Language Department

Canterbury students can choose to study one of three languages—Spanish, French, or Latin, progressing as far as the AP level. Multiple members of the language faculty are Native Speakers, including several Spanish teachers. The department uses the TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) method to engage students in the language and encourage fluency and comprehension. Because our students are part of a global community, they not only learn the language but also study the culture. When possible, our students travel abroad to refine their skills through interactions with native speakers. For example, each year in the Spanish exchange program, a group of Canterbury students spend six weeks in Mallorca after their Spanish counterparts have spent several weeks at Canterbury. For more information on the language curriculums, see the Academic Guide.

UNDERSTAND

  • Learn about current events in Spain or France by listening to and watching news clips in those languages.
  • Read Don Quixote in Spanish.
  • View the movie Jean de Florette in French and write a critique of the movie in French.


SPEAK

  • Converse in your new language with a Canterbury student from that country.
  • Participate in a class discussion about school life without using a word of English.
  • Record your responses to a classroom assignment in Spanish and download it to your computer.
  • Host a Spanish student as part of the exchange program.


TRAVEL

  • Spend six weeks in Spain with a Spanish family, attending a Spanish school.
  • Join a school trip to France, Haiti, or Nicaragua.
  • Take an imaginary trip abroad through immersion in the art, music, and sports of Spain or France.

Courses

FRENCH 1

In French 1 the students acquire useful, high frequency vocabulary. By the end of the first year, the students are able to express themselves in the present and past tenses. Thematic vocabulary includes family, home, school schedule, sports, clothes, colors, numbers, dates, and life at Canterbury.

FRENCH 2

By the end of Level 2 the students are studying the basics of the subjunctive mood. Students in French 2 master the past tenses the imparfait and the passé composé. Thematic topics of vocabulary include talking on the phone and sending texts, personal relationships, life at home and at Canterbury, going on a date, fashion, shopping, school life.

FRENCH 3

In French 3 the students round out their study of French grammar, continue the mastery of the past tenses and future, conditional and subjunctive. An emphasis on oral and more advanced written communication also continues at this level. We use video clips to expose the students to native speakers. Honors section available.

FRENCH 4

In French 4 the students refine their grammar through a final review of the major grammatical topics and verb tenses. In addition, the students study culture through film, original literature, and music. A series of film shorts supplements the classroom. Honors section available.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT FRENCH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Students in the AP Language class prepare for the AP Language and Culture exam. Conducted exclusively in French, the course continues to develop all the language skills. The students also compose and express more complex thoughts and ideas, review grammar, and become familiar with the format of the AP exam. Though the AP exam is the final assessment, this class continues the acquisition of structures and fine-tunes language use and skills. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP French Language exam in May.

SPANISH 1

In Level 1 the students acquire useful, high frequency vocabulary. By the end of the first year, the students are able to express themselves effectively in the present tense and can recognize the past tenses. Thematic vocabulary includes family, home, school schedule and sports, at the airport, clothes and colors, numbers and dates, and life at Canterbury.

SPANISH 2

By the end of Level 2 the students are studying the basics of the subjunctive mood. Students in Spanish 2 master the past tenses, the imperfect and preterit. Thematic topics of vocabulary include talking on the phone and sending texts, personal relationships, life at home and at Canterbury, going on a date, fashion, shopping and school life.

SPANISH 3

In Spanish 3 the students complete their study of grammar, focusing on the perfect tenses and the subjunctive. We continue the emphasis on oral and more advanced written communication at this level. Students who have shown a knack and ease with the language may be selected for the honors Spanish 3 class where we begin to focus on Advanced Placement tasks. Honors section available.

SPANISH 4

In Spanish 4 the students refine their grammar through a final, sweeping review of the major grammatical topics and verb tenses. In addition, the students study culture through film, original literature, and music. A series of film shorts supplement the learning. Honors section available.

ADVANCED TOPICS IN SPANISH - CONVERSATION AND CONTROVERSY

In this post- AP course, students will cover a variety of topics ranging from deforestation to immigration, racism, and the many challenges that arise with these issues. Through authentic documentaries, articles, and podcasts, students will live the issues facing many Spanish speakers in the United States and in their home countries. With the use of debates, speeches, and persuasive writing, the students will culminate their language experience by covering current topics and being able to speak to the topic in the second language. Department approval required.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT SPANISH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Conducted exclusively in Spanish, this course continues to develop language skills. Students will also compose and express more complex thoughts and ideas, review grammar, and become familiar with the format of the AP exam. Though the AP exam is the final assessment, this class continues language acquisition and fine-tunes language use and skills. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP Spanish Language exam in May.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT SPANISH LITERATURE AND CULTURE

Students in this class read representative prose (short story, novel and essay), poetry, and drama from the Spanish-speaking world. This is a survey course that follows the reading list published by the College Board. The students make connections between the works read and the historical period and regions in which they were written. Students develop a deeper understanding of the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP Spanish Literature exam in May.

LATIN 1

Students learn the fundamentals of Latin grammar, vocabulary, and syntax as they focus on reading Latin and using conversational Latin. The reading passages are adapted from Plautus to Boethius, through which the students come to understand many facets of the Roman and post-Roman world.

LATIN 2

Students expand their learning of basic grammar and vocabulary as they read about Heloise and Abelard, Charlemagne, and Christopher Columbus. Cultural study includes aspects of the use of Latin in the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and in early modern life.

LATIN 3

Students begin the year by reading excerpts from Julius Caesar’s De Bello Gallico and selections from Catullus and Cicero. In the second semester, the students read selections from books 1-6 of Vergil’s Aeneid as well as excerpts from Horace’s Odes and Ovid’s Metamorphoses within the cultural context of the Augustan age. Finally, they will read post-antique era authors, including Erasmus, Petrarch, and John Parke. Honors section available.

LATIN 4

Students in Latin 4 will read selections from Vergil's Aeneid, books I-VI, and will study the necessary grammar and syntax as well as versification and figures of speech. Students will take periodic tests on the material and will write essays on the meaning of the poetry and the historical background of the poem. Honors section available.