Day and Boarding; Grades 6-12

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World Languages

Graduation requirement: Two consecutive years of Upper School study of one language

With department approval, students may study an additional language, either after or while completing their requirement in the first language. In this case, students must commit to two consecutive years of each language. Seniors may take Chinese I as an elective, independent of their language requirement.

Modern

The World Languages program at The Pennington School enables students to communicate meaningfully in languages other than English, while gaining understanding of a culturally and linguistically diverse world. The exposure to a new language gives students the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively participate in the world.

French

French I

French I
1 credit
The principal goal of French I is to develop a solid foundation of basic French vocabulary, sentence structure, and verb forms. The students will be able to talk and write about themselves, their likes and dislikes, their school day, and what they do on the weekends and during vacations. The basic grammar includes the present and future verb tenses of several high-frequency irregular verbs, as well as the three groups of regular verbs. The students listen to authentic French speakers and practice their pronunciation in the language lab. The students learn about French culture in France and other Francophone countries. Each student will present an oral and written report about a Paris monument.

French II

French II*
1 credit
Students in French II are able to converse and write about themselves and their daily events and interests with more detail. They are able to manipulate the structures of simple sentences in order to replace nouns with pronouns. Students will be able to narrate the present and tell about the past. They continue to go to the language lab in order to work on their pronunciation and listening comprehension. By the end of the year, student will be able to understand simple conversations by native speakers about daily habits and common interests. They will be able to hold a conversation on a familiar topic, asking and answering questions in complete sentences. Each student will do a French cooking project for his or her family.
*Prerequisite: French I

French III

French III*
1 credit
This course is offered to students who do not plan on following the Honors track to AP French. The principal goal of this course is to give the students the opportunity to master the basic vocabulary and structures of French. This class will review and practice grammar and verb tenses covered during the first two years of French while broadening their vocabulary. They will also study more complex grammar structures and will write short compositions. They will read a short novel in French and will watch and discuss a French film.
*Prerequisite: French II

French III Honors

French III Honors*
1 credit
This accelerated course is recommended for students strongly considering AP French studies. The principal goal of French III Honors continues to be oral proficiency with an emphasis on vocabulary development and grammar to enhance and refine oral and written communication. An extensive review of grammar and verb tenses from French I and II will lead to a study of all the major verb tenses. As students learn more complex grammatical structures, they will begin writing essays and summaries in French. The students will watch and discuss two French films as well as read and discuss selections of French and Francophone literature. All students will research and present a written and oral project on a Francophone country during the fourth quarter. The class will be conducted primarily in French. This class is a prerequisite for French IV Honors.
*Prerequisite: French II and permission of the department

French IV Honors

French IV Honors*
1 credit
The focus of this course is to further develop students’ proficiencies in interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communication. Students review and practice grammar and verb tenses while reading various works of French and Francophone literature as well as civilization texts and current events articles from authentic sources. Listening comprehension is practiced by watching and discussing two French films as well as other videos and clips relevant to current events and cultural topics. This class will be conducted in French, and the students are expected to speak only French in class. Students are also strongly encouraged to participate in our French exchange program in order to experience an immersion in French language and culture before enrolling in AP French V.
*Prerequisite: French III Honors and permission of the department

AP French V

AP French V*
1 credit
This college-level course is designed to promote proficiency in French and to enable students to explore culture in contemporary and historical contexts. The course focuses on communication. Students will demonstrate their skills and abilities in the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes of communication. In interpersonal communication, students engage in conversations, express ideas, and exchange opinions using both spoken and written French. In interpretive communication, they understand and interpret written and spoken French on a variety of topics. In presentational communication, they present information and ideas, using spoken and written French, to an audience. The course also encourages cultural awareness. Students will develop an understanding and appreciation of various aspects of the cultures of the French-speaking world, including television and film, books, newspapers, music, laws, and institutions.
*Prerequisite: French IV Honors and permission of the department

It is strongly encouraged that students participate in the French exchange program, which is offered every two years. In addition to textbooks, materials might include websites, podcasts, films, newspapers, magazines, and literature.

Total Immersion Experience

Total Immersion Experience
Students committed to the Honors track are strongly encouraged to have an immersion experience in a French- speaking country, or an equivalent in the United States, where they experience the culture, use the language, and improve their communicative skills. Students can take advantage of the immersion opportunities offered by the School or find an experience suitable to their interests and needs on their own.

