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Modern Languages

At International High School we believe that learning a modern language enables a student to better understand the world, to develop a sensitivity to different perspectives and cultures, and to embrace diversity. For that reason, all our students are required to study at least one foreign language among the five we offer: French, Spanish, Chinese, Italian and Arabic. All teachers in the Modern Language Department are qualified native speakers, who through an interactive approach encourage students to develop all linguistic skills by engaging them in a wide range of activities such as films, music, games, skits and role playing. Additionally, our students have the opportunity to live the language of their choice on an international trip. At International High School, we believe in multilingualism as a way to develop the mind and enhance versatility.

Grade 9

INTERNATIONAL TRACK

SPANISH INTERMEDIATE I (LV2)
[5 hours per week for 2nd language; 3 hours per week for 3rd language]
 
Entrance is based on results of a proficiency test.

This class is available to students as either a second or third language. Students broaden and improve their comprehension and practice of the Spanish language. They acquire a more sophisticated approach to grammatical structure and a wider vocabulary in order to move towards fluent oral and written communication. Students also acquire the ability to express feelings and abstract ideas, and they begin the study of the culture and civilization of Spanish-speaking countries.

Assessment competencies: 
Listening comprehension
Reading comprehension
Spoken interaction
Spoken production
Writing expression

Standards alignment: European Framework of Reference and ACTFL
Updated: August 2016


CHINESE BEGINNER I

[5 hours per week]
This course is for students who have little or no previous exposure to the Chinese language. At this beginning level, students are introduced to pinyin, the Chinese phonetic system, as well as the simplified writing system. Students are expected to master the pronunciation and the four basic tones with accuracy. Through repetition, games, role-playing, songs, oral presentation and other activities designed to assist students integrate the materials learned in class, students are able to further develop mastery for the reading, listening, written and spoken skills. By the end of the year, students should be able to carry on a basic conversation in Chinese, including introducing themselves and their family members, asking for and telling dates, days of the week and time, talking about their hobbies, making appointments with friends, describing a day in school, and expressing how they feel about learning Chinese.


Assessment competencies: 

Listening comprehension
Reading comprehension
Spoken interaction
Spoken production
Writing expression

Standards alignment: European Framework of Reference and ACTFL
Updated: August 2016


CHINESE INTERMEDIATE I (LV2)
[3 hours per week]

This course is for students who have had an equivalent of 3 years of Chinese. At this intermediate level, students are expected to have a certain level of mastery of the language to be able to carry on a conversation, write a 4 – 5 paragraph essay on a given topic and further expand on their vocabulary and sentence patterns. Through repetition, games, role-playing, songs, oral presentation and other activities designed to assist students integrate the materials learned in class, students are able to further develop mastery in reading, listening, written and spoken skills. By the end of the year, students should be able to carry on a conversation in Chinese on the following topics: dating, apartment rental, sports, and travel.

Assessment competencies: 
Listening comprehension
Reading comprehension
Spoken interaction
Spoken production
Writing expression

Standards alignment: European Framework of Reference and ACTFL
Updated: August 2016
 

CHINESE LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
[5 hours per week]
Students at this level are native Chinese speakers. The curriculum is designed to teach students to read and discuss ancient, medieval, and modern texts in a variety of styles. Students are introduced to essays by modern authors. Assignments provide students with experience analyzing selected works as well as opportunities to develop oral and writing skills.

Assessment competencies: 
Listening comprehension
Reading comprehension
Spoken interaction
Spoken production
Writing expression

Standards alignment: European Framework of Reference and ACTFL
Updated: August 2016
 

ITALIAN INTERMEDIATE I (LV2)
[3 hours per week]
The primary objective of this course is to increase and consolidate the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills necessary to master the language. Oral participation in class is emphasized. Students gain the confidence to voice their ideas and opinions in Italian, with the goal of being able to converse with a fluent speaker. To improve oral skills, students act out dialogues, role-play, present reports, and describe pictures in front of the class. Listening skills are honed by encouraging students to listen to each other, correct mistakes if possible, and answer each other’s questions. Students are also exposed to stories, songs, radio shows or movies. In writing, the focus is on the grammatical structures and tenses that are needed to communicate efficiently in Italian. In addition, writing skills are developed through a wide range of written formats such as dialogues, poems, songs, letters, short plays or skits, resumés, commentaries, and essays.

