Academics
A Notre Dame Education

Modern and Classical Languages

Philosophy

In today's global society fluency in another language is a life advantage. Being able to communicate in a language other than one's own assists in developing responsible citizens of the world community, provides opportunities to appreciate and understand the diversity of other cultures, and provides expanded career opportunities. 

The French, Japanese, Spanish and Latin Clubs provide students with opportunities to experience the foods and traditions of the cultures.  The French Club celebrates French Week with French cuisine and music.  In the Latin Club, students explore ancient Rome's influence in art, architecture, literature, law, and politics, as well as learning about Roman history and mythology and their representation in contemporary media. Students also have opportunities to recreate ancient Roman artifacts through modeling, sculpture, and graphic design. The Japanese Club provides many opportunities to expose our students to the Japanese culture.   

The Spanish Honor Society also hosts Hispanic Culture Week where foods from Spanish speaking countries are served with the added ambiance of Latin music. Students also have the opportunity to use their Spanish language while serving the Spanish-speaking communities of Los Angeles during the L.A. Immersion program. 

Students in the Japanese program can practice using Japanese to communicate with Japanese students online and face-to-face. We have a group of Japanese high school students visiting us every fall. They visit Japanese classes and interact with ND students using both English and Japanese. ND students have an opportunity to host them at home. We have on-going online exchange with Japanese college students who are learning English as well.
 
For the last three years, students also had an opportunity to learn traditional Japanese music and dance with a master teacher during X-period, and performed at the International Cultural Talent Show Assembly.
 
The first ND trip to Japan will take place in summer 2018. We will be visiting Tokyo, Kyoto, and Shizuoka to experience both historical and modern cities, attending a local high school and staying with Japanese host families.

ND goes to Japan


Over the summer students and faculty partook in the first ND trip to Japan. For a week and a half, our students visited temples, shrines, gardens, museums and experienced high school life by visiting a public high school in Shizuoka near Mt.Fuji. On the last day, they visited Musashi University in Tokyo and went to a Japanese spa, where everyone wore kimonos and enjoyed a Japanese style farewell party. It was an amazing trip for everyone!

Courses Offered

List of 28 items.

  • French I

    This course seeks to help students attain proficiency in the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing in a way that makes language learning a meaningful activity. There is an introduction to the geography, culture and customs of French-speaking countries.

    (UC “e” Language)
  • French II

    A continuation of the material started in French I with an emphasis on the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. This course continues the study of the geography, culture and history of French-speaking countries. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Requires a passing grade in French I. Students who have taken a course equivalent to French I for a full year, and who pass a placement exam, are also eligible. Students who earn semester grades lower than C- in French I are strongly encouraged to make it up in summer school before advancing to French II. (UC “e” Language) 
  • Honors French II

    This course, taught primarily in French, follows the same outline of French II, at an accelerated rate, with greater emphasis on verbal, reading and composition skills. These skills are strengthened through supplementary readings which stimulate conversation and vocabulary building. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - A- in both semesters of French I and department approval.  (UC “e”Language pending)
  • French III

    This course, taught primarily in French, seeks to bring students from the novice level of oral proficiency to the intermediate level where they can create with language, participate in progressively more challenging conversations, and communicate successfully in basic survival situations. It stresses the mastery of grammar and vocabulary, the development of reading and composition skills, a more detailed study of French culture, and introduces the student to brief works of French literature. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - C or higher in both semesters of French II (B- or higher recommended). (UC “e”Language)
  • Honors French III

    This course taught entirely in French, follows the same outline as French III but at an accelerated rate, with greater emphasis on verbal, reading and composition skills. These skills are strengthened through a study of extracts of contemporary Francophone literature and articles on contemporary social issues that stimulate conversation and vocabulary building.

    Prerequisites/Comments - A- in both semesters of French II and department approval. (UC “e” Language Honors) 
  • AP French Language

    This course taught entirely in French, seeks to further develop verbal, reading, composition and grammar skills, emphasizing the use of French for active communication. The students will put these skills into practice while exploring history, arts, literature, culture, and current events in the French world. This course prepares students to take the Advanced Placement exam in the French language; all students are required to take the Advanced Placement Language exam. A fee that covers the cost of the test will be charged to each student. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - B- or higher in both semesters of French III and department approval. (UC “e” Language)
  • Japanese I

    This course is an introduction to Japanese language and culture, and it seeks to help students attain novice level of oral proficiency. Students also learn to read and write Hiragana, Katakana, and some basic Kanji. Students are introduced to Japanese cultural aspects, including geography, customs, and manners. 

