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Introduction

Language Acquisition

The goal of the Language Acquisition Department is to prepare students to communicate in and understand languages other than English, using both the spoken and the written word. Through the study of world languages, students will understand the importance and meaning of culture. Language Acquisition learning will enhance students’ knowledge of English, and reinforce and further their knowledge in other disciplines. The study of world languages will prepare students to understand and appreciate diversity in language and culture, both locally and globally, and lead them to become responsible world citizens.

Please Note: The courses and grade levels below represent typical programming pathways. Shaker Heights High School's counseling staff can help direct students and their families to the courses that best fit a student's academic needs.

Program Planning Policy

Language Acquisition courses are sequential and must be taken in the proper order. The Language Acquisition Department Chair must approve any variations in the regular sequence to meet individual needs.

Course Selection

- First-year courses are available to students at every grade level.
- A student must complete Semester I and Semester II to earn one unit of credit in any language acquisition class.
- A student must be enrolled in Semester I of a given language acquisition class during the semester immediately preceding enrollment in Semester II of that language class.
- Language Acquisition teacher recommendations for third- through fifth-year language courses can assist students in making appropriate selections between levels of course offerings.
- Students should recognize that there is often a challenging period of adjustment when they change from one level of instruction to another. There is a distinct difference in materials and in course levels.
- Increasingly, institutions of higher education are making world languages a part of entrance and/or graduation requirements. The Language Acquisition Department encourages students to complete as long a sequence as possible in any one world language, and to choose a second world language as an additional elective.

Seal of Biliteracy

The Ohio Seal of Biliteracy is an award conferred on graduating high school seniors who can demonstrate a high level of proficiency in English and at least one world (foreign) language. For students entering the workforce or the military after graduation, having a Seal of Biliteracy will help employers and military recruiters identify students who can use their language proficiency in a variety of professional contexts. For students applying to college, having a Seal of Biliteracy will bolster their academic credentials. Visit the Ohio Department of Education website for more details

Language Acquisition Experiences Beyond the Classroom

Language Acquisition students are afforded many opportunities to experience world languages and cultures through hosting international students and participating in exchange programs. Students are invited to host students from Chile, Germany, England, France, China, Italy, Greece and Japan. When appropriate, spring and summer study trips and “sister” school relationships provide various exchange opportunities chaperoned by Shaker teachers. The German program offers two immersion learning experiences.  One is a month long study abroad in the summer to earn credit in a WL independent study or a semester long study abroad also for credit. Likewise, the Spanish program offers an independent summer study abroad in Chile.

Courses

Chinese, Mandarin I

Grades 9/10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

Students in Chinese I will develop an appreciation for the history and diversity of Chinese culture. Students will learn to use Chinese Pinyin and to write Chinese characters. Students will be able to talk about basic information in Chinese, such as greetings, numbers, family, time and seasons, colors, etc. Students will learn approximately 300 Chinese characters. Activities will focus on understanding, speaking, reading and writing basic characters in the Chinese language and gaining insights into Chinese culture.

Chinese, Mandarin II

Grades 9/10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

Chinese II will help students learn more about contemporary China and modern Chinese culture. The ability to listen, speak, read and write Chinese characters will be increased through the use of textbooks, visual aids, videos, music and technology. Students will read and discuss ancient Chinese poems and modern novels. Students will learn approximately 500 Chinese words by the end of the school year. This course will focus on the development of conversational skills.

Recommended: Mandarin Chinese I with a grade of C or above or Permission of Department Chair

Chinese, Mandarin III

Grades 9/10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

Students in Chinese III will continue the study of grammar and characters, with an increased emphasis on reading and writing. Students will read and discuss famous Confucius sayings and Chinese idioms. Students are expected to learn 800 characters. All language skills will be reviewed and further developed at a faster pace.

Recommended: Mandarin Chinese II with a grade of C or above or Permission of Department Chair


Chinese, Mandarin IV

Grades 10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

The course will review and reinforce the approximately 800 characters learned previously and introduce 500 new characters. Language skills based on modern Chinese life as well as traditional Chinese culture will be developed. Students will learn the basic knowledge about the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature, traditional regional operas, geography of Chinese provinces and 56 ethnic nationality traditions. Students will also have a chance to read the China Daily news from Chinese websites, and learn about the current policy in China, such as the One Belt, One Road Policy, the New Country Policy, and the Hope Project. By the end of this course, students will be able to make conversation with native speakers and share their own opinion about major popular topics. Students may also be eligible to participate in the assessment to receive the Seal of Biliteracy.

