Foreign Languages

Oakland Catholic is proud of its tradition of excellence in foreign languages and the fact that we offer one of the most extensive high school foreign language programs in Western Pennsylvania. OC's curriculum offers a complete 4 or 5 year sequence in Chinese, French, Italian, Latin, and Spanish, with A.P. classes currently available in all languages except Chinese. Students are required by the state of Pennsylvania to complete two years of study of the same language. Most colleges prefer to see a 3 or 4 year sequence of study in one language. Given that 98% of our graduates continue their education at the college or university level, the majority of OC students take a minimum of three years of a foreign language. It is important to note that a significant number of OC students pursue the study of more than one foreign language simultaneously, as long as their schedule permits this endeavor.

Chinese

Chinese I

Level - Honors

This course introduces the student to the Standard Chinese language – Mandarin, the basics of Pinyin for pronunciation purposes, and culture of the Chinese people. Listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills are reinforced through daily study. Evaluation includes oral and written assignments, exams, projects, and presentations.

The course is open to incoming Freshmen who have been judged to have the maturity to handle the complexities of the language. For Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors who pursue this course as an elective, not as their principal foreign language course, the student’s current foreign language TEST average must be a 93% or higher, and she must have excellent memory skills to memorize the many Chinese written characters needed for Level One. She must also have the aural ability to tell the differences between the four levels of voice pitch, called tones, used when speaking Chinese. (Upper-level students pursuing Chinese I as an elective are not guaranteed acceptance into the course since scheduling can become an issue.)

Prerequisites: Incoming Freshmen: Acceptance by the Administration; Upperclassmen: A 93% test average in current foreign language course and current language teacher’s recommendation.

Chinese II

Level: Honors

This course continues the development of the language and culture of the Chinese people. Grammar is emphasized through listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, allowing for more creative oral and written expression. Evaluation includes oral and written assignments, exams, writings, projects, and presentations.

Prerequisites: Passing grade in Chinese I and teacher recommendation.

Chinese III

Level: Honors

This course continues the development of the language skills acquired in Chinese I and Chinese II. In this level, the course will place an emphasis on increasing vocabulary to improve higher level conversational speaking, reading, and character writing skills. Oral presentations, classroom performance, homework assignments, and quizzes are major components of evaluation for this course.

Prerequisites: Passing grade in Chinese II and teacher recommendation.

Chinese IV

Level: Honors

This course continues the development and enhancement of Chinese language skills. In addition to increasing vocabulary, higher level conversational speaking, grammar, reading, and character writing skills, this course will also help the student who is preparing to take Chinese SAT II. Progress assessment is done through oral presentations, classroom performance, homework assignments, quizzes, and exams. This course is for the student who is highly motivated and able to work independently at a college level.

Prerequisites: A 90% test average in Chinese III and teacher recommendation.

French

French I

Level: CP

This course introduces the student to the language and culture of the Francophone world. Listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills are reinforced through daily study. Evaluation includes oral and written assignments, exams, projects, and presentations.

All students are required to participate in Le Grand Concours, the National French Exam, for a fee of $5.00 due at the start of the school year.

French II

Level: CP

This course continues the development of the language and culture of the Francophone world. Grammar is emphasized through listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, allowing for more creative oral and written expression. Evaluation includes oral and written assignments, exams, writings, projects, and presentations.

Prerequisites: Passing grade in French I and teacher recommendation.

Honors French II

Level: Honors

This course continues the development of the language and culture of the Francophone world with listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills mastered at an accelerated pace. The course is conducted in French in order to maximize exposure to the target language. Evaluation is more stringent in exams, assignments, projects, and presentations. Since oral work becomes more significant at this level, it is important that the student is comfortable with speaking in French in front of others. All students are required to participate in Le Grand Concours, the National French Exam, for a fee of $5.00 due at the start of the school year.

Prerequisites: A 90% test average in French I and teacher recommendation.

French III

Level: CP

This level provides the continuation of the basic skills acquired in French I and French II with an increased emphasis on speaking, reading, and structural writing skills. Also included are additional reading selections on French culture. Unit tests, participation, homework assignments, journals, and presentations are major components in determining the grade for this course.

Prerequisites: Passing grade in French II and teacher recommendation.