German

German I

German I
1 credit
This course serves as an introduction to the German language. In German I, students learn to read, write, speak, and listen to German through classroom and textbook work. Emphasis is placed on conversational German, where the question-and-answer model is heavily used. Language recordings and video provide students with additional examples of authentic German in use. By course completion, students are able to describe in detail both orally and in writing themselves and their home (vital statistics, pets, family members, their bedroom), their home town/city, hobbies, household chores, their schoolday routine, present and past occurrences, and summer travel plans.

German II

German II*
1 credit
In this continuation to introductory German, students in German II strengthen what they have learned in the areas of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Emphasis continues to be placed on conversational German, and language recordings and video provide students with additional examples of authentic German in use. In German II, students also complete a film unit. By course completion, students will be able to describe in detail both orally and in writing their preferences regarding clothing, eating habits, and movies; their region and environmental awareness; health and illnesses; jobs and careers; and in-depth travel planning.
*Prerequisite: German I

German III Honors

German III Honors*
1 credit
I n this accelerated class, students further develop their fluency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students in German III Honors are expected to have a good level of conversational German, and classes are conducted primarily in German. Videos provide students with additional examples of authentic German in use. Students at this level read letters/emails and short articles, children’s stories, fairy tales, poetry, and short stories. By course completion, students can read and respond to letters and emails; write short compare-and-contrast essays; retell short stories and films using story boards; respond to conversation prompts on a variety of topics in simulated telephone conversations; and give opinions on character motives in the stories they read.
*Prerequisite: German II and permission of the department

German IV Honors

German IV Honors*
1 credit
For motivated students, this very rigorous pre-AP course continues to develop students’ skills in the areas of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students focus on communicating effectively by speaking and writing (using interpersonal and presentational modes), and classes are conducted in German. Videos continue to provide students with examples of authentic German in use, and students read newspaper articles, graphs and tables, and short stories.
*Prerequisite: German III Honors and permission of the department

AP German V

AP German V*
1 credit
This college-level course is designed to promote proficiency in German and to enable students to explore culture in contemporary and historical contexts. The course focuses on communication. Students will demonstrate their skills and abilities in the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes of communication. In interpersonal communication, students engage in conversations, express ideas, and exchange opinions using both spoken and written German. In interpretive communication, they understand and interpret written and spoken German on a variety of topics. In presentational communication, they present information and ideas, using spoken and written German, to an audience. The course also encourages cultural awareness. Students will develop an understanding and appreciation of various aspects of the cultures of the German-speaking world, including television and film, books, newspapers, music, laws, and institutions. In addition to textbooks, materials might include websites, podcasts, films, newspapers, magazines, and literature.
*Prerequisite: German IV Honors and permission of the department

Total Immersion Experience

Total Immersion Experience
Students committed to the Honors track are strongly encouraged to have a total immersion experience in a German-speaking country, or an equivalent in the United States, where they experience the culture, use the language, and improve their communicative skills. Students can take advantage of the immersion opportunities offered by the School or find an experience suitable to their interests and needs on their own.

Spanish

Spanish I

Spanish I
1 credit
This introductory course provides students with a comfortable atmosphere in which to begin speaking Spanish. Through a communicative approach that develops comprehension and production, students will be able to acquire a vocabulary base with an emphasis on natural speech and structure. Reading and writing skills are also developed with the study of sentence structure, word placement, vocabulary use, verb conjugation, and other grammar topics. Students will also receive an introduction to the cultures of Spain, the Caribbean, and Central and South America through a variety of authentic resources, readings, videos, and interactive digital media.

Spanish II

Spanish II*
1 credit
This course further develops students’ understanding of basic Spanish grammar and language. Students broaden their vocabulary and refine their communicative skills to increase proficiency. Students review basic grammatical structures from the indicative mood in the present, past, and simple future tenses. Speaking and listening comprehension, as well as reading and writing, are reinforced on a daily basis using authentic materials from the Hispanic world. Students improve their understanding of customs and lifestyles of the Spanish-speaking countries.
*Prerequisite: Spanish I

Spanish II Honors

Spanish II Honors*
1 credit
This rigorous course is the beginning of the Spanish Honors track at The Pennington School. Students gain the skills necessary to communicate on a basic level, orally and in written form, about life’s activities and needs . At this level, the basic structures of the indicative and imperative moods are covered in depth. Reading skills are developed through abridged texts as well as short works of literature and authentic resources from periodicals. Students further develop their writing skills by learning how to create informal compositions with fluency and coherence. Communicative skills are developed through daily interaction and exposure to authentic audio, visual and written materials representing different accents and regions from the Hispanic world. Classes are taught mostly in Spanish.
*Prerequisite: Spanish I and permission of the department