    (UC “e” Language) 
  • Japanese II

    In this course, students continue learning to use Japanese in the three modes of communication; interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational, to develop novice level of proficiency. Students develop basic reading and writing skills, using Hiragana, Katakana, and more Kanji. Students gain further understanding of Japanese cultural practices, products, and perspectives on daily life topics. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Requires a passing grade in Japanese I. Students who have taken a course equivalent to Japanese I for a full year, and who pass a placement exam, are also eligible. Students who earn semester grades lower than C- in Japanese I are strongly encouraged to make it up in summer school before beginning Japanese II. (UC “e” Language)
  • Japanese III

    This course, taught primarily in Japanese, seeks to bring students from the novice level of oral proficiency to the intermediate level where they can create with language, and communicate successfully in basic survival situations. Language and culture are fully integrated and students distinguish informal and polite speech styles. Students further develop reading and writing skills and learn more kanji. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Requires a passing grade in Japanese I. Students who have taken a course equivalent to Japanese I for a full year, and who pass a placement exam, are also eligible. Students who earn semester grades lower than C- in Japanese I are strongly encouraged to make it up in summer school before beginning Japanese II. (UC “e” Language)
  • AP Japanese IV

    This course, taught entirely in Japanese, seeks to further develop the use of Japanese in three modes of communication; interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational, to develop an intermediate level of proficiency in culturally appropriate manners and in wider contexts. This course prepares students to take the Advanced Placement Exam in Japanese Language and Culture; all students are required to take the Advanced Placement Exam. A fee that covers the cost of this test will be charged to each student. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - B- or higher in both semesters of Japanese III. (UC “e” Language)
  • Latin I

    In this introductory course, students read, pronounce, and understand adapted Latin texts and learn the basics of Latin grammar and syntax, including the five cases of nouns and adjectives, and the present, imperfect, and perfect tenses of verbs, as well as acquire a vocabulary base of approximately 400 words. Additionally, students will make connections between grammatical concepts in Latin and English and determine the meaning of English words based on a knowledge of their Latin roots. To put Latin in a historical and cultural context, students will learn about daily life in ancient Pompeii and Roman Britain and compare it with our own culture as they demonstrate knowledge of ancient Roman mythology, geography, and early history. 

    (UC “e” Language) 
  • Latin II

    In this intermediate course, students demonstrate proficiency in and expand upon the skills learned in Latin 1. They will read, pronounce, and understand adapted Latin, while mastering the uses of the pluperfect tense, imperative and subjunctive moods, passive voice, vocative case, and participles. Students will continue to build their vocabulary base, adding approximately 400 words to the Latin I base. To enrich their understanding and appreciation of Latin, students will explore the culture, geography, religion, and art of Roman Britain, especially at Aquae Sulis, and of first century Egypt in the city of Alexandria. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Requires a passing grade in Latin I. Students who earn semester grades lower than C- in Latin I are strongly encouraged to make it up in summer school before beginning Latin II. 
    (UC “e” Language) 
  • Latin III

    In this advanced course, students will demonstrate proficiency in and expand upon the skills learned in Latin II. They will continue to read, pronounce, and understand adapted and un-adapted passages of Latin, both prose and poetry, while mastering uses of indirect statements and the supine. Grammatical objectives include all active and passive tenses of the subjunctive not learned in Latin II, deponent verbs, and all tenses of the infinitive for use in indirect statements. Students will continue to build their vocabulary base, adding approximately 350 words to the Latin II base. Now that they are reading un-adapted Latin from Classical writers such as Pliny, Horace, Ovid, Vergil, and Livy, students will analyze the content and style of Latin texts, with special attention to figures of speech such as anaphora and asyndeton, and they will scan and read aloud poetry written in hendecasyllabic meter and elegiac couplets. To broaden their cultural understanding of ancient Rome, students will explore aspects of Roman military, religious, and civil culture, including marriage customs, military organization, and public offices. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - C or higher in both semesters of Latin II (B- or higher recommended). 
    (UC “e” Language) 
  • Latin IV Honors

