An independent day school serving grades K-12 | St. Paul, MN

World Language

The Upper School offers Spanish through Level VI, and Chinese, French, and German through Level V. Students are expected to demonstrate increasing proficiency in cultural awareness, conversation, listening, reading, writing, and speaking. After completing this sequence, students may elect Advanced Language Seminars, which explore topics at an advanced level entirely in the target language in a seminar format. 

Throughout the world language program, students are exposed to increasingly complex themes based on national American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language standards. In upper levels, substantive units on social and political issues of contemporary societies, economic developments, and cultural histories are also studied.

All Levels V and VI language course have AP themes integrated into the units and lessons, enabling students to prepare for the AP language exams.

Chinese

Chinese I
By the end of this level, students can communicate about and identify the main idea and a few supporting details of short written and spoken messages on highly predictable, everyday topics on familiar themes involving personal identity, family, and daily life. They can use simple sentences that have been encountered, memorized, and recalled. Students completing this level typically demonstrate a proficiency in Novice Mid to Intermediate Low range in all modes of communication based on ACTFL guidelines. Basic Chinese geography, ways of greeting Chinese people that explain your identity and ways of showing a beginning appreciation of Chinese language and culture are the focus of this course. Themes and grammatical structures align with the Zhenbang I (真棒)textbook.

Chinese II
By the end of this level, students can participate in conversations and present information on a number of familiar topics using increasingly complex sentences. They can handle short social interactions in everyday situations, write messages about familiar subjects, and recognize the main topic and some supporting details heard or read. Students completing this level typically demonstrate a proficiency in the Novice High to Intermediate Mid range in all modes of communication based on ACTFL guidelines. This course explores how traditional medicine and health, unique features of the Chinese educational system, and Chinese extracurricular activities all have a profound impact on daily life for children and adults in modern China. Themes and grammatical structures align with the Zhenbang II (真棒)textbook.

Chinese III
By the end of this level, students can participate in conversations on familiar topics using a series of sentences, make presentations and write on a wide variety of familiar topics, and understand the main idea in the messages, presentations, and texts on topics related to everyday life and personal interests. Students completing this level typically demonstrate a proficiency in the Intermediate Low to Intermediate Mid range in all modes of communication based on ACTFL guidelines. Level III students focus their learning by analyzing and discussing Chinese traditional stories, food culture, and ideas of traditional architecture. Using text and video they compare modern and ancient social structures. Themes and grammatical structures align with the Zhenbang III (真棒)and Tales and Traditions I textbooks.

Chinese IV
By the end of the school year, students should be able to participate in conversations and handle common social interactions, make a presentation on school and community events, write on a variety of topics, and understand the main idea in messages and presentations on a variety of topics. They can use and understand connected sentences while doing presentations, having conversations, reading and hearing about everyday life. Students completing this level typically demonstrate a proficiency in the Intermediate Low to Intermediate Mid range in all modes of communication based on ACTFL guidelines. Students in level IV get an introduction to ancient literature, discuss nuances of environmental protection in China, compare personal responsibilities of Chinese youth and explore plans for professional life in China. Themes and grammatical structures align with the Zhenbang III (真棒)and Tales and Traditions II textbooks.

Advanced Chinese
Advanced Chinese is an upper-level seminar course, the topics and foci of which will rotate over the course of two school years. For 2019-20, the seminar is called "Ancient Knowledge, Current Contradictions," and it focuses on several essential classical readings studied and known by all Chinese middle and high school students. These Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist works are important keys to understanding Chinese conversation and discourse, and they are archetypally reenacted in modern Chinese literature. Putting those readings in a current context, students will be exposed to foundational Chinese ideas, and they will be taught how to use them in formal and informal ways. The course is open to all students who have completed Chinese Level IV (as well as the course previously offered as Chinese V, which this course replaces). Language students who have completed the prerequisite courses may repeat the Advanced Language seminar in subsequent years. 

French

French I
By the end of this level, students can communicate about and identify the main idea and a few supporting details of short written and spoken messages on highly predictable, everyday topics on familiar themes involving personal identity, family, and daily life. They can use simple sentences that have been encountered, memorized, and recalled. Students completing this level typically demonstrate a proficiency in Novice Mid to Intermediate Low range in all modes of communication based on ACTFL guidelines.Using the Bien Dit! Level 1 textbook, French 1 students build foundational knowledge in order to meet basic needs - food, clothing, shelter, and identity - in authentic scenarios. In Middle School, students learn about the geography and school system of France, culinary habits, and tourist destinations in the provinces of France and in French overseas departments. The Upper School French 1 curriculum covers the three-year Middle School French curriculum in one accelerated year, focusing on practical linguistic skills and cultural competency for basic interactions with French speakers.