Spanish III

Spanish III*
1 credit
This course continues the communicative approach to Spanish study and is offered to students who are ready to expand their grammatical scope and further develop listening and speaking skills. Students use the language to communicate their needs and desires, as well as to express commands. To do so, indicative, imperative, and subjunctive moods of the Spanish language will be presented in this course. Short selections of Spanish literature will be introduced, and writing of short and cohesive texts is expected. Listening and speaking skills are developed through a variety of activities in which students are exposed to authentic resources. This course is offered to students who do not plan to follow the Honors track to AP Spanish.
*Prerequisite: Spanish II

Spanish III Honors

Spanish III Honors*
1 credit
This course is recommended for students who wish to follow the Honors track toward AP Spanish. In this course, students learn to communicate in the past, present, and future timeframes within the three moods of the Spanish language: indicative, imperative, and subjunctive. They continue to develop their writing and speaking skills and their knowledge of culture. This is done through a variety of activities in which students have access to authentic audio and video materials and hold conversations with native speakers. More advanced vocabulary topics at this level include the environment, health and wellness, and the world of work. In addition, students are introduced to Spanish literature through short stories, poems and essays. Both formal and informal writing is developed through short compositions, email replies, and journals. The course is taught entirely in the Spanish, and students are expected to communicate solely in Spanish, using in context the grammar and the vocabulary they have learned together.
*Prerequisite: Spanish II or Spanish II Honors, and permission of the department

Spanish IV

Spanish IV*
1 credit
In this course, emphasis will be given to the natural communicative expression of real-life situations, and the more precise use of reading and writing skills acquired in previous courses. Students will develop a better understanding of the language and the culture. The major grammatical concepts will be reviewed and used in reading and writing.
*Prerequisite: Spanish III

Spanish IV Honors

Spanish IV Honors*
1 credit
In this course, emphasis is given to the natural communicative expression of real-life situations, and the more precise use of reading and writing skills acquired in previous courses. Students continue to develop their understanding of the language and the culture, and the major grammatical concepts will be reviewed and used in reading, writing, and speaking. More sophisticated and specialized vocabulary will be acquired as students discuss a variety of global issues. These include immigration, personal and family relationships, and the media and freedom of expression. In this class, students are expected to accurately communicate in all moods and timeframes, and to show that they can “play” with the language. At this level, students work toward demonstrating proficiency: the ability to use previously gained knowledge and skills on a consistent basis in a variety of contexts. Throughout the year, students also have the opportunity to practice AP-style exercises in preparation for taking the course the following year.
*Prerequisite: Spanish III Honors and permission of the department

Spanish V

Spanish V*
1 credit
The aim of this interdisciplinary course is to improve communication skills in Spanish through the interaction between film, reading, art, and culture in Latin America and Spain. By focusing on how filmmakers, artists, and writers represent key aspects of the Hispanic society past and present, students will critically analyze historical, political, social, and cultural developments to gain a broader vision and be able to understand the cultures of the Hispanic countries. Students will explore three major topics: The Spanish Civil War and the Franco Era, The Dirty War: Dictatorships in South America, and Immigration in the United States and Spain. Each topic will be analyzed from different angles: technical perspectives (film analysis and cinematography); historical background to sociopolitical events; aesthetic movements (expressions of art and literature); and cultural perspectives.
*Prerequisite: Spanish IV

AP Spanish Language

AP Spanish Language*
1 credit
This course is designed to promote proficiency in Spanish and to enable students to explore culture in contemporary and historical contexts. The course focuses on communication. Students will demonstrate their skills and abilities in the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes of communication. In interpersonal communication, students engage in conversations, express ideas, and exchange opinions using both spoken and written Spanish. In interpretive communication, they understand and interpret written and spoken Spanish on a variety of topics. In presentational communication, they present information and ideas, using spoken and written Spanish, to an audience. The course also encourages cultural awareness. Students will develop an understanding and appreciation of various aspects of the cultures of the Hispanic-speaking world, including television and film, books, newspapers, music, laws, and institutions.
*Prerequisite: Spanish IV Honors and permission of the department

AP Spanish Literature

AP Spanish Literature*
1 credit
This course is designed to introduce students to the study of Peninsular Spanish, Latin American, and U.S. Hispanic Literature. The course aims to develop students’ critical reading and analytical writing skills in Spanish to perform successfully on the Advanced Placement exam in Spanish Literature, as well as develop students’ ability to make interdisciplinary connections and explore linguistic and cultural comparisons. This class will be conducted entirely in Spanish appropriate and will cover the entire official AP Spanish Literature and Culture reading list. Literary texts are grouped by themes and presented in chronological order within each theme. Students are expected to discuss literary texts and their different historical, sociocultural and geopolitical contexts in a variety of interactive oral and written formats in Spanish. Additionally, students will analyze themes and features of artistic representations, audiovisual materials and audio sources in Spanish related to course content.
*Prerequisite: AP Spanish Language or permission of the department

