Academics

World Languages Department

University High School offers a well-rounded world languages program for students interested in studying French or Spanish. Many students also have the opportunity to practice their language skills abroad during high school, either through a January Term class or the IU Honors Program in Foreign Languages.

To graduate from University High School, students must earn six credits (one credit is earned each semester) in world languages.

Top Three Things You Need to Know About World Languages at University

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The overall University High School philosophy dovetails well with the communicative approach used in teaching world languages.

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Small classes at all levels allow for a personalized approach and increased participation.

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Access to a variety of teaching media, including video, audio recordings, and computers, allows for greater exposure to authentic language and cultural information.

2018-19 World Languages Course Descriptions

English as a New Language 1: American Language & Culture

This is an English language course designed for students whose native language is not English. The program includes work in the four traditional areas of language acquisition (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) as well as vocabulary for both everyday life and academics. In addition to daily oral practice, students will complete a variety of writing assignments on topics ranging from life experiences to opinion pieces to research papers. The focus will be on increasing students’ ability to understand spoken and written English, particularly in the academic setting, and on developing their ability to express themselves effectively both orally and through writing.

English as a New Language 2: Advanced Academic Language

This course is designed for students who have experience in an American school setting but whose language skills need refinement. The focus will be on vocabulary building, academic writing, and targeted listening and speaking exercises to enhance linguistic accuracy and support student success in an English-speaking academic environment. All students for whom English is not their native language are welcome in this class.

French 1

This is an introductory French language and culture course and is designed for students who have had little or no previous French study. The course includes work in the three modes of communication (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational) as well as an introduction to French and Francophone cultures. Students will be introduced to the rules of French pronunciation and to the basic structure of the language, including present-tense regular and irregular verbs, gender of nouns and adjective agreement, the use of articles (indefinite, definite, etc.), simple comparisons, basic question forms, and the past and “near future” tenses. Topics of study will include describing people and places, school, food and restaurants, clothing, air and train travel, summer and winter sports, and the weather.

French 2

French 2 is a language and culture course that is designed for students who have had one year of high school French. The program includes work in the three modes of communication (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational) as well as a deeper overview of French and Francophone cultures. After a review of first-year content, students will be introduced to new grammatical structures, including reflexive and reciprocal verbs, direct and indirect object pronouns, the two past tenses (passé composé and imparfait), the simple future, the conditional, and relative pronouns. Topics of study will include daily routines, the arts, health and medicine, technology, banking and postal services, cooking, driving and public transportation, the city, and the country.

French 3

French 3 is a language and culture course that is designed for students who have completed two years of high school French. The program includes a cultural component as well as work in the three modes of communication (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational) with a special emphasis on reading comprehension and vocabulary acquisition. The class is conducted mostly in French. Students will review previously learned grammar structures and be introduced to more advanced structures, including the subjunctive, demonstrative pronouns, interrogative pronouns, possessive pronouns, indefinite expressions, the past conditional tense, and the past perfect tense. Topics of study will include work, travel, leisure activities, housing, technology, French history, nature, and health.

French 4

French 4 is a language and culture course that is designed for students who have completed three years of high school French. The program includes a cultural component as well as work in the modes of communication (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational), with a special emphasis on essay writing and vocabulary acquisition. Students at this level are expected to have already learned the rules of French grammar, including the formation and use of all verb tenses and the proper use of articles, pronouns, prepositions, adjectives, and adverbs. Basic structures will be reviewed as needed, but only the most complex grammatical structures will be taught formally. The course is conducted entirely in French. The main goals of this course are to expand students’ vocabulary and ability to read authentic French literary and non-literary texts, refine their use of French grammar, increase their ability to write formally and speak extemporaneously on a variety of topics, and to improve their understanding of spoken French in a variety of contexts.

AP French Language & Culture

The AP French Language & Culture course emphasizes communication (understanding and being understood by others) by applying interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational skills in real-life situations. This includes vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness. The course is structured around six themes: beauty and aesthetics, contemporary life, families and communities, global challenges, personal and public identities, and science and technology. Students are expected to engage in spoken and written interpersonal communication; synthesize information from a variety of authentic print and audiovisual resources; and plan, produce, and present spoken and written presentational communications. To best facilitate the acquisition of language, the course is taught entirely in French.

