Modern Languages Faculty

ChiaChyi Chiu

ChiaChyi Chiu

International Student Advisor, Chinese
Viviana Davila

Viviana Davila

IV Form Dean, Academic Advisor to IV Form Girls, Spanish, Field Hockey
Donald Duffy

Donald Duffy

Spanish
David Miller

David Miller

Spanish, Basketball, Baseball
Ana Ramirez

Ana Ramirez

Dean of Leadership, Chair, Modern Languages Department, Spanish

Modern Languages

At all levels of foreign language teaching, the Modern Language Department has as its primary goal the enrichment and broadening of the perspectives of its students. Through the study of language, our students develop an understanding and appreciation of other cultures, and their history, literature, art and geography.

Small classes at all levels stress strong communication skills in speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and writing. Our classrooms afford dynamic opportunities for students to express themselves in a new language, and to use that language to discuss literary and historical texts. Active learning in the classroom and the language lab allows students to enhance their skills in listening and collaboration.

St. Andrew's modern languages faculty have all lived abroad and have pursued advanced work in their fields. We encourage our students to travel and have offered cultural and service learning trips in the spring and summer to countries including Nicaragua, Haiti, China, Guadeloupe, Costa Rica, and Peru. We also recommend specific programs to students who are interested in a study abroad or travel abroad experience.

Modern Language Department News

St. Andreans Celebrate Chinese New Year

On Thursday, February 16, Peter Geng '20 and his parents, Yan Qian and Xiaoping, presented a Chinese New Year's Dinner to our Chinese students, their advisors, and Head of School Tad Roach. Continuing the tradition they started at Peter's previous school, the Gengs brought more than 18 meat and fish dishes to the celebration, made homemade dumplings in the Arts Center kitchen, and decorated the Arts Center with colorful red and gold banners, displaying blessings for health and wealth in the New Year. The Gengs gave great thanks and praise for family, including the extended family St. Andrew's provides for their son and all of the Chinese students. Dinner was complete with oranges for good luck, many traditional Chinese sweets sent by other Chinese parents, and traditional red envelopes for the students from international student advisors, Chiachyu Chiu and Louisa Zendt.

On Friday, Sage Dining Service joined in, offering a "Taste of Home" at lunch (in place of the regular "Tastes of Home," a cultural experience started by Richard Zhang '18, usually served on Saturday night). The full community enjoyed a feast of Chinese specialties, homemade by Chef Ray. The celebration of the Chinese New Year continued after lunch with a well-attended voluntary chapel service during which seniors shared their own Chinese New Year's traditions with a slideshow of colorful photos and stories.

Richard Zhang '18 commented, "Many students attended the voluntary chapel on Friday, and we were able to introduce this great holiday to many members of the community, which made all of us feel like we were at home. I hope that more students from different countries and backgrounds will celebrate their cultures and festivals with the SAS community too!"


Modern Language Courses

Chinese

Chinese 1

Open to III, IV, V Form students

Offers students an introduction to Chinese language and culture. Students develop Chinese listening and speaking skills in everyday situations, and work on building basic reading comprehension and writing skills. Chinese history, art, calligraphy and cuisine are also integrated into the course. Students master a minimum of 300 characters, become familiar with basic sentence patterns and expressions, and are able to converse on such topics as family, hobbies, school life, shopping, weather and transportation. Text: Yuehua Liu and Tao-chung Yao, et al., Integrated Chinese, Level 1, Part I.

Chinese 2

Open to all forms

This course builds on the skills mastered in Chinese 1. Short plays, poems, songs and online resources supplement the textbook as students develop listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Students learn approximately 300 characters, as well as more sophisticated sentence patterns. They write and converse on topics such as dining, travel, a doctor's appointment, renting an apartment and other basic survival subjects. Text: Yuehua Liu and Tao-chung Yao, et al., Integrated Chinese, Level 1, Part II.