Honors French III

Level: Honors

This course covers the same skills and materials as the College-Preparatory course, but in greater depth and at an accelerated pace. The course is conducted in the target language. Unit tests, participation, homework assignments, journals, and oral presentations are major components in determining the grade for this course. Students must purchase an additional grammar workbook for this class at the end of French II. This book will be used for summer assignments, in CE French, and in AP French, in addition to during French III Honors. All students are required to participate in Le Grand Concours, the National French Exam, for a fee of $5.00 due at the start of the school year.

Prerequisites: A 90% test average in CP French II or an 87% test average in Honors French II, an ease with oral participation, and teacher recommendation.

CE French

Level: CE

This course is taken at a college equivalency level through the University of Pittsburgh. All students enrolled in this course must register with the College in High School program at the University of Pittsburgh and purchase the text package used by the French department at the university. Taught at Oakland Catholic High School, there is a strong emphasis on speaking and listening skills through conversation, discussion, oral quizzes, and the use of the text’s CD’s. There is also a concentration on grammar as students learn to integrate structures learned in earlier levels into both their speaking and writing. All students will maintain a weekly journal of writing assignments. Grades will be composed of journals, tests, projects, and class work. Upon completion and a passing grade, students will receive three credits from the University of Pittsburgh for the third semester of college French as indicated on a transcript from the university. There is a fee of approximately $200 for registration and $100 for texts. All students are required to participate in Le Grand Concours, the National French Exam, for a fee of $5.00 due at the start of the school year.

Prerequisites: An 87% test average in CP or Honors French III and teacher recommendation.

AP French

Level: AP

This course is offered for students who have a strong foundation in the fundamentals of high school French and plan to take the AP French Language Exam at the end of this year. Essentially a college course, it is comparable to an advanced conversation and composition course. AP French prepares the student to take the French Language Advanced Placement Exam in May via reading assignments/discussions of articles and books, journal writing exercises, in-class essays, oral presentations, listening practice with online news reports and structured activities on CD’s, grammar practice with the purchased workbook and teacher provided texts, and numerous other resources. Each student will be required to purchase an electronic version of two AP preparation textbooks at the start of the school year. All students enrolled in this course MUST take the AP exam in May according to the schedule set by the College Board. Students earning an acceptable score on the exam will receive college credit according to standards set by the particular college or university to which the student eventually matriculates. The ebooks cost approximately $40, and the AP Exam costs approximately $90. Students are also required to participate in Le Grand Concours, the National French Exam, for a fee of $5.00 due at the start of the school year.

Prerequisites: 87% average in CE French and teacher recommendation.

Italian

Italian I

Level: CP

This course introduces the student to the language and culture of Italy. Reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills will be reinforced through daily study. Basic grammar and introductory tenses will also be included in the curriculum. Evaluation includes written assignments as well as speaking assignments, exams, projects and presentations.

Italian II

Level: CP

This course continues the development of the language and Italian culture. Grammar is emphasized and developed through listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, allowing for more creative oral and written expression. Evaluation includes oral and written assignments, exams, writings, projects and presentations.

Prerequisites: Passing grade in Italian I and teacher recommendation

Honors Italian II

Level: Honors

This course will cover the same skills and material as Italian II CP while including additional readings, vocabulary, and grammar concepts that are expected to be mastered at an accelerated pace.

Prerequisites: A 92% test average in Italian I and teacher recommendations.

Honors Italian III

Level: Honors

This course offers a continuation of the basic skills in Italian with increased emphasis on developing speaking, reading and structural writing skills. This course completes the study of the basic principles and expands on grammar and vocabulary learned in levels I and II. Reading selections on Italian culture are an integral component of this course along with the development of a writing component. Unit tests, daily assignments, oral recordings/ presentations, as well as projects will be the components on which students will be evaluated.

Prerequisites: A 90% test average in CP Italian II or an 87% test average in Honors Italian II along with teacher recommendation.

Honors Italian IV

Level: Honors

This course will present and explore the Italian syntax as well as other intermediate-level grammar points as they are encountered in the reading of excerpts of various Italian literary works. The student is challenged to be more creative in the use of the language skills acquired, to possess an even deeper appreciation of the Italian culture, and to write and present papers and projects entirely in the Italian language.

