The globalization of our modern world has made the study of languages and cultures an even more important part of a college preparatory education. The Language Department believes that all students can benefit from and learn a foreign language. The department recognizes that programs designed to motivate students and require critical thinking will lead to the best outcomes for language acquisition, and that a strong knowledge of grammar structures and vocabulary will help performance in English as well. A variety of instructional methods are used to help students develop proficiency in the skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The department is also dedicated to helping students become aware of how past civilizations influence modern culture and of other cultures in general. Students feel connected to the classroom, even during periods of high athletic travel, due to the vast array of technological resources available to them and thoughtfully designed travel assignments. Students who complete the language program at CVA will develop the ability to communicate in the target language, direct their own learning, and will be well prepared to function in a college language classroom or to travel abroad. Honors options are available for some of the courses described below.
French l presents the fundamentals of the French language and equips students with a solid foundation in grammar and vocabulary. This course begins work in the areas of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students learn basic vocabulary, verb conjugations, pronunciation rules, grammatical structures, and cultural highlights.
French II reviews and builds upon the fundamental skills acquired in French I. Students learn new verb tenses (such as the imparfait and passé composé) while continuing to develop basic listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Upon completion, students should be able to understand and respond, with increasing proficiency, to spoken and written French, as well as demonstrate cultural awareness. French is used whenever possible for explanation and application.
French III expands upon the skills acquired in French I and II. Students gain proficiency by acquiring and employing more complex structures and forms, and building a more extensive vocabulary. Students continue to hone conversational skills and cultural awareness. French is used increasingly for instruction. The use of technology allows access to authentic information and supplemental materials.
French IV reviews and builds on vocabulary and grammar concepts taught at the lower levels to enhance reading, writing, listening, and speaking proficiency. Students study compound verb tenses, advanced grammar concepts, and expanded thematic vocabulary. Cultural units on French history, literature, cuisine, art, and music enrich learning at this level. This class is conducted primarily in French.
French V is an advanced course which requires a strong grasp of the vocabulary and grammar concepts taught at the lower levels. Students hone grammar and communication skills through literature, frequent journal and essay writing, and conversation. This class is conducted in French, with rare exceptions for clarification of complex grammatical structures. The use of technology enriches the exploration of cultural topics.
Spanish I is a general introduction to the Spanish language: pronunciation, functional vocabulary, cultural information and basic grammar. The students actively work to improve their listening, speaking, reading and writing. By the end of the course, students should be able to carry on a simple conversation and communicate an understanding of Spanish/Latino culture, vocabulary, and grammar concepts.
Spanish II builds upon knowledge and skills gained in Spanish I. Emphasis is on improving pronunciation, mastering basic grammatical structures, vocabulary acquisition and increased communicative proficiency. Students will begin to use the past, future, and conditional tenses. More of the class will be conducted in Spanish, providing more listening and speaking practice.
Spanish III recycles and expands upon skills acquired in Spanish I and Spanish II. Students will be expected to expand their vocabulary to include more sophisticated terms, use advanced language expressions, verb tenses and grammatical concepts. Students will work towards improving the conversational skills and cultural competence needed for success in intermediate college classes.
Advanced Spanish provides a comprehensive grammatical review and expands thematic vocabulary. The course contents are individualized depending upon student proficiency and experience. This class is conducted in Spanish, with rare exceptions for very complex literary and grammatical concepts, preparing students for language study in the college classroom.
CVA Latin Curriculum
At Carrabassett Valley Academy Latin instruction is offered to part-time or transfer students who have begun the language at their home school and wish to continue at CVA. The Cambridge Latin Course is used which focuses on proficiency in reading Latin, beginning with level-appropriate readings in the textbooks, and progressing to original Latin literature.
Latin I: Using Unit 1 of the Cambridge Latin Course (CLC), students learn how to pronounce the Latin alphabet; how to read and write simple Latin sentences and form basic questions; they also note the differences between Latin and English syntax. The textbook storyline follows a family living in first-century Pompeii up to and through the climactic eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE.
Latin II: The action of the stories in the Unit 2 CLC textbook shifts to Roman Britain and takes up the clash between Roman and Celtic cultures. Students must master new grammar and an expanding vocabulary in order to appreciate the use of such narrative techniques as flashback, the building of suspense, creating comedy with timing, and revealing character through speech. Language is more nuanced and complex.
In Unit 3, students learn about the romanization of Britain and how archaeologists recreate what life was like in the past from surviving structures, art, and writings. Students read their first primary texts in Latin. Upon completion of this course, students will be prepared to continue the Latin III: