In the current era of global interdependency, it is necessary for students to expand their multi-cultural and linguistic understanding through foreign language learning. We hope to dispel the idea of the U.S. as a monolinguistic culture by creating lifelong learners of foreign language. To that end, our goal is to help students create a functional knowledge of their chosen foreign language and create an enthusiasm to explore the world, communicating willingly and without fear in that language. German and French are the predominant foreign languages of the ski racing community and thus indispensable to a traveling athlete. We have the unique privilege of working with students who travel internationally where they can practice their language skills in a native setting. We hope to foster the understanding that language and culture are synonymous with travel, a quality our students take with them as global citizens when they leave GMVS.
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of language learning and most particularly those necessary for success in French. To that end, the course necessitates regular work and enthusiasm regarding speaking. The course’s most objective method for charting progress centers on homework, quizzes, projects and tests, but far more important to the process of learning a second language, this course invites and requires active participation in class. The key to successfully learning a foreign language is speaking, not to mention having fun!
French 2 is the second step in a four-year introduction to the French language. Students will learn foundation skills necessary for successful language acquisition. Reading and writing will play a key role in mastering these foundation skills, especially where grammar is concerned, but speaking and oral comprehension are our primary goals. Schedules permitting, advanced language students or native French speaking students will be in the classroom one to two days per week as Assistant Teachers (ATs). Activities with ATs will include drill, which builds accuracy and automaticity, and communicative activities, which build fluency. A positive effort and active participation are essential to success in this class, as they are in any successful communication. Primarily French will be spoken in the classroom.
French 3 continues to build the fundamentals of French. While continuing to focus on key grammar and vocabulary, French 3 intensifies the lessons in speaking and listening. French 3 expands the students’ horizons in reading by introducing more complex sentence constructions, and additional tenses. The students read the classic book, Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, write original essays, engage in diverse role-play scenarios, and use French language sites on the web to support class projects and discussions.
This course will complete instruction in foundation grammar and vocabulary. In spoken French, the objective is to develop fluency, accuracy and automaticity in conversation. Reading and writing skills are developed both through intensive and extensive practice using classic texts as well as current media. The goal is to develop an understanding of language learning, and hopefully a love of language.
French 5 is organized around readings of fiction, non-fiction and journalism. In addition, it provides intensive grammar and vocabulary review, and extensive practice in written and oral interpersonal and academic communication. Students expand their knowledge and understanding of the French speaking world and its various cultures and cultural topics and share their knowledge through a variety of mediums. We read short stories by famous French authors and short novels or excerpts from longer classic novels, such as The Count of Monte Cristo or Les Misérables.
Advanced Topics in French
Designed to bring students to an intermediate to advanced level of proficiency, students will have the opportunity to delve into a cultural theme of their choice to expand their understanding of the modern francophone world. Emphasis is on experiencing the language in context through a multimedia approach and practice of French conversational skills through class discussion and oral presentations. Whatever the cultural or literary focus, this class includes an advanced grammar and vocabulary review, and is conducted entirely in French. Students are evaluated on class participation, presentations, tests, quizzes, and essays.
The second semester of French 6 will continue the theme of sustained conversation in an interactive classroom through investigation, presentation and discussion about topics of student interest. We will also read and explore extensive excerpts of several of the great works of French literature and their interpretations in French film. Course goals are similar to those in the first semester. Possible choices include: Les Misérables, Le Comte de Monte Cristo, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Madame Bovary, Germinal, Le Bossu de Notre Dame, La Peste, Les Lettres de mon Moulin, Cyrano de Bergerac, Stupeur et Tremblement, Jean de Florette and Un Long Dimanche de Fiancailles.
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of language learning and most particularly those necessary for success in German. The primary goal of the German course progression at GMVS is to establish German as a functional part of a student’s academic skill set. The underlying philosophical approach is based on the Rassias method of teaching language. This method incorporates language drills into the curriculum, in which high-intensity exercises are used to rapidly develop the students’ abilities to recognize the language patterns and respond reflexively. The classes are conducted exclusively in German and students are an active part of the class. To that end, the course necessitates regular work and enthusiasm regarding speaking. The course’s most objective method for charting progress centers on homework, quizzes, projects and tests, but far more important to the process of learning a second language, this course invites and requires active participation in class. The key to successfully learning a foreign language is speaking, not to mention having fun. With the German speakers on staff, students in German have the opportunity to use their skills. In class we make extensive use of videos, music and scenarios to build student skills. First-year students are likely to be conversational in the past and present by the end of the year.
This course continues students’ introduction to the fundamentals of language learning and most particularly those necessary for success in German. In German 2 students continue to build on the material learned in German 1. Grammar focus is not only directed toward new material (narrative past, prepositions, hypothetical speech, etc) but also toward refining skills introduced in German 1. In-class conversations, drills, projects and presentations incorporate old and new skills, and provide avenues for refinement and development. Students complete the lion’s share of grammar and vocabulary necessary for a functional knowledge of the language by the end of the year. They are comfortable reading outside source material (websites, etc) with solid, basic understanding. The National German Exam is administered in the winter as a gauge of progress.
This is the third course which builds on the fundamentals of German. While continuing to focus on key grammar and vocabulary, German 3 intensifies the lessons in speaking and listening. German 3 expands the students’ horizons in reading by introducing more complex sentence constructions, including literary verb tenses and styles. German 3 provides an opportunity to refine and improve skills learned in the previous years. Using a wide variety of source material (articles, poems, short stories, music) the students learn to stretch their understanding of the language. There is also a solid basis of review grammar work, with a few new topics brought in, but in general, the grammar they encounter is in the form of developing existing skills. Greater demand on accuracy in speech is placed on the students in class, and the goal is that accurate German becomes reflexive for them and responses are fluid and (mostly) correct. Initiation of conversation is also a key marker; when they can initiate a conversation without prompting, then they are performing well. The National German Exam is also part of the class, as in German 2.
Typically the final course in the sequence, German 4 provides an opportunity for the advanced student to be challenged by more difficult scenarios and source material. Since the class is typically very small, students get focused attention and have the opportunity to refine their skills even further. The students also take the final level of the National German Exam.
Offered infrequently and only for the highest-performing students, the focus is on current source materials and on perfecting grammar points explored in the previous classes. Classes are conducted 100% in the language, and students are asked to produce more complex and in-depth work than in German 4. Literature, film and current news articles feature prominently in the structure of the class.
Meet Our Foreign Language Faculty
Director of College Counseling, German Teacher
Math and French Teacher, Learning Services Support
French Teacher, Winter Term Coordinator, Injury Support Team
Assistant Academic Director, French Teacher, ESL Instructor, International Students Coordinator