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World Languages

The World Language courses follow the rigor as well as the scope and sequence of ACTFL-based high school language courses. The focus is placed on the four communicative skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening). While the courses are intensive and require study outside of class they provide a solid foundation for students committed to learning another language. 

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World Languages electives

French Level I

French I is a year-long general introduction to the French language for beginning students and follows the rigor as well as the scope and sequence of a regular ACTFL-based high school language course. Students communicate across the four skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening using basic French vocabulary and simple grammatical structures within the cultural norms of French-speaking societies. Some vocabulary themes are numbers, school, shopping, food, family, and the home. The major grammatical concepts are present tense verbs and gender. Activities and assignments utilize interpersonal, presentational, and interpretive modes of communication. Assessments include, but are not limited to, class participation, homework, comprehensive unit tests, short compositions, a variety of projects, and final exams. Students are frequently given assignments to be completed outside of class, as well as nightly homework. By the end of French I, students achieve a proficiency level of Novice High in all four communicative skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening) as described by the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Prerequisite: ESL Level 3; instructor approval

French Level II

French II, a year-long course, is a continuation of French I.  Students communicate across the four skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening in the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communicative modes within the cultural context of French-speaking societies. This course is based on the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language (ACTFL) standards and requires nightly homework and assignments to be completed outside of class. Topics to be studied include vocabulary related to health, hobbies, and travel and the past tenses. Assessments include class participation, homework, projects, compositions, and final exams. By the end of French II, students are expected to demonstrate a low-intermediate level of proficiency in all four skills as characterized by the ACTFL. Prerequisites: ESL Level 3; successful completion of French I or instructor approval

French Level III

French III, a year-long course, is a continuation of French II. Students communicate across the four skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening in the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communicative modes within the cultural contexts of France and the other Francophone countries. This course is based on the ACTFL standards and requires nightly homework and assignments to be completed outside of class. Topics studied include vocabulary related to health, technology, art and culture, and the environment, as well as the imperative and subjunctive modes. Assessments include class participation, homework, projects, compositions, and final exams. By the end of French III, students are expected to demonstrate an ACTFL Mid-Intermediate level of proficiency in all four skills. Prerequisites: ESL Level 3; successful completion of French II or instructor approval

French Level IV

French IV, a year-long course, is a continuation of French III. Students communicate across the four skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening in the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communicative modes within the cultural contexts of France and the other Francophone countries. This course is based on the ACTFL standards and requires nightly homework and assignments to be completed outside of class. Topics studied include vocabulary related to relationships, social issues, politics, government, history, and work, as well as the past subjunctive and conditional modes. This course also explores authentic literature, film, and the histories of French-speaking countries. Assessments include class participation, homework, projects, compositions, and final exams. By the end of French IV, students achieve an ACTFL Intermediate-High level of proficiency in all four skills. Prerequisites: ESL Level 3; successful completion of French III or instructor approval

Spanish Level I

Spanish I is a year-long general introduction to the Spanish language for beginning students and follows the rigor as well as the scope and sequence of a regular ACTFL-based high school language course. Students communicate across the four skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening using basic Spanish vocabulary and simple grammatical structures within the cultural norms of Spanish or Latin American society.

Some vocabulary themes are numbers, school, shopping, food, family, and the home. The major grammatical concepts are present tense verbs and gender. Activities and assignments utilize interpersonal, presentational, and interpretive modes of communication. Assessments include, but are not limited to, class participation, homework, comprehensive unit tests, short compositions, a variety of projects, and final exams. Students are frequently given assignments to be completed outside of class, as well as nightly homework. By the end of Spanish I, students should have achieved a proficiency level of High Beginning.

Prerequisite: ESL Level 3; instructor approval

Spanish Level II

Spanish II, a year-long course, is a continuation of Spanish I. Students communicate across the four skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening in the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communicative modes within the cultural context of Latin America or Spain. This course is based on the ACTFL standards and requires nightly homework and assignments to be completed outside of class. Topics to be studied include vocabulary related to health, hobbies, and travel and the past tenses. Assessments include class participation, homework, projects, compositions, and final exams. By the end of Spanish II, students are expected to demonstrate a Low-Intermediate level of proficiency in all four skills as characterized by the American Council of Foreign Language. Prerequisites: ESL Level 3; successful completion of Spanish I or instructor approval

Spanish Level III

Spanish III is designed for students who have successfully completed Spanish II or who can demonstrate that they have achieved the Intermediate-Low level of proficiency in all four skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening) according to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Students communicate about topics that are meaningful to them such as friendship, relationships, life goals, jobs, finances, politics, social issues, and entertainment, as well as popular culture and the fine arts. These topics, as well as Latin American and Spanish history and culture, are the contexts for analysis, comparison, conversation, interpretation, and much of the vocabulary at this level. Students use a textbook and online video to participate in listening and practice activities. They begin to read literary fragments and watch and listen to native speakers from recordings and films. Students also research and present about the arts and social issues. Any major gaps in knowledge of thematic vocabulary and grammar study are addressed. Students are assessed through exams, tests, projects, compositions, homework, and skits. Prerequisites: ESL Level 3; Spanish II or instructor approval

