World Languages

More than just an interesting part of one’s education, world language study is now a practical necessity as well. We live in a global society. The United States is both a nation of diverse peoples and languages and a society in which many cultures unite to form a whole. For students to function effectively as part of the global community, they must develop fluency in other languages and sensitivity to cultural diversity.

We are fortunate that technology can unite us in seconds with our global neighbors, but we must also embrace the responsibility that goes along with it. The study of world languages at Tilton School not only teaches students to be multilingual, but also it teaches them to understand and respect the cultural and societal differences within the human family.

At Tilton, we believe that to communicate effectively in a new language, one must have command of the four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Further, we ask our students to demonstrate an awareness of how people from another country think, feel, and act within the context of their native culture. It is through such study that students discover how to learn a new language.

We measure students’ success by how well they incorporate the Enduring Understandings listed below into their daily use of the language. Through the use of oral, aural, written, and reading performances, students exhibit their language competency to their peers and the world language faculty.

Each course in the World Language department is a yearlong course, and upon successful achievement in each course (Meeting the Standard or higher) and successful achievement on the final examination, students advance to the next level. To meet graduation requirements, all students must successfully complete a 2nd-year level of language study. Upon entering Tilton School, all students engage in placement assessments that include speaking, listening, reading, and writing tests. The World Language faculty determines the most appropriate course enrollment for each student based on his or her performance on the placement examination. This process is conducted during the first two weeks of school in the fall.

For some students, it may take three years to meet the graduation requirement, while other students may meet the graduation requirement in only one year. The World Language department recommends that students engage in language study throughout the course of their Tilton career, regardless of the minimum requirement. Selective college admissions standards generally call for at least three years of language study. Students who do not achieve the minimum requirements to move on to the next course will be required to repeat the course at Tilton or during summer school off campus. Students will be required to take the placement examination before enrolling in another language course if they study off campus.

Study Abroad:

As trips abroad encourage direct application of the aspects of communication, character, community, creativity and critical thinking, the department believes that it is an important way to continue to reinforce what goes on in the classroom. Tilton School encourages the application of what is learned in the language classroom to outside study. Each year, the school offers a travel opportunity that will help students use what they already know to further develop their language skills and the understanding of the world around them. All students are encouraged to consider this invaluable experience, both for what it can do linguistically and the benefits it has toward greater understanding of the world around us.

Technology, Language Lab, and Online Resources:

Student exposure to authentic language allows for greater mastery of reading, writing, speaking and listening skills, as well as allows for important exposure to cultural, historical, and thematic content. Students can therefore expect to use a variety of technology tools and online resources both inside and outside of the classroom, not only to aid them with their production and understanding of written and spoken language, practicing essential structures and idiomatic expressions, but also as a means to connect, beyond the classroom, with the communities where the target language is spoken. Some textbook materials will have a required online component.

French First Year: Exposure to the Francophone World

This introductory-level class explores basic French expression through everyday thematic vocabulary and fundamental grammatical structures. The Francophone community is the context through which students will be exposed to the language. Students will be actively engaged in listening to and speaking authentic French both in the classroom, where interactive group work will be generated, as well as through authentic online materials. The main goal of the class is for students to feel comfortable speaking and asking simple questions to express, likes and dislikes, simple descriptions of self and family, and discussing their lives at school. In addition to beginner level speaking skills, students will be exposed to writing simple sentences and paragraphs. By the end of the year this course is conducted entirely in the target language.

French Second Year: Understanding the Francophone World
This advanced beginner-level course is designed for students who feel comfortable with simple oral expression and feel ready to push their speaking skills to a new level. During this course, the main focus will be getting students comfortable narrating in the past tense, as well as developing more advanced circumlocution skills, keeping students in the target language. To advance these skills, this course will include thematic units such as holidays, city life, housing, travel, food, and nature, taught using authentic materials. Moreover, these materials taken from the Francophone world will allow students to not only solidify vocabulary but also provide them with a basis of comparison in their own lives. Finally, students will become more comfortable with grammatical concepts and be able to identify simple syntactical and grammatical errors. Fully conducted in French.Prerequisite: Placement exam, successful completion of 1st-year French, and/or department approval.