French II
By the end of this level, students can participate in conversations and present information on a number of familiar topics using increasingly complex sentences. They can handle short social interactions in everyday situations, write messages about familiar subjects, and recognize the main topic and some supporting details heard or read. Students completing this level typically demonstrate a proficiency in the Novice High to Intermediate Mid range in all modes of communication based on ACTFL guidelines. French 2 uses the Bien Dit! Level 2 textbook as a springboard to focus on problem-solving and expressing emotion around a variety of thematic units including daily routines, technology, dating and relationships, illness and injury, and media.

French III
By the end of this level, students can participate in conversations on familiar topics using a series of sentences, make presentations and write on a wide variety of familiar topics, and understand the main idea in the messages, presentations, and texts on topics related to everyday life and personal interests. Students completing this level typically demonstrate a proficiency in the Intermediate Low to Intermediate Mid range in all modes of communication based on ACTFL guidelines. The course textbook is Bien Dit! Level 3, and students explore the history and geography of the many countries that are part of the French-speaking world.

French IV
By the end of the school year, students should be able to participate in conversations and handle common social interactions, make a presentation on school and community events, write on a variety of topics, and understand the main idea in messages and presentations on a variety of topics. They can use and understand connected sentences while doing presentations, having conversations, reading and hearing about everyday life. Students completing this level typically demonstrate a proficiency in the Intermediate Low to Intermediate Mid range in all modes of communication based on ACTFL guidelines. Through a variety of media, students in this course tackle social issues such as immigration, religion, and secularism in France.

French V
By the end of the school year, students can participate with ease in conversations and everyday social interactions. They can clearly communicate information on autobiographical topics, as well as topics of community, national, or international interest. The topics are handled concretely by means of narration and description in the major times frames of past, present, and future. These speakers can also deal with a social situation with an unexpected complication. Students completing this level typically demonstrate a proficiency in the Intermediate Mid to Intermediate High range in all modes of communication based on ACTFL guidelines. French 5 is organized around a different main theme each quarter: the environment and technology, authenticity and identity, and connections between language, culture, and history in the Francophone world. Students present mock grant proposals, debate current social and political issues cross-culturally, dive into the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre’s Huis clos, and interpret primary source documents, poems, and short stories by authors from Québec, Louisiana, Central Africa, and the Maghreb.

German

German I
By the end of this level, students can communicate about and identify the main idea and a few supporting details of short written and spoken messages on highly predictable, everyday topics on familiar themes involving personal identity, family, and daily life. They can use simple sentences that have been encountered, memorized, and recalled. Students completing this level typically demonstrate a proficiency in Novice Mid to Intermediate Low range in all modes of communication based on ACTFL guidelines. Utilizing materials in Deutsch Aktuell Level 1, this course builds a foundation in the basic structures necessary to navigate authentic scenarios and covers the basic geography and cultures of the German-speaking countries. The Upper School German 1 curriculum focuses on practical linguistic skills and cultural competency for basic interactions with German speakers.

German II
By the end of this level, students can participate in conversations and present information on a number of familiar topics using increasingly complex sentences. They can handle short social interactions in everyday situations, write messages about familiar subjects, and recognize the main topic and some supporting details heard or read. Students completing this level typically demonstrate a proficiency in the Novice High to Intermediate Mid range in all modes of communication based on ACTFL guidelines. Utilizing materials in Deutsch Aktuell Level 2, as well as selected short stories and novels, this course focuses on a variety of topics, such as travel, food, holidays and festivals and high-frequency topics to help students engage in social interactions with German-speaking peers.

German III
By the end of this level, students can participate in conversations on familiar topics using a series of sentences, make presentations and write on a wide variety of familiar topics, and understand the main idea in the messages, presentations, and texts on topics related to everyday life and personal interests. Students completing this level typically demonstrate a proficiency in the Intermediate Low to Intermediate Mid range in all modes of communication based on ACTFL guidelines. Utilizing materials in Deutsch Aktuell Levels 2 and 3, as well as selected short stories, novels, and media sources, students at this level explore topics related to communication, technology, health, future plans in education and occupations and selected historical topics.  