Spanish 1

This is an introductory Spanish language and culture course and is designed for students who have had little or no previous Spanish study. With culture as the foundation, the students will work with the three primary modes of communication: interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational. Within these various modes, students will listen, view, and read a variety of authentic materials from the Hispanic world and will learn to decipher meaning and communicate their thoughts and opinions on a variety of topics. Students will be strongly encouraged to speak and write to communicate to other audiences within and beyond the walls of the classroom. Students will also be encouraged to seek out words and phrases that are purposeful and interesting as a means to personalize their learning experience.

Spanish 2

This course is designed for students who have completed one year of Spanish instruction at the high school level or equivalent. Continuing with culture as the foundation, the students will continue their work with the three primary modes of communication: interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational. Students will continue to enrich their vocabulary and utilize it in more complex written and spoken contexts with a variety of audiences. Instruction will primarily occur in Spanish in order to help students acclimate to higher levels of language instruction and further develop their interpretive skills. A wide variety of texts and authentic resources will be utilized as springboards for discussion and interpretation. Students will also be encouraged to seek out words and phrases that are purposeful and interesting as a means to personalize their learning experience.

Spanish 3

This course is designed for students who have successfully completed two years of Spanish instruction at the high school level or equivalent. Utilizing multiple authentic cultural resources, the students will continue their work with the three primary modes of communication: interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational. Students will continue to enrich their vocabulary and utilize it in more complex written and spoken contexts with a variety of audiences. Instruction will primarily occur in Spanish and student production is expected to occur in the target language as well. A wide variety of texts, media, and audio/video resources will be utilized as springboards for discussion, interpretation, and analysis. Students will also be encouraged to seek out words and phrases that are purposeful and interesting as a means to personalize their learning experience as they explore the Spanish-speaking world and its wonders in more depth.

Spanish 4

Spanish 4 is a language and culture course that is designed for students who have successfully completed three years of high school Spanish, the equivalent, or who have placed into this level through examination.  The program’s focus is the continual development of the four skills in language acquisition (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) as well as exploring the cultures of the Hispanic world. Special emphasis is given to the expression of meaningful language in authentic context.  Basic grammatical structures will be reviewed as needed, but only the more complex structures will be taught formally. The main goals of this course are to expand students’ vocabulary and to refine their skills in reading and understanding authentic Hispanic literary and non-fiction texts, to increase their formal writing, and to speak on a variety of topics, and to improve their understanding of spoken Spanish. In order for students to be immersed in meaningful language, this course is conducted almost exclusively in Spanish as to provide authentic input.

AP Spanish Language & Culture

The AP Spanish Language & Culture course emphasizes communication (understanding and being understood by others) by applying the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes of communication in real-life situations. This includes vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness. The course is structured around six themes: beauty and aesthetics, contemporary life, families and communities, global challenges, personal and public identities, and science and technology.  Students are expected to engage in spoken and written interpersonal communication; synthesize information from a variety of authentic print and audiovisual resources; and plan, produce, and present spoken and written presentational communication. To best facilitate the study of language and culture, the course is taught entirely in Spanish.

AP Spanish Literature & Culture

The AP Spanish Literature & Culture course uses a thematic approach to introduce students to representative texts (short stories, novels, poetry, testimonies, and essays) from Peninsular and Latin American Spanish as well as Hispanic literature of the United States. The readings span from medieval to modern times, allowing students to examine the universality of literature and make comparisons and connections through historical and contemporary cultural contexts. Students will explore the interdisciplinary connections between literary works and other artistic forms of expression such as music, painting, architecture, and film. Students will focus on mastering and applying the terminology that textual analysis of literature requires and producing the analysis and interpretation of texts in both oral and written expression of academic Spanish. All of the works from the required reading list for the AP Spanish Literature and Culture exam are read in full text form. All instruction, discussion, and writing are in Spanish in order to support the development of students’ language proficiency necessary for success in the AP Spanish Literature & Culture course and exam and beyond.