French Third Year: Interacting with the Francophone world

Fully conducted in French, this intermediate-level course is designed for students who demonstrate a solid understanding of all the past tenses, have been exposed to commands, and are able to express themselves both orally and in written forms. Cultural elements of the course will include themes such as technology, the environment, the workplace, government, and volunteerism. Integration of all aspects of the language will occur using online resources and authentic materials. The language will be heard and practiced, in and outside of the classroom, where student-generated presentations, productions, and discussions will be created. As students begin to master the nuances of the French language, more emphasis will be placed on their ability to express themselves with the French of today as seen through short films, native speaker dialogues, songs, television programs, current event articles, and excerpts from French literature. The class will progress to encompass expression in several tenses and moods such as the conditional, the future, and the subjunctive mood. Prerequisite: Placement exam, successful completion of 2nd-year French, and/or department approval.

French Fourth Year: Immersion in the Francophone world

Fully conducted in French, this course is designed for students who have demonstrated proficiency with all tenses and moods, including the subjunctive mood. Through intensive study of literature, film, music, art and daily living, students develop a greater understanding of the cultural practices and historical realities of the francophone world. Students continue to expand and refine their communication skills while becoming more familiar with grammatical nuances and idiomatic phrases specific to the language. They also participate in oral dialogue and impromptu discussions, as well as prepare formal presentations, that further develop advanced communication skills. Use of online resources and authentic materials will be utilized in order to complete assignments that reflect more sophisticated knowledge and manipulation of the language. The purpose of this class is to build on skills and mastery of the French language, while further developing compassion and understanding of the diverse contributions and concerns of the French-speaking world. Prerequisite: Placement exam, successful completion of 3rd-year French, and/or department approval.

Spanish First Year: Exposure to the Hispanic World

This introductory-level class explores basic Castilian Spanish expression through everyday thematic vocabulary and fundamental grammatical structures. The Hispanic community is the context through which students will be exposed to the language. Students will be actively engaged in listening to and speaking authentic Spanish both in the classroom, where interactive group work will be generated, as well as through authentic online materials. The main goal of the class is for students to feel comfortable speaking and asking simple questions to express, likes and dislikes, simple descriptions of self and family, and discussing their lives at school. In addition to beginner level speaking skills, students will be exposed to writing simple sentences and paragraphs. By the end of the year this course is conducted entirely in the target language.

Spanish Second Year: Understanding the Hispanic World

This advanced beginner-level course is designed for students who feel comfortable with simple oral expression and feel ready to push their speaking skills to a new level. During this course, the main focus will be getting students comfortable narrating in the past tense, as well as developing more advanced circumlocution skills, keeping students in the target language. To advance these skills, this course will include thematic units such as holidays, city life, housing, travel and food, and nature, taught using authentic materials. Moreover, these materials taken from the Hispanic world will allow students to not only solidify vocabulary but provide them with a basis of comparison in their own lives. Finally, students will become more comfortable with grammatical concepts and be able to identify simple syntactical and grammatical errors. Fully conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: Placement exam, successful completion of 1st-year Spanish, and/or department approval.

Spanish Third Year: Interacting with the Hispanic world

Fully conducted in Spanish, this intermediate-level course is designed for students who demonstrate a solid understanding of the past tenses, have been exposed to commands, and are able to express themselves both orally and in written forms. Cultural elements of the course will include themes such as relationships, technology, the environment, the workplace, government, and volunteerism. Integration of all aspects of the language will occur using online sources and authentic materials. The language will be heard and practiced, in and outside of the classroom, where student-generated presentations, productions and discussions will take place. As students begin to master the nuances of the Spanish language and how it is most authentically expressed, more emphasis will be placed on their ability to express themselves with the Spanish of today as seen through short films, native speaker dialogues, songs, television programs, current event articles, and excerpts from Spanish literature. The class will progress to encompass expression in several tenses and moods, such as the imperative, conditional, future, and subjunctive mood. Prerequisite: Placement exam, successful completion of 2nd-year Spanish, and/or department approval.

Spanish Fourth Year: Immersion in the Hispanic World

Fully conducted in Spanish, this course is designed for students who have demonstrated proficiency with all tenses and moods, including the subjunctive mood. Through intensive study of literature, film, music, art, and daily living, students develop a greater understanding of the cultural practices and historical realities of the Hispanic world. Students continue to expand and refine their communication skills while becoming more familiar with grammatical nuances and idiomatic phrases specific to the language. They also participate in oral dialogue and impromptu discussions; as well prepare formal presentations that further develop advanced communication skills. Use of online resources and authentic materials will be utilized in order to complete assignments that reflect more sophisticated knowledge and manipulation of the language. The purpose of this class is to build on skills and mastery of the Spanish language, while further developing compassion and understanding of the diverse contributions and concerns of the Spanish-speaking world. Prerequisite: Placement exam, successful completion of 3rd-year Spanish, and/or department approval.

