Foreign Language

The Foreign Language Department focuses on the development of reading, writing, listening and speaking of a second language. While we approach foreign language as a core academic class, requiring mastery of vocabulary and grammatical structures, another important goal is to introduce students to the world beyond their immediate surroundings and experiences. In order to provide our students the cultural context of the target languages, we focus on a global education with an emphasis on studying and appreciating other cultures.

Enduring questions include: Why is language acquisition central to being a responsible global citizen? How does the study of language deepen grammatical understanding and etymological connections? How is geography related to the development of culture and history? How does language exposure broaden communication skills and enhance future opportunities?

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  • What a Grade 8 student will know and be able to do in a foreign language:

    • Students will be able to explain and give examples that translation is not a word-for-word translation but a context-driven understanding
    • Students will be able to write compositions that incorporate the concepts of present, past and simple future tenses
    • Students will be able to read texts applying previous knowledge to decode more complex sentences
    • Students will know the geography of the countries of the target language and how it relates to culture and history
    • Students will be able to deliver an oral presentation with facility and confidence in the target language, maximizing the use of learned content.

Foreign Language Curriculum by Grade

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  • Grade 6

    French
    The grade 6 French course introduces students to the French language and to the culture, history, geography and art of France. Communication is emphasized through the modeling of correct pronunciation and grammar in classroom activities, computer exercises and creative projects.

    Mandarin Chinese
    Mandarin Chinese for Grade 6 students is a basic course for beginning students of Chinese. It introduces Chinese language, including Pinyin, simplified characters and aims to teach communication in both spoken and written Chinese. This class will also introduce Chinese culture, such as food, ethnics, traditional holidays, customs, calligraphy, Chinese style painting, history and geography through learning the language and class activities.

    Spanish
    Grade 6 Spanish students develop their communication skills through the modeling of correct pronunciation, intonation and grammar. An emphasis is put on developing the ability to speak, listen, read and write in the target language. The students also experience an introduction to the cultures and geography of Spanish-speaking countries. We continue to build their knowledge of basic Spanish vocabulary, including simple idiomatic expressions. We study present tense verb conjugations as well as some irregular verbs and the formation of questions and negatives. We focus on the agreement of adjectives and nouns and can differentiate between the definite and indefinite articles.

    Language Arts
    Grade 6 Language Arts class focuses on reading for meaning, writing with clarity and organization and using study skills and strategies effectively. The class addresses the reading of different kinds of information, heightening student awareness of appropriate approaches to the reading of math, history, science and a range of literary genres. Teaching materials and class activities emphasize the application of study skills to the sixth grade curriculum.

  • Grade 7

    French
    Speaking, listening, reading and writing skills are all emphasized in grade 7 French. Students learn to use correct pronunciation and intonation. With the use of CDs, films and computer programs, they have opportunities to model native speakers from several different parts of the French-speaking world. Students learn to understand basic spoken and written French and to construct grammatically correct sentences and paragraphs. The culture and geography of French-speaking countries are emphasized. This course completes the first half of the first level Upper School course.

    Mandarin Chinese
    Grade 7 Mandarin Chinese class introduces students to the official language of the People's Republic of China. Students will learn the fundamentals of listening, speaking, reading and writing the Chinese language, using the Pinyin Romanization system and simplified characters. Students will also acquire an appreciation for the cultures of Chinese-speaking countries in class lessons and activities, and understand the relationship between language and culture. This course completes the first half of the first level Upper School course.

    Spanish
    Grade 7 Spanish not only teaches the basic foundation of grammar and vocabulary, but also instills a sense of importance for culture that influenced and continues to influence the world through music, food, beliefs, religion, history and geography. In short: Idioma es Cultura - language is culture. A study of the history, geography and customs of Spanish-speaking countries enriches the curriculum through projects ranging from group skits to five-minute iMovies. In conjunction with the grade 7 Renaissance Faire, students study the life of Cervantes and present a play based on Don Quixote. This course covers the first half of the Level 1 Upper School course.

    Language Arts
    Language Arts focuses on the skills and strategies for effective reading and writing in the content areas of the grade 7 curriculum. Students may enter the class for the first time as Grade 7 students, or as a continuing student from Language Arts 6.
     
  • Grade 8

    French
    Grade 8 French develops speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, introducing increasingly complex grammatical structures and opportunities for vocabulary enrichment. Objectives include the formation of a basic level of fluency and an awareness of French-speaking cultures. In the spring, students have the opportunity to visit Paris and St Malo, France. This course completes the second half of the first level Upper School course.

    Mandarin Chinese
    Grade 8 Mandarin Chinese continues to build on the fundamentals from the grade 7 course by focusing on advanced listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. There will be an emphasis on writing and typing proper Pinyin and Chinese characters. Also, this course will cover the culture of modern China, including a comparison with Western culture. In the spring, students will have an opportunity to visit China and communicate with local school students. This course completes the second half of the first level Upper School course.

    Spanish
    Grade 8 Spanish continues to develop speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, while introducing more complex grammatical structures. The focus is to continue to strengthen oral proficiency by frequently participating in projects requiring students to practice their speaking abilities and increase fluency in the target language. The study of the culture of Spain and Latin America is an integral part of this course. In the spring, students have an opportunity to participate in a one-week language immersion program in RondaSpain. This course covers the second half of the Level 1 Upper School course.

    Language Arts
    Language Arts focuses on the skills and strategies for effective reading and writing in the content areas of the grade 8 curriculum. Students may enter the class for the first time as Grade 8 students, or as a continuing student from Language Arts 7.
     
Francis Parker School is a private, independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12 from across San Diego County. Founded in 1912, the Lower School is located on the Mission Hills Campus with the Upper and Middle Schools on the Linda Vista Campus. Parker's mission is to inspire a diverse community of independent thinkers whose academic excellence, global perspective and strength of character prepare them to make a meaningful difference in the world.

Mission Hills Campus Lower School

4201 Randolph Street
San Diego, CA 92103
 

Linda Vista Campus Middle/Upper School

6501 Linda Vista Road
San Diego, CA 92111
858 / 569-7900