Assessment competencies: 
Listening comprehension
Reading comprehension
Spoken interaction
Spoken production
Writing expression

Standards alignment: European Framework of Reference and ACTFL
Updated: August 2016

 

ARABIC INTERMEDIATE I  (LV2)   Commencing in the Fall of 2016.
[3 hours per week]

Entrance is based on results of a proficiency test. Students at this course level will already have a solid foundation in Standard Arabic grammar and writing including nominal and verbal sentence types, the iDaafa construction (construct phrase), conjugation of the perfect and imperfect tenses and verbal awzaan (word shapes). This course employs a communicative, interactive approach involving role play and dramatization. Steady doses of vocabulary are introduced in a fun and engaging way. At the end of this course, students will be able to introduce themselves, order at a restaurant, interview an Arabic-speaking person, schedule appointments, describe events, discuss their feelings, barter at the souq and give directions.


Assessment competencies: 
Listening comprehension
Reading comprehension
Spoken interaction
Spoken production
Writing expression

Standards alignment: European Framework of Reference and ACTFL
Updated: August 2016


FRENCH TRACK
Students in the French Track take the 3rd language, Intermediate classes in Spanish, Chinese, Italian or Arabic described above.


Grade 10

INTERNATIONAL TRACK

SPANISH INTERMEDIATE II (LV2)
[5 hours per week for 2nd language; 3 hours per week for 3rd language]
This course focuses on improving the student’s level of comprehension and practice in the language, with emphasis on fluency and the acquisition of a sophisticated and expressive vocabulary. Students read accessible Spanish literature and develop their capacity to analyze and comment on a literary text. The study of culture and civilization broadens and deepens.

Assessment competencies: 
Listening comprehension
Reading comprehension
Spoken interaction
Spoken production
Writing expression

Standards alignment: European Framework of Reference and ACTFL
Updated: August 2016
 

CHINESE BEGINNER II
[4 hours per week]

This course is a continuation for students who took the Beginning Chinese course in 9th grade or have an equivalent of one year of studying the language. At this level, students continue to expand and build on the foundation and skills they have acquired in the beginning level and are expected to broaden their vocabulary, sentence structure and the cultural context in Chinese communication. Through repetition, games, role-playing, songs, oral presentation and other activities designed to assist students integrate the materials learned in class, students are able to further develop mastery for the reading, listening, written and spoken skills. By the end of the year, students will cover the following topics: school life, shopping, talking about weather, transportation, dining, using the library, asking directions, birthday parties and seeing a doctor.

Assessment competencies: 
Listening comprehension
Reading comprehension
Spoken interaction
Spoken production
Writing expression

Standards alignment: European Framework of Reference and ACTFL
Updated: August 2016


CHINESE INTERMEDIATE II (LV2)
[3 hours per week]
This course is for students who have had an equivalent of 4 years of Chinese. At this intermediate level, students are expected to have a certain level of mastery of the language to be able to carry on a conversation, write a 4 – 5 paragraph essay on a given topic and further expand on their vocabulary and sentence patterns. Through repetition, games, role-playing, songs, oral presentation and other activities designed to assist students integrate the materials learned in class, students are able to further develop mastery in reading, listening, written and spoken skills. By the end of the year, students should be able to carry on a conversation in Chinese on the following topics: describing the physical location and its surrounding environment, ordering at a restaurant, making appointments and asking for help, talking about their interests, and possible future career choices.

