MS World Languages
The world languages department offers instruction in French, Latin, and Spanish. The graduation requirement is successful completion of Level III of one world language or Level II of two world languages between grades 7 and 12. Students entering the 6th grade will take the Chinese Language and Culture course. Students in the 7th grade will begin the formal study of a world language. Successful completion of Levels 1A and 1B will earn one year of high school credit in French, Latin, or Spanish. Students with previous experience in a language will be placed at the appropriate level by decision of the department and based on placement testing prior to the beginning of the school year. Placement in Honors and Advanced Placement courses is by invitation of the department and is based on previous performance in world language classes and performance on standardized tests.
The department encourages students to develop language skills and cultural understanding through summer study, especially in programs abroad. A student who wishes to advance a level during the summer should enroll in an approved language program. A formal transcript or equivalent that shows excellent achievement is required for advancement. In addition, the student will need to take an oral and/or written assessment prior to the beginning of the school year.
All courses in the world languages department (from Level 1-V and A.P.) meet the “e” and “g” requirements for admission to the University of California.
This course is open to students who are beginning their foreign language study. The course comprises the first half of Level 1 instruction. Students will learn everyday vocabulary regarding friends, school, activities, family, home, food, meals and clothing as well as basic grammar and sentence structure. Students will practice speaking through dialogues and simple conversations with classmates and with the teacher. They will also become familiar with the culture of many French-speaking countries.
Students will build on the foundation begun in French IA by adding vocabulary and structure. The past and future tenses will be added to this year's learning, allowing students more freedom in conversations. Cooperative learning will allow students to acquire an extensive vocabulary and to practice oral skills. Readings will increase cultural knowledge about daily life in France. This course is open to students who have successfully mastered the material taught in French IA.
This course encompasses the first half of Level I materials and is designed for beginning students. Instruction emphasizes vocabulary, grammar, sentence structure in Latin and English, the structure and meaning of English and Latin words, and building proficiency in reading comprehension. There is a strong focus on classical myths and foundation stories, Roman legends and daily life throughout the year.
This course completes level I instruction. The class continues to introduce new vocabulary and more complex points of grammar with the goal of increased reading and writing proficiency. There is also significant focus on the development of English vocabulary through mastery of Latin root meanings. The class further instructs students in the history of Ancient Rome from the Monarchical through the Republican periods.
This course is designed to begin development of proficiency in the Spanish language by concentrating on listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Students learn everyday vocabulary of the home, school, recreational areas, and the market place. Students view basic video skits with different accents and lexical elements in order to aid them in developing better listening comprehension. Class assignments include the preparing of flash cards that illustrate vocabulary and the practice of speaking through dialogues and simple conversations with classmates and the teacher. Various projects round out the course. This course is open to students who are beginning their foreign language study in the middle school.
This course builds on the foundation begun in Spanish IA by adding more complex grammar and vocabulary. In addition, speaking and aural comprehension skills are emphasized, and the students have more in-depth conversations in Spanish. The preterit and near future tenses are introduced and expand the students’ ability to express themselves. Vocabulary and grammar games are an integral part of this course, as are occasional video presentations that expose students to native speakers. Readings are used not only to introduce the cultural aspects of the language, but also to teach students how to incorporate unfamiliar vocabulary they may encounter. This course is open to students who have successfully mastered the material taught in Spanish IA.
Chinese Language & Culture
China is an ever increasing player on the world’s stage. According to Michael Levine, director of the Asian Society, "Globalization has already changed the arrangements in terms of how children today are going to need to think about their careers.... The question is when, not whether the schools are going to adjust." As Buckley is at the forefront of preparing students for an increasingly globalized world, we must consider China. During this course, students will explore the spoken and written language of China. Students will be expected to learn key words and phrases as well as gain a rudimentary understanding of Chinese characters. Students will also learn about the fundamentals of Chinese culture such as philosophy, art, history, customs, etc. An exposure to these areas is essential for Buckley students who are rapidly becoming citizens of the world.
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of Mandarin Chinese. The class begins with the pronunciation system (Pinyin) and the structure of Chinese characters. Simple vocabulary and grammar as well as reading and writing skills are introduced. Students will learn about and discuss topics such as the Chinese people, family, and calligraphy in addition to the culture richness of Chinese lifestyle, values, and beliefs.
This course is a continuation of Chinese 1A. The course emphasizes grammar and vocabulary acquisition, as well as the development of speaking and listening skills. Daily dialogues provide a foundation for improving students’ communication abilities. New characters continue to be introduced and writing skills are enhanced. Students learn how to use the language in such topics as calendar, money, food, market, and school life. Students also learn how to use a Chinese dictionary and Chinese computer software. Cultural concepts are presented in greater depth.