About Foreign Language at SMHS

St. Michael High School offers four different foreign languages: French, Latin, Spanish, and Russian. In this diverse world, the need for learning a second language is unquestionably important. Studying a foreign language will not only open up students to a better understanding of the world they live in, but the critical thinking involved will improve their minds as well. In addition, learning the structure and vocabulary of a second language will also help improve the students’ English skills. Knowing a second language can also assist students in their future education and career opportunities.

Course Offerings:

French I – CP
Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 9 – 12
Prerequisite: Department Placement Criteria for freshmen only.
Description: This course is designed to introduce the student to conversational French. Basic vocabulary and grammar are taught as listening, reading and writing skills in French are developed. Actual use of French in the classroom will increase as the year progresses

French II – CP
Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 10 – 12
Prerequisite: French I.
Description: French II is a continuation of French I. An in-depth study of French grammar and culture is explored. The student will acquire an extensive vocabulary in the language through daily use of all skills. Actual use of French in the classroom will increase as the year progresses.

French III – Honors
Level: Honors
Grade Level: 11 – 12
Prerequisite: French I and II; teacher recommendation.
Description: This course offers further opportunities for understanding and speaking French, learning about the culture and history of France, and learning new words and structures. More stress is placed on reading French literature and on writing than in previous courses.

French IV
Level: Honors
Grade Level: 12
Prerequisite: French I, II and III; teacher recommendation.
Description: French IV is a continuation of French III. This course is designed to improve the student’s mastery of French. The emphasis is on French literature and composition. Emphasis will be on conversational French.

Latin I – CP
Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 9 – 12
Prerequisite: None.
Description: This introduction to Latin structure and vocabulary emphasizes comprehending Latin passages. Enrichment is provided through the study of English derivatives from Latin and through the study of Greek myths and Bible stories important in world literature. The course work is related to students’ needs by contrasting English grammar with Latin structures and by presenting Roman civilization as a basis for modern cultures and languages. Students can take part in Latin Club activities.

Latin II
Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 10 – 12
Prerequisite: Latin I and teacher approval.
Description: Intensive study of Latin structure and vocabulary as well as English derivatives and structure are included in the course. Reading passages in Latin II are selected from ancient authors. Latin Club activities are also important to students in the second level.

Spanish I – CP
Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 9 – 12
Prerequisite: Department Placement Criteria for freshmen only.
Description: Spanish I will serve as an introduction to the Spanish language and culture. Emphasis will be placed on vocabulary, grammar, reading, and writing. Special attention will be given to the development of pronunciation, speaking, and listening skills.

Spanish II – CP
Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 9 – 12
Prerequisite: Spanish I.
Description: Spanish II will enhance and develop skills learned in Spanish I. The subject area will include advanced grammar, advanced vocabulary, and additional verb tenses, as well as increased conversation and composition skills.

Spanish III – Honors
Level: Honors
Grade Level: 10 – 12
Prerequisite: Spanish I and II; teacher recommendation.
Description: Spanish III is an advanced course in which skills learned in earlier courses will be enhanced and further developed. Special emphasis will be placed on both written and oral communication while advanced reading selections shall include novels, short stories, and periodicals.

Spanish IV
Level: Honors
Grade Level: 11-12
Prerequisite: Spanish I, II and III; teacher recommendation.
Description: This course is a continuation of Spanish literature and composition. The main emphasis is on mastery of skills and vocabulary expansion.

Russian I
Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 11-12
Prerequisite: Must be a Junior or Senior and have already successfully completed two years of a Foreign Language.
Description: An Introductory proficiency-based course, which prepares students to understand, speak, read, and write in culturally authentic contexts. The course is designed to introduce the student to the basics of the Russian language while surveying the major events, people and ideas of Russian history through literature and the arts. Basic vocabulary and grammar are taught as conversational, reading and writing skills in Russian are developed. Actual use of Russian in the classroom will increase as the year progresses.

Russian: Language and the Arts II- CP
Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 12
Prerequisite: Must be a senior and have already successfully completed Russian Language and the Arts I.
Description: A project based course in which the Russian language is studied at an intermediate level while surveying the major events, people, and ideas of Russian history through literature and the arts. The course is designed to help students continue to develop their reading, writing, and conversation skills in order to further their understanding of Russian language and culture.