Assessment competencies: 
Listening comprehension
Reading comprehension
Spoken interaction
Spoken production
Writing expression

Standards alignment: European Framework of Reference and ACTFL
Updated: August 2016

CHINESE LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
[5 hours per week]
This course encompasses modern Chinese short stories and novels (from the mainland, Taiwan, and overseas), literature in translation, as well a substantial unit on Tang and Song poetry and Yuan verse. Students are immersed in the creative world of famous Tang, Song, and Yuan works through critical studies of the literary styles of the period, the backgrounds of the authors, and the historical context. Students also learn how to discern literary types and forms and how to interpret literary symbolism while developing critical expository writing skills.

Assessment competencies: 
Listening comprehension
Reading comprehension
Spoken interaction
Spoken production
Writing expression

Standards alignment: European Framework of Reference and ACTFL
Updated: August 2016


ITALIAN INTERMEDIATE II (LV2)
[3 hours per week]
This course is the continuation of Intermediate Italian 9. The knowledge and skills outlined previously are further refined.

Assessment competencies: 
Listening comprehension
Reading comprehension
Spoken interaction
Spoken production
Writing expression

Standards alignment: School defined
Updated: August 2016
 

FRENCH TRACK

Students in the French Track take the 3rd language, Intermediate classes in Spanish, Chinese or Italian described above.

 

Grades 11 & 12

INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE


IB SPANISH LANGUAGE & LITERATURE SL/HL
[5 hours per week]
Through studies in language and literature students explore their interest in language and literature, and a love for the elegance and richness of human expression. They will obtain skills in literary criticism using a range of texts from different periods, styles and genres. They learn to understand and analyze formal, stylistic and aesthetic qualities of texts. They are taught how language challenges and sustains ways of thinking and to appreciate cultural differences in perspective.

Assessment competencies:
Ability to express ideas clearly and with fluency
Ability to analyse the effects of the language (structure, technique and style)
Understanding of the use of the language (structure, technique and style)
Understanding of the need to come prepared to class and to participate actively and meaningfully in class

Standards alignment: International Baccalaureate Organization
Updated: August 2016

 

IB SPANISH B INTERMEDIATE HL
[5 hours per week]
Spanish as a Second Language: Intermediate Level

This program caters to students who have studied Spanish as a second language for at least two years. Having achieved a strong vocabulary base and knowledge of the structures of the language, students follow the two-year International Baccalaureate curriculum at Higher Level or Standard Level according to their level of competence. The study of the language is at the center of this program, which utilizes a wide variety of nonliterary sources. There is additional study of Spanish civilization and literature during Grade 12.

Assessment competencies:
Listening comprehension
Reading comprehension
Spoken interaction
Spoken production
Written expression

Standards alignment: International Baccalaureate Organization
Updated: August 2016
 

IB SPANISH LANGUAGE AB INITIO SL
Mentored online course for beginners
IB CHINESE A LITERATURE SL/HL
[5 hours per week]
This program is only appropriate for native Chinese speakers or for students who have reached a level of near-fluency. The study of literature is the main focus of this challenging program, which includes a World Literature component. Emphasis is placed on classical literature and the canons of Chinese philosophy. Students also read short stories and selected chapters of novels. Students do weekly writing exercises, analyzing themes and styles of selected texts. Expository writing culminates in the writing of long essays for IB internal assessment and examinations.


Assessment competencies:
Ability to express ideas clearly and with fluency
Ability to analyze the effects of the language (structure, technique and style)
Understanding of the use of the language (structure, technique and style)
Understanding of the need to come prepared to class and to participate actively and meaningfully in class

Standards alignment: International Baccalaureate Organization
Updated: August 2016


IB CHINESE A LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE SL/HL
[5 hours per week]

Through studies in language and literature students explore their interest in language and literature, and a love for the elegance and richness of human expression. They will obtain skills in literary criticism using a range of texts from different periods, styles and genres. They learn to understand and analyze formal, stylistic and aesthetic qualities of texts. They are taught how language challenges and sustains ways of thinking and to appreciate cultural differences in perspective.

