• World and Classical Languages


    The World and Classical Languages Department of Marlborough High School seeks to broaden our students’ learning horizon through the study of other languages and by fostering a sense of world citizenship.

    The study of Spanish, French and Mandarin Chinese emphasizes oral proficiency as well as reading, writing, aural comprehension and the study of culture. In Latin, the focus is on grammar, reading, etymology, mythology and Roman History.

    The World and Classical Languages course sequence is described in order of vertical progression. A passing grade in the previous level of a language or proficiency interview/test for placement determines the year of a language into which a student will be placed.

    While both Honors and College Prep (CP) students cover the same curriculum, there are important differences in expectations and outcomes that distinguish between the two credit options. In Honors classes performance requirements are more rigorous and the evaluation is at a more sophisticated level of mastery than College Prep courses, for both written and oral work. In some cases, College Prep and Honors students may be combined in a single class with accommodations made as appropriate to each level.

    Please note that our Chinese, Spanish and French courses are not intended or necessarily recommended for native/heritage speakers. Students who already have a working knowledge of those languages are encouraged to enroll in an alternate language course. Also, as mentioned in the Principal's opening message, courses are not guaranteed to run, they are subject to staffing and course requests moving into each school year.

    The MHS graduation requirement is 2 sequential years of the same language.

     

    HONORS SPANISH I

    COLLEGE PREP SPANISH I

    The first year of Spanish provides students with a building base for the language through four major skill set components: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. There are several media used to enhance the learning experience such as interactive textbooks, websites, and videos that support grammar, vocabulary, and cultural knowledge. At the end of the first year, students will have gained knowledge of basic grammar and verb conjugations, as well as have learned a series of theme-based vocabulary to allow them to communicate at a beginner’s level. The class is conducted in Spanish as much as possible.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    HONORS SPANISH II

    COLLEGE PREP SPANISH II

    This is a Spanish course in which the student is obliged to speak, write, and read in Spanish. After review of verb tenses, grammar, and vocabulary, the student will be introduced to new material including the imperfect tense, and irregular forms of previously learned verb tenses and grammatical concepts. By the end of the course the student will be able to communicate at an appropriate level in speech, writing, and vocabulary use. Spanish/Hispanic culture is introduced through videos, culture readings, and other materials. The class is conducted in Spanish.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    HONORS SPANISH III

    COLLEGE PREP SPANISH III

    Vocabulary enrichment is accomplished through the discussion of textbook readings and supplemental materials. The mastery of listening and speaking is emphasized through group discussions, dialogues, and oral presentations. Emphasis is placed on major grammatical structures including verb tenses in the preterite, imperfect, present perfect, pluperfect, present subjunctive, future, and conditional tenses as well as commands. Written compositions are required. Spanish/Hispanic culture is incorporated through videos, cultural readings, and supplemental materials. The class is conducted in Spanish.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    HONORS SPANISH IV

    COLLEGE PREP SPANISH IV

    At this level, vocabulary and grammar will be largely expanded to help students conduct more advanced communication. Students will explore different genres of literature. Current events of the Hispanic world will be investigated through various forms of media and presented and discussed via written and verbal summaries. Daily participation in the target language is required. The class is conducted in Spanish.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    HONORS SPANISH V

    COLLEGE PREP SPANISH V

    This is a continuance of the Spanish IV class. Classes are taught in Spanish and students are expected to be motivated and have a desire to speak in the target language. Advanced grammar, conversation, literature, art, and current events will be studied. Use of tapes and DVDs for listening and speaking will also be a part of this course. This class is conducted in Spanish.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT SPANISH LANGUAGE

    This is an accelerated course designed for the highly motivated, academically qualified student. This course is designed to cover grammar, literature, and interpersonal and presentational communication at an intermediate college level. Students are required to take the Spanish Language AP Exam in May. Students will be expected to carry a college level workload. This course is taught in Spanish.

    PREREQUISITE: Summer reading is a requirement.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    HONORS LATIN I

    COLLEGE PREP LATIN I

    Latin I introduces the student to the language of ancient Rome via synthetic textbook readings. Beginning simply and increasing in grammatical difficulty, the readings follow the daily life of a Roman family. Latin grammar is presented against a background of Roman culture, civilization, and mythology, including the story of the Trojan War. Projects often include making a toga and presentations on gods and goddesses. Much emphasis is placed on building a strong English vocabulary based on Latin roots, as well as on improving the student’s ability to manipulate English grammar effectively.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    HONORS LATIN II

    COLLEGE PREP LATIN II

    Latin II is a natural progression of Latin skills, expanding the student’s Latin vocabulary and exposure to more complex grammatical constructions. Translation skills continue to be stressed through readings about a Roman family. Roman history, culture and classical influences on Western Civilization are further studied. Medical terms, law terms, and commonly used Latin phrases are explored in an attempt to build an ever-increasing English vocabulary. Readings in English explore ancient heroes such as Perseus, Theseus, Hercules, Odysseus and Aeneas.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    HONORS LATIN III

    COLLEGE PREP LATIN III

    This course represents a transition from grammar study and simple Latin reading passages to the study of Roman authors and reading of authentic Latin literature. The year begins with a review of basic grammar and continues the study of the Latin language and Roman culture. A unit on Roman city planning via the book City and a look at Roman Comedy through a reading of Plautus’ “Twin Menaechmi” (in English) are included. As the year progresses, students will explore the works of authentic Latin authors such as Pliny and Martial.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    HONORS LATIN IV