Prerequisites: A 90% test average in CP Italian III or an 88% test average in Honors Italian III along with teacher recommendation.

AP Italian

Level: AP

The AP Italian Language and Culture course, taught in conjunction with Italian IV Honors, is based on developing the student’s reading, writing, listening and speaking skills within a cultural frame of reference that reflects the richness of the Italian language and culture. This course will prepare the student to meet the requirements of the Advanced Placement program in the Italian language specific to the guidelines given by the College Board. Students will listen critically to spoken Italian, speak and write essays on many different topics, and are expected to integrate advanced grammar and vocabulary. All students enrolled in this course MUST take the AP Italian Exam in May according to the schedule set by the College Board and the academic policies of Oakland Catholic High School. A student earning an acceptable score on the exam will receive college credit according to standards set by the particular college or university to which the student matriculates. Students may be required to purchase an ancillary workbook at the discretion of the instructor.

Prerequisites: A 93% average in Italian III or a 90-92% average in Italian IV, and teacher recommendation.

Latin

Latin I

Level: CP

Latin I introduces the student to the world and language of the Roman people. Students will begin to read Latin with understanding and confidence, develop some insights into Mythology and Roman History, sharpen and improve English language skills, and increase and enrich their English vocabulary. Participation in the National Latin Exam is required for a fee of $6 due at the start of the school year.

Latin II

Level: CP

Latin II CP continues and expands the objectives of the first-level course. Students continue to read Latin with understanding and confidence, develop some insights into life during the early Empire, sharpen and improve English language skills, and increase and enrich their English vocabulary. Participation in the National Latin Exam is required for a fee of $6 due at the start of the school year.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Latin I and teacher recommendation.

Honors Latin II

Level: Honors

While covering the same skills and materials as the college-preparatory course, Latin II Honors includes additional reading, vocabulary, and grammatical concepts mastered at an accelerated pace. Participation in the National Latin Exam is required for a fee of $6.00 due at the start of the school year.

Prerequisites: A 90% test average in Latin I and teacher recommendation.

Honors Latin III

Level: Honors

Latin III Honors completes the introduction of the Latin grammar and vocabulary necessary for reading with confidence short, authentic selections from the works of Catullus, Pliny, Martial, and other Latin authors. Students will also complete a unit on Medical Latin which explores vocabulary and terms used in the medical profession. Participation in the National Latin Exam is required for a fee of $6 due at the start of the school year.

Prerequisites: A 90% test average in CP Latin II or an 87% test average in Honors Latin II and teacher recommendation.

Honors Latin IV

Level: Honors

Students will read selections of Caesar’s Gallic War, an account of his military campaign in Gaul, and Vergil’s Aeneid, an epic poem recounting the wanderings of the Trojan hero Aeneas. Students will apply the skills of translation, analysis, and critical interpretation to the works studied. The course is open to any Latin III Honors student who meets the prerequisite. Participation in the National Latin Exam is required for a fee of $6 due at the start of the school year.

Prerequisites: An 87% average in Honors Latin III, and teacher recommendation.

AP Latin

Level: AP

This is an intensive course meant for the highly motivated and high performing student. Students will read Caesar’s Gallic War, an account of his military campaign in Gaul and Virgil’s Aeneid, an epic poem recounting the wanderings of the Trojan hero Aeneas. Students will learn to interpret the text and compare & contrast different aspects of the form, structure, or content.

This course is the approximate equivalent of a fourth semester college course in Latin and will prepare students for the AP Latin examination. All students enrolled in this course MUST take the AP exam in May according to the schedule set by the College Board. Students earning an acceptable score on the exam will receive college credit according to standards set by the particular college or university to which the student eventually matriculates. Students must purchase AP exam prep materials at the beginning of the school year. All students enrolled in this course MUST take the AP exam in May according to the schedule set by the College Board. In addition, AP Latin students are required to participate in the National Latin Exam for a fee of $6 due at the start of the school year.

Prerequisites: An 87% average in Honors Latin III/IV and teacher recommendation.