    Having mastered all the elements of Latin grammar, vocabulary, morphology, and syntax, students will read extended passages of un-adapted Latin prose, poetry, and drama, demonstrating their comprehension through translation, critical writing, and class discussion. Works include: Plautus’ Aulularia; Eutropius’ The War with Hannibal; Petronius’ Trimalchio’s Banquet; Ovid’s Metapmorphoses (selections); Perpetua’s Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicity; and passages from the Book of Genesis in the Vulgate Bible. Students will continue to expand their vocabulary, focusing on the words used in particular works. Not only will they analyze and describe the literary aspects of the texts, including figures of speech, rhetorical devices, and poetic meter, but they will also identify and describe how significant political, historical, or philosophical developments influence an author’s perspective. Students will strengthen their writing skills, focusing on thesis construction, development of argument, and appropriate citation of the Latin text. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - B- or higher in both semesters of Latin III.  (UC “e” Language pending) 
  • AP Latin

    In this advanced course, students will read un-adapted Latin poetry and prose according to the College Board syllabus for AP Latin: selections from Caesar’s Gallic War and Vergil’s Aeneid. Having mastered all elements of Latin grammar, vocabulary, morphology, and syntax, students will continue to expand vocabulary, focusing on words used in particular works rather than isolated vocabulary lists, and develop the ability to deduce the meaning of unknown words using context clues, knowledge of root words, prefixes, and English derivatives. In keeping with the objectives of the AP Latin syllabus and exam, students will demonstrate comprehension of un-adapted Latin poetry and prose through translation, critical writing based on Advanced Placement free-response prompts, and class discussion. In preparation for the AP exam, students will strengthen skills of literary analysis in critical essays using appropriate Latin citations, while demonstrating knowledge of the social, cultural, and historical context of the literature on the AP Latin syllabus. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - B- or higher in both semesters of Latin III. (UC “e” Language) 
  • Spanish I

    This course seeks to help students begin proficiency in the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing and serves as an introduction to the geography, culture and customs of Spanish-speaking countries.

    (UC “e” Language) 
  • Spanish I for Heritage Learners

    This course is taught entirely in Spanish and is designed for students who speak Spanish and who have not formally studied the language and its mechanics. The four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing are taught with special emphasis on spelling, syllabification, grammar and writing. Students will also begin the study of the literature, history and culture of Spanish-speaking countries. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Students who are heritage speakers of Spanish and pass a placement exam are eligible. (UC “e” Language) 
  • Spanish II

    A further study of the material started in Spanish I, with a greater emphasis on developing the novice level of proficiency in the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. This course continues the study of the geography, culture and history of Spanish-speaking countries. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Requires a passing grade in Spanish I. Students who have taken a course equivalent to Spanish I for a full year, and who pass a placement exam, are also eligible. Students who earn semester grades lower than C- in Spanish I are strongly encouraged to make it up in summer school before advancing to Spanish II. (UC “e” Language) 
  • Spanish II for Heritage Learners

    This course, taught entirely in Spanish, uses a methodology similar to that used in Spanish I for Heritage Speakers, while reinforcing written accuracy and further strengthening oral proficiency. Written and oral communication skills are also further developed through literary, historical and cultural readings. At the end of this course, students are well prepared to go on to AP Spanish Language and Culture. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - C- or higher in Spanish I for Heritage Learners. Spanish speaking students who pass a placement test demonstrating a specific level of competence in listening, reading and writing are also eligible. (UC “e” Language) 
  • Honors Spanish II

    This course, taught primarily in Spanish, basically follows the same outline of the content covered in Spanish II college prep. It proceeds at an accelerated rate, with greater emphasis on further developing verbal, reading and composition skills. These skills are strengthened through supplementary readings that focus on developing reading and comprehension skills and critical thinking skills, which stimulate conversation and vocabulary building. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - A- in both semesters of Spanish I or B- or higher in both semesters of Spanish I for Heritage Learners. Students must also satisfactorily complete a placement test and obtain department approval. (UC “e” Language) 
  • Spanish III

    This course is taught primarily in Spanish and seeks to bring students from the novice level of oral proficiency to the intermediate level where they can create with language, participate in progressively more challenging conversations, and communicate successfully in basic survival situations. It stresses the mastery of grammar and vocabulary, the development of reading and composition skills, a more detailed study of Hispanic culture, and introduces the student to brief works of Spanish and Latin American literature. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - C or higher in both semesters of Spanish II (B- or higher recommended) or C- or higher in both semesters of Spanish II Honors or Spanish II for Heritage Learners. (UC “e” Language) 
  • Honors Spanish III