Chinese 3

Open to all forms

This course is a continuation of Chinese 2, and aims to consolidate students’ knowledge of fundamental grammatical structures of Chinese and increase their abilities to communicate using Chinese in a wide range of situations of daily life. Students are introduced to reading materials of increasing complexity on a variety of topic in traditional and modern Chinese culture. Movies, articles from Chinese newspapers and magazines, internet resources and television programs supplement reading in the text.

Texts:

Yuehua Liu and Tao-chung Yao, et al., Integrated Chinese, Level 1, Part II, Lesson 16-20
Yuehua Liu and Tao-chung Yao, et al., Integrated Chinese, Level 2, Part I, Lesson 1-4

Chinese 4

Open to IV, V, VI Form students

Conducted entirely in Chinese, this intermediate level course strengthens the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing through comparative cultural and social studies. Movies and articles from newspapers and magazines supplement readings in the text.

Text: Yuehua Liu and Tao-chung Yao, et al., Integrated Chinese, Level 2, Part I, Lesson 5-10

Advanced Study in Chinese

Open to IV, V, VI Form students

Conducted entirely in Chinese, this course prepares students to participate in ongoing discussions of important Chinese social and political issues. It equips students with the necessary vocabulary and advanced sentence patterns to engage in discursive writing and oral presentation. Students discuss current issues such as China’s economic reform, population policy, and the relationship between mainland China and Taiwan. Movies and television programs, articles from Chinese newspapers and magazines, and online resources continue to supplement readings in the text.

Text: Yuehua Liu and Tao-chung Yao, et al., Integrated Chinese, Level 2, Part II

Advanced Topics Tutorial in Chinese

Open to V & VI Form students

This advanced course is designed to be equivalent to the first semester of a second-year college-level course for students who have mastered basic Chinese language skills. Students learn the full complexity of Chinese society from the point of view of an American student living in China. Students discuss themes such as population and housing, education and employment, privacy, women and children, and economic development issues. Challenges and opportunities facing China are explored through analysis, explanation, and debate. Students lead discussion in class and write weekly essays.

Text: Chih-ping Chou, A Trip to China: Intermediate Reader of Modern Chinese (Princeton University Press)

French

French 1

Open to III, IV, V Form students

French courses at St. Andrew’s are guided by the philosophy of using meaning-driven stages such as reading and acting stories for understanding, and interacting with analytical, form-driven stages. We emphasize the skills of reading, listening, speaking and writing, while bearing in mind that language learners naturally acquire reading and listening skills well before speaking and writing ones. In French 1, we are first concerned with reading and listening skills, which we develop through the use of stories, songs, and news reports. Students practice and develop skills in speaking and writing through partner conversations, short writing exercises, and video presentations summarizing stories read and re-enacting them as well. Students will have seen and used a variety of high-frequency language and verbs in present, past and future tense, but will be assessed more for comprehension of the language than for production of the language.

French 2

Open to all forms

In French 2, we build upon the skills gained in French 1 and continue using contextualized stories but have more emphasis on student output, which is to say speaking and writing. The verb conjugations that students saw and used repeatedly in French 1 will now be presented as explicit conjugations, with assessments including not only comprehension but also production of the language. Students are expected to be able to ask and answer questions in complete sentences on commonplace topics.

French 3

Open to all forms

In French 3, we emphasize even greater attention to form and expect students to move from writing at the paragraph level to writing coherent papers of 1 to 1 ½ pages in length. Students are expected to not only ask and answer questions in complete sentences on more diverse topics but also to move towards discussion in both smaller groups and with the whole class. This level includes some study of literature and film.

French 4

Open to IV, V, VI Form students

French 4 reviews grammatical concepts as needed, but focuses more on analyzing content in the form of several literary works, more sophisticated news items, and some full-length films. At this level, students are expected to be able to sustain spontaneous analytical discussions on a variety of topics, both fiction and non-fiction. Students write regular compositions of 1-3 pages in length with greater responsibility for editing their work and attending to both form and content. Human rights, gender issues, immigration, historical events and literature are among the themes of this course.