German IV
By the end of the school year, students should be able to participate in conversations and handle common social interactions, make a presentation on school and community events, write on a variety of topics, and understand the main idea in messages and presentations on a variety of topics. They can use and understand connected sentences while doing presentations, having conversations, reading and hearing about everyday life. Students completing this level typically demonstrate a proficiency in the Intermediate Low to Intermediate Mid range in all modes of communication based on ACTFL guidelines.

German V
By the end of the school year, students can participate with ease in conversations and everyday social interactions. They can clearly communicate information on autobiographical topics, as well as topics of community, national, or international interest. The topics are handled concretely by means of narration and description in the major time frames of past, present, and future. These speakers can also deal with a social situation with an unexpected complication. Students completing this level typically demonstrate a proficiency in the Intermediate Mid to Intermediate High range in all modes of communication based on ACTFL guidelines.

Spanish

Spanish I 
By the end of this level, students can communicate about and identify the main idea and a few supporting details of short written and spoken messages on highly predictable, everyday topics on familiar themes involving personal identity, family, and daily life. They can use simple sentences that have been encountered, memorized, and recalled. Students completing this level typically demonstrate a proficiency in Novice Mid to Intermediate Low range in all modes of communication based on ACTFL guidelines.

Spanish II
By the end of this level, students can participate in conversations and present information on a number of familiar topics using increasingly complex sentences. They can handle short social interactions in everyday situations, write messages about familiar subjects, and recognize the main topic and some supporting details heard or read. Students completing this level typically demonstrate a proficiency in the Novice High to Intermediate Mid range in all modes of communication based on ACTFL guidelines. 

This second-year course employs a unique format of interactive learning, listening and conversation activities and video program. The grammar work focuses on the preterit, imperfect, future, conditional tenses. The cultural emphasis is on Spain and Mexico. Oral and written reports, as well as reading comprehension, receive increasing emphasis. Students start reading literature in Spanish through the short novel La Gran Aventura de Alejandro. Students can handle short social interactions in everyday situations, write messages and present information about familiar subjects. They can also recognize the main topic and some details of a reading or conversation.

Spanish III 
By the end of this level, students can participate in conversations and present information on a number of familiar topics using increasingly complex sentences. They can handle short social interactions in everyday situations, write messages about familiar subjects, and recognize the main topic and some supporting details heard or read. Students completing this level typically demonstrate proficiency in the Novice High to Intermediate Mid range in all modes of communication based on ACTFL guidelines. Spanish III students share stories and future plans, express doubt and hope, give suggestions and instruct others based on the grammatical framework and contexts of ¡Avancemos! Level 3.

Spanish IV 
By the end of this level, students can participate in conversations on familiar topics using a series of sentences, make presentations and write on a wide variety of familiar topics, and understand the main idea in the messages, presentations, and texts on topics related to everyday life and personal interests. Students completing this level typically demonstrate a proficiency in the Intermediate Low to Intermediate Mid range in all modes of communication based on ACTFL guidelines. This course uses “Imaginas”, a theme-based Intermediate level textbook that explores and broadens the students of contemporary life, families, and community, visual and performing arts, and current global issues within the Spanish countries.

Spanish V 
By the end of the school year, students should be able to participate in conversations and handle common social interactions, make a presentation on school and community events, write on a variety of topics, and understand the main idea in messages and presentations on a variety of topics. They can use and understand connected sentences while doing presentations, having conversations, reading and hearing about everyday life. Students completing this level typically demonstrate a proficiency in the Intermediate Low to Intermediate Mid range in all modes of communication based on ACTFL guidelinesThis course uses “Temas”, a theme-based textbook that closely follows the Advanced Placement approach to learning and assessing. Topics included: Families and communities, Science and Technology, Beauty and Aesthetics, Contemporary Life, Global Challenges, Identities and Public Personalities.

Spanish VI: Senior Seminar 
By the end of the school year, students can participate with ease in conversations and everyday social interactions. They can clearly communicate information on autobiographical topics, as well as topics of community, national, or international interest. The topics are handled concretely by means of narration and description in the major times frames of past, present, and future, as well as expressing opinions, making suggestions and hypothesizing. These speakers can also deal with a social situation with an unexpected complication. Students completing this level typically demonstrate a proficiency in the Intermediate Intermediate High range in all modes of communication based on ACTFL guidelines. In this course students study the geography, history, political and social evolution of both Cuba and Spain. Students further their knowledge of these cultures by reading the novel "El Viejo y El Mar”, by Ernest Hemingway. Finally, the last quarter students produce an interdisciplinary