Recommended: Mandarin Chinese III Honors with a grade of C or above or Permission of Department Chair

Chinese, Mandarin V/Chinese B, Mandarin V SL

Grades 11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

At this higher level of Chinese learning, students will be expected to be able to read and discuss daily Chinese news and be able to present ideas on specific topics. They will also read, write and discuss the topics of global challenges, science and technology, contemporary life, personal and public identities, families and communities, and beauty and aesthetics. Language skills will reinforce the approximately 1,000 characters learned previously and introduce 500 new ones. Language skills based on modern Chinese life as well as traditional Chinese culture will be developed. Students will delve further into the study of Chinese culture including geography, history and traditions and customs that are found in all different regions of the world including Chinatowns, Singapore and Malaysia. Students will also have a chance to read the China Daily news, and learn about the current policy in China, such as the One Belt, One Road policy, the New Country Policy, and the Hope Project. By the end of this course, students will be able to make conversation with native speakers and share their own opinion about major popular topics. To receive International Baccalaureate credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must complete the IB Internal and External Assessments.  Students may also be eligible to participate in the assessment to receive the Seal of Biliteracy.

Recommended: Mandarin Chinese IV (or equivalent) with a grade of C or above or Permission of Dept. Chair


Chinese, Mandarin VI/Chinese B, Mandarin VI SL

Grades 12
Full Year – 1 Unit

At this higher level of Chinese learning, students will be expected to be able to read and discuss daily Chinese news and be able to present ideas on specific topics. They will also read, write and discuss the topics of global challenges, science and technology, contemporary life, personal and public identities, families and communities, and beauty and aesthetics. Language skills will reinforce the approximately 1,000 characters learned previously and introduce 500 new ones. Language skills based on modern Chinese life as well as traditional Chinese culture will be developed. Students will delve further into the study of Chinese culture including geography, history and traditions and customs that are found in all different regions of the world including Chinatowns, Singapore and Malaysia. Students will also have a chance to read the China Daily news, and learn about the current policy in China, such as the One Belt, One Road policy, the New Country Policy, and the Hope Project. By the end of this course, students will be able to make conversation with native speakers and share their own opinion about major popular topics. To receive International Baccalaureate credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must complete the IB Internal and External Assessments.  Students may also be eligible to participate in the assessment to receive the Seal of Biliteracy.

Recommended: Mandarin Chinese V (or equivalent) with a grade of C or above or Permission of Dept. Chair

French I

Grades 9/10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

This course is designed for students who have had no previous French. The major emphasis is on the comprehension, acquisition, and use of vocabulary and basic language structures necessary for simple communication. Students will learn where French is spoken in the world and how French cultures compare to American culture. Students will be able to read, discuss and write about family, school and community activities relating to daily life. Emphasis is on all communication skills – listening, speaking, reading and writing.
 

French II

Grades 9/10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

Students will learn new concepts and linguistic structures at an accelerated pace. The four language communication skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) will be further developed. Students will learn about various aspects of Francophone culture and Francophone regions.

Recommended: French I 

French III

French III  
Grades 9/10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

Students will begin to read and write independently and more creatively. Emphasis is placed on mastery of the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing). This will primarily be a communicative classroom where interactive speaking is emphasized.  Additionally, in this course, a consistent effort will be made to summarize and thoroughly review all grammar previously presented. Several new and important linguistic structures will be introduced and developed.

Recommended: French II with a grade of C or above or Permission of Department Chair

French IV/French B, IV SL

Grades 10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

In the IB French SL learners build upon the grammar, culture and vocabulary they have learned in previous French courses. At this level, students are expected to be independent learners who will use previous knowledge to become better communicators with an in-depth understanding of current issues in the francophone world. It is expected that students should be able to function linguistically and culturally in a French-speaking country. We will also emphasize the way in which language influences knowledge as well as thought, and how the world can be perceived differently through the lens of a new language. Through various media (literature, movies, current news, podcasts or magazines), students will examine themes: Identities, Experiences, Social Organization, Human Ingenuity and Sharing the Planet, all through the lens of cultural diversity.  Students will need to have an understanding of different registers of language using a wide variety of texts. To receive International Baccalaureate credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must complete the IB Internal and External Assessments. Students may also be eligible to participate in the assessment to receive the Seal of Biliteracy.

Recommended: French III Honors (or equivalent) with grade of C or above or Permission of Department Chair

French V/French V Advanced/French B, V SL/HL

Grades 11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

Through various media (literature, movies, current news, podcasts or magazines), students will examine themes: Identities, Experiences, Social Organization, Human Ingenuity and Sharing the Planet, all through the lens of cultural diversity with particular emphasis on the Francophone world. Students will be asked to demonstrate mastery of different registers of language in interpersonal and presentational communication. To receive International Baccalaureate credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must complete the IB Internal and External Assessments. Students may also be eligible to participate in the assessment to receive the Seal of Biliteracy.

