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World Languages

The World Language courses follow the rigor as well as the scope and sequence of ACTFL-based high school language courses. The focus is placed on the four communicative skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening). While the courses are intensive and require study outside of class they provide a solid foundation for students committed to learning another language. 

Be your best at: 

Academic writing

Public speaking

Collaboration

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World Languages electives

French Level I

French I is a year-long general introduction to the French language. French I is based on the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language (ACTFL) standards and focusses on all four communicative skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening), as are the subsequent French Language electives (II, III and IV). You begin by using basic French vocabulary and looking at the present tense verbs and gender. The course will cover themes such as − school, shopping, food, family, and the home. Assessments include − class participation, homework, comprehensive unit tests, short compositions, projects and final exams. Prerequisite: ESL Level 3; instructor approval.

French Level II

French II is a year-long course and a continuation of French I. Topics to be studied will include − vocabulary related to health, hobbies, and travel and the past tenses. Assessments include class participation, homework, projects, compositions, and final exams. Prerequisites: ESL Level 3; successful completion of French I or instructor approval.

French Level III

French III is a year-long course and a continuation of French II. Topics studied include − vocabulary related to health, technology, art and culture, and the environment, as well as the imperative and subjunctive modes. Assessments include class participation, homework, projects, compositions, and final exams. Prerequisites: ESL Level 3; successful completion of French II or instructor approval.

French Level IV

French IV is a year-long course and a continuation of French III. Topics studied include − vocabulary related to relationships, social issues, politics, government, history, and work, as well as the past subjunctive and conditional modes. You will also explore authentic literature, film, and the histories of French-speaking countries. Assessments include class participation, homework, projects, compositions, and final exams. Prerequisites: ESL Level 3; successful completion of French III or instructor approval.

Spanish Level I

Spanish I is a year-long general introduction to the Spanish language. Spanish I is based on the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language (ACTFL) standards and focusses on all four communicative skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening), as are the subsequent Spanish Language electives (II, III and IV). You begin by using basic Spanish vocabulary and simple grammatical structures within the cultural norms of Spanish or Latin American society. Topics to be studied will include − numbers, school, shopping, food, family, and the home. The major grammatical concepts are present tense verbs and gender. Assessments include − class participation, homework, comprehensive unit tests, short compositions, projects, and final exams. Prerequisite: ESL Level 3; instructor approval.

Spanish Level II

Spanish II is a year-long course and a continuation of Spanish I. Topics to be studied include − vocabulary related to health, hobbies, and travel and the past tenses. Assessments include class participation, homework, projects, compositions, and final exams.  Prerequisites: ESL Level 3; successful completion of Spanish I or instructor approval.

Spanish Level III

Spanish III is designed for students who have successfully completed Spanish II. You will communicate about topics you consider meaningful such as − friendship, relationships, life goals, jobs, finances, politics, social issues, and entertainment, as well as popular culture and fine art. You will be assessed through exams, tests, projects, compositions, homework, and skits. Prerequisites: ESL Level 3; Spanish II or instructor approval.

Spanish Level IV

Spanish IV is designed for students who have successfully completed Spanish III. You will improve your communication skills through the cultural study of Latin America and Spain. You will read and analyse literature and films, as well as explore the histories of the Spanish-speaking countries. You will be assessed through exams, tests, projects, compositions, homework, and participation. Prerequisites: ESL Level 3; Spanish III or instructor approval.

Advanced Placement electives

AP Spanish Language & Culture

Advanced Placement (AP) Spanish is designed for students who have successfully completed Spanish IV or who can demonstrate that they have achieved the Intermediate-High level of proficiency in all four skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) according to the ACTFL. You will look at global challenges, beauty and aesthetics, science and technology, contemporary life, personal and public identities, and families and communities. Prerequisites: ESL Level 3; evidence of strong work habits; solid study skills and self-motivation; high school Spanish IV or a minimum of 3 years study at a previous school or evidence of skills and knowledge as demonstrated on a CATS placement test; instructor approval.

AP French Language and Culture

AP French Language and Culture is a college-level course intended for students in their fourth year of study of French. The three modes of communication (Interpersonal, Interpretive and Presentational) defined in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century are foundational to the AP French Language and Culture course. Course work provides students with opportunities to demonstrate their proficiency in each of the three modes in the intermediate to pre-advanced range as described in the ACTFL Performance Guidelines for K–12 Learners. Students who enroll in this course should already have a good command of the grammar and considerable competence in listening, reading, speaking and writing. When communicating, students in the AP French Language and Culture course demonstrate an understanding of the culture(s), incorporate interdisciplinary topics (connections), make comparisons between the native language and the target language and between cultures (comparisons), and use the target language in real-life settings (communities). Exclusive use of French by teacher and students for active communication is de rigueur in the classroom.  Because this course is designed as a test preparation course, we follow the AP curriculum guide: students communicate about global challenges, beauty and aesthetics, science and technology, contemporary life, personal and public identities, and families and communities. These topics, as well as literature, film, and French and Francophone history and culture, are the contexts for analysis, comparison, conversation, translation, interpretation, and much of the vocabulary that students study during this course. Students use several primary textbooks and other authentic materials and resources that are in accordance with those suggested on the College Board website. Students are expected to take the AP French Language and Culture exam at the end of this course. Although CATS AP French students are expected to take the French AP test, students are also encouraged to take the SAT French Subject Test if they so choose. Assessments include exams, tests, compositions, presentations, and projects.

Prerequisites: ESL Level 3; evidence of strong work habits, solid study skills, and self-motivation; high school French Level IV or a minimum of 3 years of study at a previous school or evidence of skills and knowledge as demonstrated on a CATS placement test; instructor approval

Faculty

Mariana Cruz Fernandez
Foreign Language Teacher
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Mariana Cruz Fernandez

Foreign Language Teacher

BA, Comparative Literature, University of Puerto Rico
MA, Latin American Literature, University of Notre Dame, Indiana

Mariana teaches all levels of Spanish language, as well as AP Spanish Language and AP Spanish Literature. Mariana has a BA in Comparative Literature from the University of Puerto Rico, where she also took graduate courses in Comparative and Hispanic Literature. Mariana earned her MA in Iberian and Latin American Literature from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, and she is in the process of completing her PhD dissertation. Prior to joining CATS Academy Boston, Mariana taught beginning and intermediate levels of Spanish at the University of Notre Dame. Mariana has also worked in the Center for the Development of Linguistic Competency at the University of Puerto Rico, as well as working as a teacher at an after-school program for junior high school students and as a substitute high school Spanish teacher.