    This course taught entirely in Spanish, follows the same outline as Spanish III but at an accelerated rate, with greater emphasis on verbal, reading and composition skills. These skills are strengthened through a study of extracts of contemporary Spanish and Latin American literature and articles on contemporary social issues that stimulate conversation and vocabulary building. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - A- in both semesters of Spanish II or B- or higher in Spanish II for Heritage Learners or Spanish II Honors. Students must also satisfactorily complete a placement test and obtain department approval. (UC “e” Language)
  • Spanish IV

    This course taught entirely in Spanish, seeks to further develop the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, stressing awareness and understanding of the contemporary Spanish-speaking world. This course focuses on motivating students to express and discuss their ideas, interests and experiences in Spanish, using the language for real-life communication. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - B- or higher in both semesters of Spanish III or Spanish III Honors. (UC “e” Language) 
  • AP Spanish Language & Culture

    This course, taught entirely in Spanish, is intended for students who wish to develop proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, composition, and utilization of appropriate grammatical, lexical, and sociolinguistic features. Through the use of authentic materials and sources, the course strives to develop proficiency in three communicative modes (Interpersonal, Interpretive and Presentational) and to meet specific goals of national standards. Through the students’ exploration of numerous Hispanic cultures, current events, and literature, this course provides students an experience equivalent to a third-year college course in Spanish language and a greater cultural and global awareness. Students accepted in the course will be required to do reading, writing, and website activities the summer prior to the fall semester in which they enroll. This course prepares students to take the Advanced Placement exam in the Spanish language; all students are required to take the Advanced Placement exam in Spanish Language and Culture. A fee that covers the cost of the test will be charged to each student. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - A- or higher in both semesters of Spanish III college prep or B- or higher in both semesters of Spanish III Honors. Spanish III college prep students must also satisfactorily complete a placement test and obtain department approval. (UC “e” Language) 
  • AP Spanish Literature and Culture

    This course, taught entirely in Spanish, presents an overview of literary works of all genres by renowned Spanish, Latin American and U.S. Hispanic authors from the 14th through the 21st century. Through the methodology’s focus on the terminology of textual analysis, features of the genres, literary movements, and the global, historical, social and political contexts of the works, students learn to interpret texts and identify different elements of style and their themes. The thematic analyses reveal connections between works across time. Readings and activities expose students to cultural products and perspectives of various Hispanic cultures to broaden and deepen their comprehension of the works studied. Linguistic analyses of these works further promote and strengthen their oral and written expression in Spanish. This course prepares students to take the Advanced Placement Exam in Spanish Literature and Culture, which they are required to take. A fee that covers the cost of the test will be charged to each student. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - B- or higher in both semesters of AP Spanish Language and department approval. (UC “e” Language) 
  • Mandarin I

    This course introduces the fundamentals of Mandarin Chinese and builds skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing. The class begins with the pronunciation system (Pinyin) and the basic principles of Chinese character writing, then emphasizes grammar and vocabulary acquisition, as well as the development of listening and speaking skills. Daily dialogues provide a foundation for improving student’s communication abilities. Students will learn how to use language with topics such as family, friends, food, and school life, in addition to the culture richness of Chinese lifestyle, value, and beliefs. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - This course designed for students with no Chinese language background. (UC “e” Language) (ND elective only)
  • Mandarin II

    This course is a continuation of Mandarin I with more advanced vocabulary, grammar, and sentence patterns. Students will learn to converse, read, and write in modern Chinese about various real life situations including school subjects and activities, weather and seasons, shopping and payment, and Chinese food. Students will also read and study various short stories about daily Chinese life. Students will also write longer essays in Chinese and delve deeper into aspects of Chinese culture and customs. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - This course is a continuation of Mandarin I. Students who have taken a course equivalent of Mandarin I for a full year, and who pass a placement test, are also eligible. Students who earn semester grades lower than C- in Mandarin I are encouraged to make it up in summer school before taking Mandarin II. (UC “e” Language) (ND elective only)
  • Mandarin III

    Concentration on developing oral proficiency is an important part of this course. Extensive study and practice using everyday vocabulary, such as traveling, dining, and shopping, will provide opportunities for improving accuracy of pronunciation and the ability to negotiate real life situations. Reading and writing skills will be taught through reading of short stories, news items, and writing paragraphs. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - This course is a continuation of Mandarin II. Students who have taken a course equivalent of Mandarin II for a full year, and who pass a placement test, are eligible. Students who earn semester grade lower than B- are strongly encouraged to make it up in summer school before taking Mandarin III. (UC “e” Language) (ND elective only)

Faculty

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