Total Immersion Experience

Total Immersion Experience
Students committed to the Honors track are strongly encouraged to have an immersion experience in a Spanish-speaking country, or an equivalent in the United States, where they experience the culture, use the language, and improve their communicative skills. Students can take advantage of the immersion opportunities offered by the School or find an experience suitable to their interests and needs on their own.

Chinese

Chinese I; Grade 12

Chinese I
Grade 12
1 credit
Students will explore Chinese language and China’s rich cultural heritage in a way that prepares students for future study, travel, business, or intercultural exchange. Upon graduating, seniors will have been briefed on current events in China and in a strong position to advance to collegiate study of Mandarin if they so choose. Students study Pinyin (the phonetic system), calligraphy, and lay an efficient foundation in basic communication in all forms. The study of culture is essential to the course; therefore, students will experience Chinese traditions, history, geography, and popular culture. The course is predominantly an exploration and will feature learning through multimedia, games, real-life conversations, skits, and authentic materials.

Chinese

Chinese I; Grade 12

Chinese I
Grade 12
1 credit
Students will explore Chinese language and China’s rich cultural heritage in a way that prepares students for future study, travel, business, or intercultural exchange. Upon graduating, seniors will have been briefed on current events in China and will be in a strong position to advance to collegiate study of Mandarin if they so choose. Students study Pinyin (the phonetic system), calligraphy, and basic communication in all forms. The study of culture is essential to the course; therefore, students will experience Chinese traditions, history, geography, and popular culture. The course is predominantly an exploration and will feature learning through multimedia, games, real-life conversations, skits, and authentic materials.

Classical

Studying Latin offers students the opportunity to develop their knowledge of the language and its relevance and close association with the English language and the Romance languages. Students gain an appreciation for the literature of the great authors of Roman antiquity, in addition to an understanding of the significant contributions that the Romans made to the development of western civilization. Students have the opportunity to study Latin for all four years of their Upper School experience, including first-year Latin through AP.

Latin

Latin I

Latin I
1 credit
The introductory level of Latin provides a sound foundation in the forms, grammar, and vocabulary of the Latin language in order to prepare students to eventually read the great literary works of ancient Roman authors. The verb and noun systems are studied in detail, and students learn essential translation skills. Students will explore ancient Roman history and culture through research projects, as well as during preparation for the National Latin Exam. The course stresses Latin’s influence on the English language. With an emphasis on English derivatives from Latin roots and grammar, the course reinforces the understanding of the mechanics of both languages.

Latin II

Latin II*
1 credit
After a thorough review of grammatical concepts and vocabulary introduced in Latin I, students transition to studying increasingly difficult grammatical concepts. Memorization of vocabulary, derivatives, and verb synopses are emphasized as students work to expand their grammatical foundations. Students will now use their newfound knowledge to translate more difficult Latin sentences, and even delve into reading authentic Latin in translating the myths of Perseus and Jason and the Argonauts from Fabulae Faciles, as well as some excerpts from Julius Caesar’s De Bello Gallico.
*Prerequisite: Latin I

Latin III Honors

Latin III Honors*
1 credit
In this course, students progress into reading authentic Latin. They will develop a solid knowledge of subordinate sentence structures, the structure of complex Latin sentences, and the skills for dealing with variable Latin word order, all of which will prepare them for translating authentic and complex texts. The students will continue reading Fabulae Faciles and translating the Labors of Hercules and excerpts from Julius Caesar’s De Bello Gallico. Students will also learn Roman and ancient Mediterranean geography, as well as Roman social and political customs through their reading.
*Prerequisite: Latin II and permission of the department

Latin IV Honors

Latin IV Honors*
1 credit
This course is designed for the students who have completed Latin III Honors or, in unique cases, AP Latin. This course is equivalent to the course formerly offered as AP Latin Literature. Students read authentic Latin texts by authors such as Cicero, Catullus, Horace, Ovid, and Caesar, analyzing the texts critically and closely. Students gain experience with the challenges of reading literature in a foreign language and also build skills specifically for the AP exam, such as literal translation, essay writing, and reading comprehension. This course offers students an unparalleled opportunity to explore the origins of western culture and humanism through direct engagement with great works of the past. This Latin course prepares students to enter AP Latin and also allows students to continue their study of Latin at a collegiate level.
*Prerequisite: Latin III Honors and permission of the department