Recommended: French IV Advanced (or equivalent) with grade of C or above or Permission of Department Chair

French VI/AP French/French B, VI HL

Grades 11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

This course is designed for the IB HL two year student, and the AP student. Students are included in a French V/VI looped class where they will explore different topics while perfecting their French and preparing for the French HL IB or AP exam. One section will be focused on the needs of the IB learner, while another will be focused on the needs of the AP learner. To receive Advanced Placement Credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must take the Advanced Placement Exam. To receive International Baccalaureate credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must complete the IB Internal and External Assessments. Students may also be eligible to participate in the assessment to receive the Seal of Biliteracy.

Recommended: French IV Advanced (or equivalent) with grade of C or above or Permission of Department Chair

German I/IB German I ab initio

Grades 9/10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

Students will learn basic vocabulary and pronunciation, gradually building a foundation in speaking and understanding German. Some reading and writing follow in the natural development of language skills. Students become acquainted with German culture and gain insight into cultural similarities and differences. To receive International Baccalaureate credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must complete the IB Internal and External Assessments. Students who opt for the AB INITIO component will be 11th grade students in the IB Diploma Programme.

German II/IB German II ab initio

Grades 9/10/11/12
Full year – 1 Unit

Students will learn new concepts and linguistic structures at an accelerated pace.  The four language communication skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) will be further developed. Students will learn about various aspects of Germanic culture and German-speaking regions of the world. To receive International Baccalaureate credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must complete the IB Internal and External Assessments. Students who opt for the AB INITIO component will be 12th grade students in the IB Diploma Programme.

Recommended: German I

German III/IB German III ab initio

Grades 9/10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

This course is designed to further the acquisition and production of German communicative structures and strategies introduced in the first two years of German study. All units are strongly contextualized and may focus on German popular culture and history as well as major movements in literature, politics and art. The course emphasizes the use of interactive technology as a bridge between cultures and a tool for achievement. Students continue to improve their skills in listening and reading comprehension, vocabulary knowledge and advanced grammar topics and additional emphasis is placed on speaking and writing in the target language. Many students follow up third-year German with a summer home-stay trip or a semester in Goslar, Germany. To receive International Baccalaureate credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must complete the IB Internal and External Assessments.  Students may also be eligible to participate in the assessment to receive the Seal of Biliteracy.

Recommended: German II with grade of C or above or Permission of Department Chair

German IV/German B: IV SL

Grades 10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

Students will read, discuss and write about current events, literary works and films as they fit into the major themes of global challenges, science and technology, contemporary life, personal and public identities, families and communities, and beauty and aesthetics. Proficiency in speaking and listening and a command of advanced grammar topics are the major foci. In addition to fostering advanced German linguistic ability, the course also emphasizes strong target cultural knowledge. To receive International Baccalaureate credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must complete the IB Internal and External Assessments. Students may also be eligible to participate in the assessment to receive the Seal of Biliteracy.

Recommended: German III (or equivalent) with grade of C or above or Permission of Department Chair

German V/AP German V Advanced/German B, V SL/HL

Grades 11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

This course combines IB SL/HL, Advanced and AP instruction. Students will be assigned to either a German IB or AP loop focusing on the special needs of the IB or AP learner and their selected program.  Honors students may be placed in either loop according to their scheduling needs.  Through various media (literature, movies, current news, podcasts or websites), students will develop language by addressing cultural themes: Identities, Experiences, Social Organizations, Human Ingenuity, Global Issues and Sharing the Planet, all through the lens of cultural diversity and with particular emphasis on the German-speaking world. Students will be asked to demonstrate mastery of different tenses and registers of language in interpersonal and presentational communication. To receive Advanced Placement Credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must take the Advanced Placement Exam. To receive International Baccalaureate credit or AP credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must complete the IB and AP external assessments. 

Required: German IV Honors with a grade of C or higher or permission of the Department Chair



German VI/AP German VI/German B, VI HL/SL

Grades 11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

This course combines IB SL/HL, Advanced and AP instruction. Students will be assigned to either a German IB or AP loop focusing on the special needs of the IB or AP learner and their selected program.  Honors students may be placed in either loop according to their scheduling needs. Through various media (literature, movies, current news, podcasts or websites), students will develop language by addressing cultural themes: Identities, Experiences, Social Organizations, Human Ingenuity, Global Issues and Sharing the Planet, all through the lens of cultural diversity and with particular emphasis on the German-speaking world. Students will be asked to demonstrate mastery of different tenses and registers of language in interpersonal and presentational communication. To receive Advanced Placement Credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must take the Advanced Placement Exam. To receive International Baccalaureate credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must complete the IB Internal and External Assessments. Students may also be eligible to participate in the assessment to receive the Seal of Biliteracy.