Assessment competencies:
Ability to express ideas clearly and with fluency
Ability to analyze the effects of the language (structure, technique and style)
Understanding of the use of the language (structure, technique and style)
Understanding of the need to come prepared to class and to participate actively and meaningfully in class

Standards alignment: International Baccalaureate Organization
Updated: August 2016
 

IB CHINESE B INTERMEDIATE HL
[5 hours per week]
Chinese as a Second Language: Intermediate Level

This class introduces students to newspaper language and gives instruction on how to decipher this concise language into clear and understandable terms. Students continue learning vocabulary covering a wide range of topics related to ancient and modern Chinese society and culture. They also learn one Chinese idiom per week. Short authentic newscasts are also introduced into the curriculum to improve listening comprehension and recognition of specialized terms. Each student is required to prepare four major oral presentations that are discussed in class in a seminar setting. Over the course of two years, various extracurricular computer projects are completed such as: taping an English-language television show, digitizing it, and dubbing it into Chinese; and creating a presentation using text and images downloaded from Chinese language websites.

 

Students are prepared to take the Standard Level IB Chinese exam at the end of the Grade 12. Highly able and motivated students with significant previous experience of Chinese may be able to take the Higher Level course.

Assessment competencies:
Listening comprehension
Reading comprehension
Spoken interaction
Spoken production
Written expression

Standards alignment: International Baccalaureate Organization
Updated: August 2016

IB ITALIAN B INTERMEDIATE HL
[5 hours per week]
Italian as a Second Language: Intermediate Level
This course follows the two-year International Baccalaureate curriculum for either Higher or Standard Level, according to students' competence. Students who by now will have achieved a good mastery of the target language and a high degree of proficiency will reinforce and refine their oral and written skills through a variety of literary and non-literary texts and other sources. During grade 12, emphasis will be put on critical expository of written and oral skills, and on awareness of the culture of the language. 

Assessment competencies:
Listening comprehension
Reading comprehension
Spoken interaction
Spoken production
Written expression

Standards alignment: International Baccalaureate Organization
Updated: August 2016

 

IB LITERATURE A SELF-TAUGHT SL
More than 50 languages are available. Students have the opportunity pursue literary studies with a qualified tutor/mentor in a native tongue not normally offered at the school. Recent IB Self Taught languages at the International High School have included: Russian, Norwegian, Czech, and Korean.

FRENCH SECTION
BAC SPANISH INTERMEDIATE – ESPAGNOL LV2
[3 hours per week]
The course description corresponds to IB Spanish Language as described above, but with a specific emphasis on the exigencies of the final French Baccalaureate examination. 

Assessment competencies:
Listening comprehension
Reading comprehension
Spoken interaction
Spoken production
Written expression


Standards alignment: Ministère de l’Éducation nationale
Updated: August 2016


BAC CHINESE INTERMEDIATE – CHINOIS LV2
[3 hours per week]
The course description corresponds to IB Spanish Language as described above, but with a specific emphasis on the exigencies of the final French Baccalaureate examination

Assessment competencies:
Listening comprehension
Reading comprehension
Spoken interaction
Spoken production
Written expression

Standards alignment: Ministère de l’Éducation nationale
Updated: August 2016

BAC ITALIAN INTERMEDIATE – ITALIEN LANGUE VIVANTE II
[3 hours per week]
The focus of this course is on the study and investigation of literary texts that immerse students in as many aspects of the cultural, historical and social life of Italy as possible. These texts (fifteen) must be translated, summarized, retold, and discussed, in order to prepare the students for the French Baccalaureate oral exam in Italian. Students also gain a high proficiency in Italian through practice in all areas of language acquisition. They are required to respond to a broad range of literary and cultural issues, both orally and in written form.

Assessment competencies:
Listening comprehension
Reading comprehension
Spoken interaction
Spoken production
Written expression

Standards alignment: Ministère de l’Éducation nationale
Updated: August 2016


International High School

150 Oak Street

San Francisco, CA 94102-5912

Phone: 415.558.2000

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An independent Pre-K through 12th grade co-educational day school in the heart of San Francisco. The school delivers a rigorous bilingual (French/English) immersion program through middle school, culminating in either French Baccalaureate or International Baccalaureate program in its International High School.

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