Spanish Level IV

Spanish IV is designed for students who have successfully completed Spanish III or can demonstrate that they have achieved the Mid-Intermediate level of proficiency in all four skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening) according to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Students improve their communication skills through the study of the cultures of Latin America and Spain. They read and analyse literature and films, as well as explore the histories of the Spanish-speaking countries beginning with the re-conquest of Spain from the Moors and the Spanish conquest of the Americas. Vocabulary is generated from the literature and films – both consisting of authentic resources - and the history textbook, while grammar study is generated according to and depending on student work. Students are assessed through exams, tests, projects, compositions, homework, and participation. Prerequisites: ESL Level 3; Spanish III or instructor approval

   

Advanced Placement electives

AP Spanish Language & Culture

AP Spanish Language and Culture is designed for students who have successfully completed Spanish IV or who can demonstrate that they have achieved the Intermediate-High level of proficiency in all four skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) according to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). The focus of this course is communication using these four skills within the cultural norms of the Spanish- speaking world. The AP Spanish Language and Culture course is approximately equivalent to an upper-intermediate college or university Spanish course. The AP Spanish Language and Culture course strives to promote both fluency and accuracy in language use and not to overemphasize grammatical accuracy at the expense of communication. However, students are expected to enter the course with a solid grasp of grammar, as well as an extensive vocabulary, enabling them to communicate at higher abstract levels. Major gaps in knowledge of thematic vocabulary and grammar study are addressed. Because this course is designed as a test preparation course, we follow the AP curriculum guide: students communicate about global challenges, beauty and aesthetics, science and technology, contemporary life, personal and public identities, and families and communities. These topics, as well as literature, film, and Latin American and Spanish history and culture in both contemporary and historical contexts, are the contexts for analysis, comparison, conversation, translation, interpretation, and much of the vocabulary that students study during this course. The three modes of communication (Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational) defined in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century are foundational to the AP Spanish Language and Culture course. Assessments include exams, tests, compositions, presentations, and projects. CATS AP Spanish students are expected to take the Spanish AP examination. Students who are successful in this course and exam may continue their study of college- level Spanish by also taking the AP Spanish Literature and Culture course and exam. Prerequisites: ESL Level 3; evidence of strong work habits; solid study skills and self-motivation; high school Spanish IV or a minimum of 3 years study at a previous school or evidence of skills and knowledge as demonstrated on a CATS placement test; instructor approval

AP Spanish Literature and Culture

The AP Spanish Literature and Culture course is designed to provide students with a learning experience equivalent to that of an introductory college course in literature written in Spanish. The course introduces students to the formal study of a representative body of texts from Peninsular Spanish, Latin American, and U.S. Hispanic literature. The course provides opportunities for students to demonstrate their proficiency in Spanish across the three modes of communication (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational) and the five goal areas (communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities) outlined in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century. The overarching aims of the course are to provide students with ongoing and varied opportunities to further develop their proficiencies across the full range of language skills — with special attention to critical reading and analytical writing — and to encourage them to reflect on the many voices and cultures included in a rich and diverse body of literature written in Spanish. The inclusion of “and Culture” in the title of the course reflects a purposeful alignment of the course to a standards-based Spanish curriculum. In particular, the course reflects a meaningful integration of the cultures, connections, and comparisons goal areas of the Standards. Emphasis is placed on approaching the study of literature through global, historical and contemporary cultural contexts. A key objective of the course is to encourage students not only to understand and retell the content of the texts they read but also to relate that content to literary, historical, socio-cultural, and geopolitical contexts in Spanish. CATS AP Spanish Literature students are expected to take the Spanish AP Literature and Culture test. Assessments include exams, tests, compositions, presentations, and projects. Prerequisites: ESL Level 3; evidence of strong work habits; solid study skills and self-motivation; high school Spanish IV or a minimum of 3 years study at a previous school or evidence of skills and knowledge as demonstrated on a CATS placement test; instructor approval

Faculty

Mariana Cruz Fernandez
Foreign Language Teacher
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Mariana Cruz Fernandez

Foreign Language Teacher

BA, Comparative Literature, University of Puerto Rico
MA, Latin American Literature, University of Notre Dame, Indiana

Mariana teaches all levels of Spanish language, as well as AP Spanish Language and AP Spanish Literature. Mariana has a BA in Comparative Literature from the University of Puerto Rico, where she also took graduate courses in Comparative and Hispanic Literature. Mariana earned her MA in Iberian and Latin American Literature from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, and she is in the process of completing her PhD dissertation. Prior to joining CATS Academy Boston, Mariana taught beginning and intermediate levels of Spanish at the University of Notre Dame. Mariana has also worked in the Center for the Development of Linguistic Competency at the University of Puerto Rico, as well as working as a teacher at an after-school program for junior high school students and as a substitute high school Spanish teacher.

Maureen Holland
French teacher
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Maureen Holland

French teacher

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