This course is fully conducted in Spanish and is designed for advanced level students who have mastered skills and content at the fourth-year of proficiency or beyond, and/or native/heritage speakers of the Spanish language. Students must also have the maturity, independence and teacher recommendation to pursue a rigorous individualized program of study.

This course functions as an advanced level course for students seeking to maintain and further develop presentational language skills, explore Hispanic culture, and prepare for various subject tests, international travel/immersion experiences, and/or college level study of Spanish. In this course, students will continue to practice and develop their communication skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking) through the use of authentic written texts and audio/video recordings, as well as the provision of a variety of speaking and writing opportunities, including interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational address, in formal and informal situations. Learning units will include historical and cultural explorations of the countries and communities where Spanish is spoken. Students are encouraged make comparisons and connections between the cultures studied and their own.

This course is fully conducted in French and is designed for advanced level students who have mastered skills and content at the fourth-year of proficiency or beyond, and/or native/heritage speakers of the French language. Students must also have the maturity, independence, and teacher recommendation to pursue a rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) program of study including instructional materials, communication activities, assignments, and assessments equivalent to that of a third-year college level course in French. Students who take this course will prepare to take the French Language and Culture AP Exam in May.

In this course, students will continue to practice and develop their communication skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking) by engaging with authentic print texts, short films, and audio recordings in the target language, taking part in a variety of speaking and writing opportunities, including interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational address, in formal and informal situations. Learning units will be based on the themes and recommended contexts from the College Board’s AP French Language and Culture curriculum framework, in which students are encouraged make comparisons and connections between the cultures/languages studied and their own.

This course is fully conducted in Spanish and is designed for advanced level students who have mastered skills and content at the fourth-year of proficiency or beyond, and/or native/heritage speakers of the Spanish language. Students must also have the maturity, independence and teacher recommendation to pursue a rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) program of study including instructional materials, communication activities, assignments, and assessments equivalent to that of a third-year college level course in Spanish. Students who take this course will prepare to take the Spanish Language and Culture AP Exam in May.

In this course, students will continue to practice and develop their communication skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking) by engaging with authentic print texts, short films, and audio recordings in the target language, taking part in a variety of speaking and writing opportunities, including interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational address, in formal and informal situations. Learning units will be based on the themes and recommended contexts from the College Board’s AP Spanish Language and Culture curriculum framework, in which students are encouraged make comparisons and connections between the cultures/languages studied and their own.

Course offering in French and Spanish

A parallel sequence of language and cultural studies | First-year language study incorporates a cultural focus on the linguistic home nations, France and Spain. Second and third year language study follows the diffusion of the French language into Europe, Africa, and North America, and of Spanish into the Caribbean and the rest of the Americas. The fourth year of language allows the student to understand and appreciate the global reach of French and Spanish in communities throughout the world of the 21st century. Fifth and sixth year programs of study provide opportunities for students with advanced levels of skills and knowledge to master fluency, to read literature and write with skill and competence, for native speaker students to practice and polish the formal academic use of their language skills, for non-native speaker students to interact easily with native speakers of the language, and for all students to prepare for a range of college and university entrance exams, including the SAT Subject tests, the Advanced Placement exams, and European University entrance examinations.

Independent study options in Chinese, Japanese, and other languages

Introductory language study in Chinese, Japanese, and other languages may be available in 2018-19. Study of these languages may be arranged through Independent Study, online courses and/or a combination of classroom instruction, online instruction and travel abroad. Additional fees are applicable for online instruction, though New Hampshire residents may access tuition-free online courses through the New Hampshire Virtual Learning Academy. In past years, students have pursued learning programs in Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin), Russian, Italian, German, Latin, Arabic, Portuguese, and American Sign Language through these opportunities.

Online Course Options

Students in good academic standing may request enrollment in an online course through an accredited institution in an area of study not offered at Tilton School. Examples are: language study (e.g. Advanced Level Chinese, Japanese, Latin, Italian, German, Arabic). AP study in areas not offered by the School, and specialized courses in math and science. Online study requires self-directed learning and well-developed independent study skills. Additional fees are required by the hosting institution for online study. College credit can sometimes be earned. Registration in late summer is typically required. Contact the Academic Dean for additional information.