Advanced Study in French

Open to IV, V, VI Form students

AS French focuses on content, both literary and current-events related, and on reviewing and practicing grammatical concepts as needed by students. At this level, students further develop their writing skills in progressively more independent persuasive essays on topics such as the impact of technology on human relations, housing options for the elderly, immigration, and a variety of literary works and films.

Advanced Topics Tutorial in French

Open to V & VI Form students

ATT French is primarily project-based and driven by student interests and research inquiries. Each student is responsible for establishing a research topic and pursuing individual research that will culminate in a formal presentation at the end of the third quarter. Students then choose a novel to read fourth quarter.

Spanish

Spanish 1

Open to III, IV, V Form students

This course is an introductory course taught in the target language using the concept of "comprehensible input". Teaching and learning revolves around the use of stories encountered both on paper and in speech. Students acquire both vocabulary and grammatical structures via constant and targeted practice, seeing and hearing them repeatedly. Initially, each story utilizes the one hundred most-used words in Spanish, and we expand the vocabulary, verbs and grammatical constructions as the year progresses. Increasingly, then, students begin to be able to use these tools in their own language production. While no verb tense or grammar is off limits at any level, the primary targets of input and of a few more traditionally taught units are the present and past tenses. Students read short novels and stories and listen to songs chosen so that they include the vocabulary and grammar to be acquired and yield opportunities for conversation and written expression.

Spanish 2

Open to all forms

This course reviews and builds upon the concepts presented in Spanish 1. Students continue to develop a mastery of Spanish grammar, acquire vocabulary, and improve the form and content of their active language skills. Readings continue to expose students to various aspects of Spanish and Hispanic life and culture. Text: Vistas: Introducción a la lengua española, 4th ed., and supplemental readings.

Spanish 3

Open to all forms

Spanish 3 extends and deepens the skills developed in the first two levels of the language. Based around the concept of "comprehensible input", teaching and learning revolves around the use of stories encountered both on paper and in speech. Students acquire both vocabulary and grammatical structures via constant and targeted practice, seeing and hearing them repeatedly. Increasingly, then, students begin to be able to use these tools in their own language production. While no verb tense or grammar is off limits at any level, the primary targets of input and of a few more traditionally taught units are the past, future and perfect tenses, as well as the subjunctive mood in all of its tenses. Students read short novels and stories, listen to songs, and view video programs all chosen so that they include the vocabulary and grammar to be acquired and yield opportunities for discussion and written expression.

Spanish 4

Open IV, V, VI Form students

Spanish 4 focuses on a survey of Latin American history through film. Each unit aims to further develop the students’ ability to understand spoken Spanish with a variety of native accents, and to increase their vocabulary and grammatical accuracy through daily class discussion and persuasive and analytical essays. Students will engage in debates, major presentations, culminating with a major project-based assessment. The course work will be supplemented by grammar review and reinforcement using Breaking the Spanish Barrier.

Advanced Study in Spanish

Open IV, V, VI Form students

AS Spanish is a college level course that centers in developing students’ understanding of Latin America through topics such as the intersection of race and class, nation and gender, and current globalization issues. In this course, students continue to develop their analytical skills through literary texts, documentaries, films, art, music and current events. Typical assessments are 3-5 page analytical papers, oral exhibitions, debates, presentations, and student-led project-based assessments. Grammar is reviewed within the context of each topic under study.

Advanced Topics Tutorial in Spanish

Open V & VI Form students

This college-level course is the culmination of a student’s progress through the St. Andrew’s Spanish program. The course is designed by student interests and research inquiries, and it is primarily project-based. Students will also be expected to read works of literature in Spanish as well as do major presentations, analytical papers,and oral exhibitions with mastery of advanced grammar.

Language Requirement

Students are required to complete two credits of the same foreign language or through the third level, whichever is more advanced. At least three consecutive years of the same foreign language is strongly recommended.