Required: German IV Honors with a grade of C or higher or permission of the Department Chair

German Translation

Grades 11/12
Full Year, 1 Unit or 1 Semester, 1/2 Unit 
 
German translation is a 1 semester or 1 year course available to students that have successfully completed German level 4. It can be taken instead of or in conjunction with German level 5 or 6. The course teaches students the principle skills of translation. Translation is a complex process that involves creative thinking, an understanding of context and collaboration. As a part of this course students will learn how to analyze content, explore cultural meanings, and evaluate translation quality. Students will also learn about the variety of digital tools available for translation and how to use them effectively.  
 
Following the introduction to the framework of professional translation, students will spend the majority of the course applying those skills in a collaborative workshop environment. The course will focus on group discussions and peer reviews as we work to translate historic German documents. All documents translated in this course are authentic documents awaiting translation at public nonprofit museums. This year the program will continue the work on translating the historic Max Reiner Memoir.
 
Requirements: Students must have completed German IV with a C or higher, and demonstrated genuine interest and effort in working with the language.

 

Greek I

Grades 9/10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

This course introduces students to the language and culture of Ancient Greece. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of basic vocabulary and grammar, and the recognition of the occurrence of Greek roots in English. Readings will include accounts of a family living in ancient Greece and the tales of Aesop.

Recommended: One year of World Language

Greek II

Grades 9/10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

Students will reinforce their knowledge of Ancient Greek with a review of first-year vocabulary and grammar principles. They will progress in language acquisition, reading comprehension and written expression. Readings continue from the first year and include mythological and historical recounting.

Recommended: Greek I

Greek III

Grades 11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

Students will strengthen and improve their knowledge of Greek culture and complete their survey of Ancient Greek grammar while reading selections from Classical texts such as Herodotus, Plato and later Koine Greek writers.

Recommended: Greek II

Greek IV

Grades 11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

Students will complete their high school studies of Classical Greek by reading selections from the classical master, Homer. We will read selections from The Odyssey and continue to build vocabulary and grammar proficiency.

Recommended: Greek III

Latin I

Grades 9/10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

This course begins the study of Latin, which provides a background for almost all European languages in both its grammar and vocabulary. Latin provides the root forms and the exact meaning of many English words. Roman history, culture, religion and mythology will also be studied to broaden Latin students’ appreciation of their heritage.

Latin II

Grades 9/10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

Second year Latin students will continue their study of syntax and vocabulary while exploring the daily life and culture of Rome. We will read passages of increasing length and complexity which explore life in Rome for a typical Roman family circa CE 80. Students will participate in gladiator and chariot-racing activities. Students will also continue to use Latin roots to increase their English vocabulary.

Recommended: Latin I

Latin III

Grades 9/10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

Third-year Latin students will read a variety of Latin literature and continue their study of grammar, history and culture. The semester of prose literature will focus on the writings of Roman historians of the Late Republic and Early Empire, focusing on selections from Eutropius and Julius Caesar as well as Cicero’s speech against the traitor Catiline. The semester of poetry will focus on the poetry of Catullus, the odes of Horace, Vergil’s epic Aeneid and the Metamorphoses of Ovid. Students may also be eligible to participate in the assessment to receive the Seal of Biliteracy.

Recommended: Latin II with grade of C or above or Permission of Department Chair

Latin IV

Latin IV
Grades 10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

Students will study a wide range of Latin literature in preparation for the IB SL assessments in the current school year, or for the HL assessments in Latin V the following year. In order to receive International Baccalaureate credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, a student must complete the IB Internal and External Assessments.  Students may also be eligible to participate in the assessment to receive the Seal of Biliteracy.

Recommended: Latin III with grade of C or above or Permission of Department Chair

Latin V/Latin V Advanced/Latin V SL/HL

Grades 11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

All Latin V students will be assigned to a Latin V/VI loop. One section will focus on the needs of the IB or Honors learner, while the other will focus on the needs of the AP/or Honors learner. Students will study the AP Latin curriculum, which includes selections from Caesar’s Gallic War and Vergil’s Aeneid in preparation for the AP exam in May. In order to receive International Baccalaureate credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, a student must complete the IB Internal and External Assessments.Students may also be eligible to participate in the assessment to receive the Seal of Biliteracy.

