and reviewed in an effort to prepare students for the SAT-II Subject Test in French. Authentic French
media, including radio, television and cinema, are used to build vocabulary and develop cultural
appreciation. This course is conducted in French.
French 4 (AP) (Language) - Requires departmental approval. Prerequisite: excellence in French 3 or
French 3 Honors (or equivalent). This course prepares students for the AP Language exam that
evaluates them on a standard equivalent to that of an advanced level college course. During the year,
students work on enhancing their communicative skills, both oral and written. Assignments include:
compositions, oral activities and presentations, grammatical exercises, and practice AP activities. A variety
of materials are used such as, French radio selections, audio segments and programs, Internet activities and
a wide array of reading materials. This course is conducted in French.
Senior French Seminar (Honors) - Requires departmental approval. Prerequisite: French 4 AP (or
the equivalent). As its title suggests this advanced level French course –the equivalent of a 300-level
college course—has two main axes. The first is conversational and focuses on oral comprehension and
expression. Emphasis is placed on correct usage, vocabulary enrichment and the development of fluency.
Students are required to do a number of oral projects throughout the year as well as work regularly with a
variety of original oral sources, including CD’s, the Web sites and films. The second is literary. Here
students read a number of works spanning several centuries and develop the critical tools needed to do
literary analyses, such as “explication de texte.” Then the works read in the class are matched with films
which either offer a cinematic version of a particular text or treat the period in which this book was written.
Students demonstrate their acquisition of critical skills by writing short analytical papers of one to three
pages on the texts and films covered in class.
Spanish 1 - This is an introductory course that presents Spanish to students through listening, speaking,
reading, and writing. Particular emphasis is placed upon the mastery of forms and uses of the verbs in the
present and past indicative tenses. Students are also introduced to the culture of Spanish-speaking
countries. The Multimedia Language Center is used by groups and also independently to develop listening
Spanish 2 - The objectives of Spanish 2 are to improve the skills attained by students in Spanish 1 and to
continue the presentation of basic grammar including an introduction to the subjunctive mood. Emphasis
is placed upon increasing active vocabulary through the study of new words that appear in dialogues,
readings and thematic lists. Students continue to read about the culture of the Spanish-speaking world and
to use the Multimedia Language Center for practice in listening comprehension.
Spanish 2 (Honors) - Requires departmental approval. This course is offered to students who have
shown a high degree of self-motivation and previous success and who wish to advance at a faster pace.
The objective of Spanish 2 Honors is to continue the presentation of basic grammar, including the
indicative, imperative and subjunctive moods. Emphasis is placed on increasing the student’s active
vocabulary through selected readings. Students continue to read about the culture of the Spanish-speaking
world and to use the Multimedia Language Center for audio and oral practice.
Spanish 3 - Spanish 3 focuses on a review of grammatical principles while emphasizing conversation and
written expression. Students increase their working vocabulary by learning new words gleaned from short
readings, conversation and real-life situations. To facilitate oral communication and aural comprehension,
there are frequent exercises using videos, CDs, classroom reading and conversation. Literary selections
and guided Internet research expand the cultural knowledge of the student.
Spanish 3 (Honors) - Requires departmental approval. Prerequisite: Spanish 2 or Spanish 2 Honors
This is a pre-Advanced Placement-level course that reinforces all four language skills: listening, speaking,
reading and writing. The grammar studied in levels 1 and 2 is reviewed along with further study of
idiomatic expressions, including frequent drills and assignments in the Multimedia Language Center and
oral presentations in class. In addition to the grammar and vocabulary review sections, literary selections
from Spain and hispanophone America are introduced to encourage and to develop reading skills, writing
ability and cultural awareness. Selected Spanish-language websites are assigned so that students can
obtain additional information and familiarity with idiomatic living language. This course is conducted in
Advanced Spanish 4A (Honors) and Advanced Spanish 4B (Honors) - Prerequisite: Spanish 3 (or
equivalent). The students enrolled in the Advanced Spanish class have finished three years of high School
Spanish; thus, they should have a good understanding of the Spanish grammar and an intermediate level of
proficiency. In each course, students will not only develop and refine speaking, reading and writing skills
in the target language, but will also become more aware of the cultures whose primary language is Spanish.
For that purpose, students will read short stories, poetry and culture readings as well as watch and discuss
movies. Throughout the year students will be expected to write essays on works by a given author and on
movies discussed in class.
Spanish 4 (AP) (Language) - Requires departmental approval. Prerequisite: excellence in Spanish 3
or Spanish 3 Honors (or equivalent). This college-level course is designed for students who want to
continue developing their proficiency in all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
The course is conducted entirely in Spanish, and its content should qualify students for the Advanced
Placement Examination in Spanish Language. Following the College Board course description, this AP
class emphasizes: 1. the ability to comprehend formal and informal spoken Spanish; 2. the acquisition of
vocabulary and a grasp of structure to allow the easy, accurate reading of newspaper and magazine
articles, as well as of modern literature in Spanish; 3. the ability to compose expository passages; and 4.
the ability to express ideas orally with accuracy and fluency. Sample questions and test-taking strategies
from previous AP exams are studied in detail. To stimulate the students' interest, selected Spanish-language
websites are assigned, including audio and video whenever possible.
Spanish 5 (AP) (Literature) - Requires departmental approval. Prerequisite: excellence in Spanish 4
AP Language. The objective of this college-level, survey-style course is to develop an appreciation of
literature that is written in Spanish. It introduces prominent works from Spain and Spanish America across
the centuries. The required reading list includes authors in all genres from the Middle Ages to the present.
In addition to the reading and critical discussion of literary works, students are encouraged to take
advantage of the Internet to expand their knowledge of the topics and issues studied. The course is
conducted entirely in Spanish; and it is anticipated that, upon completion, students will qualify for the
Advanced Placement Examination in Spanish Literature.
Modern Languages Term Courses (Do not fulfill the language requirement.)
The Intellectual History of Ancient China - This term course is designed to introduce various topics in
Chinese history from antiquity up to the Tang dynasty (618-906 A.D.) The focus will be on the thinkers
and writings that had the greatest impact on China’s political development and culture. We will examine
the works of various philosophical traditions, such as Confucianism and Taoism, as well as literary and
religious traditions. We will read primary works in translation and secondary materials on Chinese history
and thought, from the time of Confucius (551-479 B.C) to the mid-Tang dynasty (8th century A.D.). We
will place these ideas and developments in their historical context, and explore their meaning, past and
present, through class discussion, essays and quizzes. A research paper will allow deeper study in a
relevant topic of particular interest to the student. (Winter)
Introduction to Dao De Jing and Chinese Sound and Script - This term course is designed to introduce
basic Chinese orthography and pronunciation system through the reading of the seminal philosophical text
Dao De Jing as translated by Ames and Hall in 2003. It is a foundation and preparatory course on Chinese
culture and language for non-Chinese major students who are interested in learning aspects of Chinese
language and culture, and/or upper formers who are interested in studying Chinese language, Asian studies,
or general humanity subjects in college. This class is also suitable for Chinese students or Chinese-
American students who wish to gain insights into their own heritage by reading Dao De Jing with English
translation and Chinese in tandem. (Spring)