    COLLEGE PREP LATIN IV

    This course combines more complex grammar study and review via a workbook with the culture and history of the late Roman Republic and Augustan Rome. By the conclusion of this course, students will have studied the grammar necessary to read authentic Latin authors. Students will study the rhetorical speeches of Cicero and the works of the poets Catullus, Horace, and Ovid in both Latin and English. In addition, students will examine Roman history in more depth, with special emphasis on the Roman emperors of the first and second centuries A.D.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    HONORS LATIN V: SELECTED ROMAN AUTHORS PROSE/POETRY

    This course is designed for the advanced Latin student who wants to continue a study of authentic Latin literature but does not necessarily want to enroll in the accelerated AP Latin course with its required AP Exam. The first semester will explore the times and works of prose authors such as Plautus, Cicero, Caesar, Livy, and Suetonius. The second semester will highlight the literary contributions of Roman poets such as Horace, Ovid, and Vergil. A solid foundation of Latin grammar through Latin IV is required for either of these semester courses, however, the works will be read through a literary as well as a grammatical lens.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT LATIN

    This is an accelerated course designed for the highly motivated, academically qualified student. Students will read, in Latin, excerpts from Books 1, 2, 4, and 6 of Vergil’s Aeneid and selections from Caesar's Gallic Wars, further developing their translation skills and knowledge of Latin vocabulary and grammar. Students will also analyze the poetry of the Aeneid and continue their study of the mechanics of poetry, including poetic devices and meter. Students will also explore diverse literary themes, including leadership, Roman historical context, and war and empire. Students are required to take the AP Exam in May. Students will be expected to carry a college level workload.

    PREREQUISITE: Summer reading is a requirement.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    HONORS MANDARIN CHINESE I

    COLLEGE PREP MANDARIN CHINESE I

    This is an introductory course of Mandarin Chinese language and culture. The course centers on introducing the Mandarin sound system, Pinyin (a phonetic system using the Roman alphabet) and the rudiments of the Chinese writing system. Written applications will be introduced with pen and paper, brush and ink, and word processing. This course also focuses on improving four proficiencies (listening, speaking, reading and writing). Oral performances (dialogues, presentations, and phone-in assignments) are a regular part of the curriculum. Chinese culture will be introduced through interactive and hands-on activities. These will include activities on Chinese history, cooking and eating, holidays and festivals, calligraphy, music, movies, and crafts. The course will be conducted in Mandarin Chinese as much as possible.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    HONORS MANDARIN CHINESE II

    COLLEGE PREP MANDARIN CHINESE II

    This course continues the sequence of Mandarin Chinese I. In this course, four proficiencies (listening, speaking, reading and writing) will be further expanded. Oral performances (dialogues, presentations, dramas, interviews and phone-in assignments) will be a regular part of the curriculum. Reading competency will be improved through reading the assigned textbook. Writing practice will be conducted using pen and paper, brush and ink, and word processing. Chinese culture will also be introduced through interactive and hands-on activities. These activities are about Chinese history and literature, cooking and eating, holidays and festivals, folktales, calligraphy, music, movies and crafts. The course will be conducted in Mandarin Chinese.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    HONORS MANDARIN CHINESE III

    COLLEGE PREP MANDARIN CHINESE III

    In this third year course, students focus more on the development and integration of four language proficiencies (listening, speaking, reading and writing). At this level, vocabulary will be largely expanded to help students conduct more advanced communication. Students are encouraged to read the materials without Pinyin. Chinese culture will be introduced through interactive and hands-on activities. These activities are about Chinese history and literature, religion, art, cooking and eating, holidays and festivals, folktales, calligraphy, music, movies and crafts. The course will be conducted in Mandarin Chinese.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    HONORS MANDARIN CHINESE IV

    COLLEGE PREP MANDARIN CHINESE IV

    This course continues the sequence of Mandarin Chinese III. The language curriculum focuses on expanding student proficiencies in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Skills in written applications continue to be developed using pen and paper, brush and ink, word processing and other electronic media. Oral proficiency will be improved through self created dialogues, presentations, interviews and dramas. This course also focuses on improving reading competency by introducing students to literary Chinese, and the authentic texts from Chinese newspapers and formal documents. Further, in this course, students will compare and contrast Chinese culture with American culture through a variety of interactive language and cultural experiences. The course will be conducted in Mandarin Chinese.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    HONORS MANDARIN CHINESE V

    This course continues the sequence of Mandarin Chinese IV. In this course, four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) will be further improved. Oral performances (task-driven situational dialogues, presentations, interviews, and dramas) will continue to be a regular part of the curriculum. Reading competency will be improved through reading the assigned textbook and authentic literary Chinese texts on contemporary and historical topics. Writing composition is done by pen and paper as well as word processing. This course is taught in Mandarin Chinese only and all work should be completed in Chinese characters.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT MANDARIN CHINESE

    This is an accelerated course designed for the highly motivated, academically qualified students. This course is designed to prepare students to demonstrate their Chinese language skills in interpersonal, interpretive and presentational communication at an intermediate college level. Throughout the course, emphasis will be placed on amassing literary vocabulary and developing oral and writing competency. Students are required to take the Mandarin Chinese Language AP Exam in May. Students will be expected to carry a college level workload. This course is taught in Mandarin Chinese only.

    PREREQUISITE: Summer work is a requirement

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT FRENCH LANGUAGE

    This is an accelerated course for the student who may be interested in pursuing study of the French language at the college level. This course is designed to cover all 4 skills of language learning as preparation for the AP French Language exam that will be taken in May. Students are required to take the French Language AP Exam in May. This course is conducted in French.

    PREREQUISITE: Summer reading is a requirement.

    Full year course: 4 Credits