Recommended: Latin IV with grade of C or above or Permission of Department Chair

Latin VI/Latin VI Advanced/AP Latin VI/Latin VI SL/HL

Grade 12
Full Year – 1 Unit

All Latin VI students will be assigned to a Latin V/VI loop. One section will focus on the needs of the IB or Honors learner, while the other will focus on the needs of the AP/or Honors learner. This class will prepare IB HL students for their HL assessment at the end of the year. Additionally, this class will concentrate on written composition of Latin utilizing video recordings, songs, games and story writing to build vocabulary and incorporate grammatical constructions into everyday conversations and writings. In order to receive Advanced Placement credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, a student must take the AP Latin Exam. In order to receive International Baccalaureate credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, a student must complete the IB Internal and External Assessments. Students may also be eligible to participate in the assessment to receive the Seal of Biliteracy.

Recommended: Latin V (or equivalent) with grade of C or above or Permission of Department Chair

Spanish I/Spanish B, I ab initio

Grades 9/10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

This course will introduce students to the Hispanic world. Activities will focus on how to understand, speak, read and write Spanish. Students will also develop an appreciation of the diverse Spanish culture through the use of textbooks, visuals, audio, videos and technology. To receive International Baccalaureate credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must complete the IB Internal and External Assessments in the 2nd year of the AB initio program. Students who opt for the ab initio component will be 11th grade students in the IB Diploma Programme. 


Spanish II/Spanish B, II ab initio

Grades 9/10/11/12
Full year – 1 Unit

Students will learn new concepts and linguistic structures at an accelerated pace. The four language communication skills, (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) will be further developed. Students will learn about various aspects of Hispanic culture and Spanish-speaking regions of the world. To receive International Baccalaureate credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must complete the IB Internal and External Assessments. Students who opt for the AB initio component will be 12th grade students in the IB Diploma Programme.

Recommended: Spanish I with grade of C or above

Spanish III/Spanish B, III ab initio

Grades 10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

Spanish III concentrates on improving students’ ability to communicate in Spanish. The class provides students the ability to master both productive and receptive communication skills with extensive listening, reading, speaking and writing practice. Students will learn about Spanish countries and their customs in more detail. They will read literature of the Hispanic world and review grammar as needed. Most class activities will be conducted in Spanish. To receive International Baccalaureate credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must complete the IB Internal and External Assessments.

Recommended: Spanish II with grade of C or above or Permission of Department Chair

Spanish IV/Spanish B: IV SL

Grades 10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

This course provides an opportunity for students to use their Spanish language skills. They will learn more about Hispanic Culture by studying authentic Spanish resources. They will also refine their reading, speaking, listening and writing skills through the use of visual aids, short stories, plays, novels, music and poems. To receive International Baccalaureate credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must complete the IB Internal and External Assessments. Students may also be eligible to participate in the assessment to receive the Seal of Biliteracy.

Recommended: Spanish III with grade of C or above or Permission of Department Chair

Spanish V/Spanish V Advanced/AP Spanish Language & Culture/Spanish B, V SL/HL/Spanish VI Advanced

Grade 12
Full Year – 1 Unit

Spanish V provides students with the opportunity to communicate in Spanish, using their understanding of Hispanic culture and their knowledge of the Spanish language. Topics explored include personal and public identities, family and community, aesthetics, science and technology, and world challenges. Instructional materials will include books, movies, podcasts, music, interviews and other technology. The fifth-year course is conducted in Spanish and the consistent use and continual improvement of spoken Spanish is calculated as a part of the class grade. Students learn to glean information, find and process main ideas, infer from linguistic, cultural and contextual clues, and synthesize ideas with a view to producing original thoughts on material they have heard or read. In order to receive Advanced Placement credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, a student must take the AP Spanish Exam. To receive International Baccalaureate credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must complete the IB Internal and External Assessments. Students may also be eligible to participate in the assessment to receive the Seal of Biliteracy.

Recommended: Spanish IV with grade of C or above or Permission of Department Chair

AP Spanish Language & Culture/AP Spanish Literature & Culture/Spanish B, VI SL/HL

Grade 12
Full Year – 1 Unit

The sixth-year course is conducted in Spanish with some of the learning delivered to the cohort as an independent and collaborative study. Students will consistently use Spanish to communicate for continual improvement of spoken Spanish. Students will delve into Spanish and Latin American literature through the study of 16 different authors and the historical context ranging from Medieval times through more contemporary works. Students will continue to hone their skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. In order to receive Advanced Placement credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, a student must take the AP Spanish Exam. To receive International Baccalaureate credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must complete the IB Internal and External Assessments. Students may be eligible to participate in the assessment to receive the Seal of Biliteracy.