At this critical juncture, students are given a choice between French, German, and Spanish as their primary foreign language of study. The ninth graders begin with a basic course that introduces students to the fundamentals of the foreign language and culture. Elementary grammar is presented and reviewed. Simple readings are used to improve pronunciation, and comprehension. Students also create and perform situational scenes to enhance written and oral proficiency.
Students may also enroll in a Mandarin elective that meets twice a week in addition to French, German, or Spanish. Mandarin Chinese is the official language of Mainland China and Taiwan, and is one of the official languages of Singapore and the United Nations. It is the most widely-spoken language in the world. This course introduces students to the Chinese language (Mandarin) so that they can develop proficiency on a basic level. Language learning in this course will focus on elementary communication skills, basic vocabulary and grammatical structures. All language skills will be practiced: listening, speaking, reading and writing. This course also introduces students to traditional Chinese beliefs and contemporary culture. Students will learn about China and its regions through a wide variety of resources and may investigate specific topics related to cultural themes.