AP Latin: Vergil and Caesar

AP Latin: Vergil and Caesar*
1 credit
This college-level course focuses on selections from Julius Caesar’s De Bello Gallico and Vergil’s Aeneid. Students read portions of these works in preparation for the Advanced Placement exam. Translation and analytical skills are practiced and perfected throughout the year. This demanding course will teach students not only to appreciate two great works of literature but also to understand these works as products of their authors as well as keen reflections from a cultural and historical perspective of the times in which they were written.
*Prerequisite: Latin IV Honors and permission of the department

Classical

Studying Latin offers students the opportunity to develop their knowledge of the language and its relevance and close association with the English language and the Romance languages. Students gain an appreciation for the literature of the great authors of Roman antiquity, in addition to an understanding of the significant contributions that the Romans made to the development of western civilization. Students have the opportunity to study Latin for all four years of their Upper School experience, including first-year Latin through AP.

Latin

Latin I

Latin I
1 credit

The introductory level of Latin provides a sound foundation in the forms, grammar, and vocabulary of the Latin language in order to prepare students to eventually read the great literary works of ancient Roman authors. The verb and noun systems are studied in detail, and students learn essential translation skills. Students will explore ancient Roman history and culture through research projects, as well as during preparation for the National Latin Exam. The course stresses Latin’s influence on the English language. With an emphasis on English derivatives from Latin roots and grammar, the course reinforces the understanding of the mechanics of both languages.

Latin II

Latin II*
1 credit

After a thorough review of grammatical concepts and vocabulary introduced in Latin I, students transition to studying increasingly difficult grammatical concepts. Memorization of vocabulary, derivatives, and verb synopses are emphasized as students work to expand their grammatical foundations. Students will now use their newfound knowledge to translate more difficult Latin sentences, and even delve into reading authentic Latin in translating the myths of Perseus and Jason and the Argonauts from Fabulae Faciles, as well as some excerpts from Julius Caesar’s De Bello Gallico.
*Prerequisite: Latin I

Latin III Honors

Latin III Honors*
1 credit

In this course, students progress into reading authentic Latin. They will develop a solid knowledge of subordinate sentence structures, the structure of complex Latin sentences, and the skills for dealing with variable Latin word order, all of which will prepare them for translating authentic and complex texts. The students will continue reading Fabulae Faciles and translating the Labors of Hercules and excerpts from Julius Caesar’s De Bello Gallico. Students will also learn Roman and ancient Mediterranean geography, as well as Roman social and political customs through their reading.
*Prerequisite: Latin II and permission of the department

Latin IV Honors

Latin IV Honors*
1 credit

This course is designed for the students who have completed Latin III Honors or, in unique cases, AP Latin. This course is equivalent to the course formerly offered as AP Latin Literature. Students read authentic Latin texts by authors such as Cicero, Catullus, Horace, Ovid, and Caesar, analyzing the texts critically and closely. Students gain experience with the challenges of reading literature in a foreign language and also build skills specifically for the AP exam, such as literal translation, essay writing, and reading comprehension. This course offers students an unparalleled opportunity to explore the origins of western culture and humanism through direct engagement with great works of the past. This Latin course prepares students to enter AP Latin and also allows students to continue their study of Latin at a collegiate level.
*Prerequisite: Latin III Honors and permission of the department

AP Latin: Vergil and Caesar

AP Latin: Vergil and Caesar*
1 credit

This college-level course focuses on selections from Julius Caesar’s De Bello Gallico and Vergil’s Aeneid. Students read portions of these works in preparation for the Advanced Placement exam. Translation and analytical skills are practiced and perfected throughout the year. This demanding course will teach students not only to appreciate two great works of literature but also to understand these works as products of their authors as well as keen reflections from a cultural and historical perspective of the times in which they were written.
*Prerequisite: Latin IV Honors and permission of the department

Culture

The Cultures of the Postcolonial South
1 credit

This course is designed for students who want to gain a deeper understanding of the connections between Hispanic and Francophone cultures of the world. Students will examine overlapping themes between the Latin American and Francophone African worlds through the study of history, literature, cinema, and art. Students will also focus on contemporary situations and how they are influenced by Spanish and French colonial legacies by looking at identity, migration, and politics. At the end of the course, students will choose one country and will develop a final research project where they will explore a specific topic of interest.
Prerequisite: Level II language study