Spanish

Spanish I

Level: CP

This course introduces the student to the language and culture of the Spanish speaking world. Listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills are reinforced through daily study. Evaluation includes oral and written assignments, exams, projects, and presentations. This course has an online component in which students will be expected to complete activities assigned via the online textbook and workbook. All students are required to participate in the National Spanish Exam, for a fee of $7.00 due at the start of the school year.

Spanish II

Level: CP

This course continues the development of the language and culture of the Spanish speaking world. Grammar is emphasized through listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, allowing for more creative oral and written expression. Evaluation includes oral and written assignments, exams, writings, projects, and presentations. This course has an online component in which students will be expected to complete activities assigned via the online textbook and workbook.

Prerequisites: Passing grade in Spanish I and teacher recommendation.

Honors Spanish II

Level: Honors

While covering the same skills and materials as the college-preparatory course, Spanish II Honors includes additional reading, vocabulary and grammatical concepts mastered at an accelerated pace. This course has an online component in which students will be expected to complete activities assigned via the online textbook and workbook. Participation in the National Spanish Exam is required and the $7 fee will be collected at the start of the school year.

Prerequisites: A 90% test average in Spanish I and teacher recommendation.

Spanish III

Level: CP

This course offers a continuation of the basic skills in Spanish with increased emphasis on developing speaking, reading, and structural writing skills. The student is given an insight into the Spanish language and culture in many ways. This course has an online component in which students will be expected to complete activities assigned via the online textbook and workbook.

Prerequisites: Passing grade in CP Spanish II and teacher recommendation.

Honors Spanish III

Level: Honors

This course covers the same skills and material that the college-preparatory course does but additional materials, reading, and grammar concepts are covered. The reading, vocabulary and grammar are of a greater complexity and are mastered by the honors level student at an accelerated pace. This course has an online component in which students will be expected to complete activities assigned via the online textbook and workbook. Participation in the National Spanish Exam for a cost of $7 is also required and will be collected during the first week of classes.

Prerequisites: A 90% test average in CP Spanish II or an 87% test average in Honors Spanish II, and teacher recommendation.

Honors Spanish IV

Level: Honors

This course provides the student with the guidance needed to continue discovering, learning and using the language in meaningful ways. Students express their ideas in both written and spoken form, and listening comprehension is further developed. The grammar review is a tool for communication. Students read and analyze a variety of texts and are exposed to contemporary authors and their writings. This course has an online component in which students will be expected to complete activities assigned via the online textbook and workbook. Participation in the National Spanish Exam for a cost of $7 is required and will be collected during the first week of classes.

Prerequisites: A 90% test average in CP Spanish III or an 87% test average in Honors Spanish III and teacher recommendation.

CE Spanish

Level: CE

This course is taken at a college-equivalency level through the University of Pittsburgh. All students enrolled in this course must register with the College in High School program at the University of Pittsburgh and purchase the text package used by the Spanish department at the University. Taught at Oakland Catholic High School, there is a strong emphasis on speaking and listening skills through conversation, discussion, oral quizzes, and the use of the text’s audio program. There is also a concentration on grammar as students learn to integrate structures learned in earlier levels into both their speaking and writing. All students will maintain a weekly journal of writing assignments. Grades will be composed of journals, tests, projects, and class work. Upon completion and a passing grade, students will receive three credits from the University of Pittsburgh for the third semester of college Spanish as indicated on a transcript from the university. There is a fee of approximately $200 for registration and $100 for texts. All students are required to participate in the National Spanish exam for a cost of $7 which will be collected during the first week of classes.

Prerequisites: A 92% test average in Honors Spanish III and teacher recommendation.

AP Spanish

Level: AP

This course prepares the student to meet the requirements of the College Board advanced Placement Program in the Spanish language. Students listen critically to extended spoken Spanish, speak and write essays on a variety of topics, and integrate and assimilate advanced vocabulary and idioms. The course will also include additional readings other than those found in the AP workbook. Students are required to purchase the AP Workbook for approximately $40. All students enrolled in this course MUST take the AP exam in May according to the schedule set by the College Board. Students earning an acceptable score on the exam will receive college credit according to standards set by the particular college or university to which the student eventually matriculates.

Prerequisites: A 92% average in Honors Spanish IV, or a 90% average in CE Spanish, and teacher recommendation