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Modern Languages

You can study Chinese, French, Japanese, or Spanish at Cate.

All students’ courses of study include completion of a third-year course. All language courses are designed to get you participating right from the start and acquire the skills necessary to communicate effectively and work towards fluency.

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Inquiry in Modern Languages

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Language and Culture: Students in this course will further develop intermediate skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing Chinese, as well as engage in cultural enrichment exercises. Exposure to adapted authentic text will complement the interpretive skill of spoken and written Chinese. Students will refine their abilities to speak clearly about a variety of fundamental communicative topics and social situations.  Particular emphasis will be devoted to internalizing more complex grammatical constructions. Class activities will include research projects and presentations on current events and culture in China. Prerequisite: Chinese 3 or permission of the department.

This is an intermediate course in which students develop, refine, and apply the skills acquired in the first two years. Students are required to make numerous oral presentations, read increasingly sophisticated works, and begin to write more fully developed essays. Students demonstrate higher-order thinking and complexity in oral presentations and written work. Honors placement in French is determined by the department.

This course provides an in-depth introduction to Japanese. The classes emphasize the acquisition of the basic knowledge and skills required for effective communication, including grammatical principles, accent, intonation, and pronunciation. Reading and listening comprehension are also stressed, as are writing skills. Students will learn the two syllabic writing systems, hiragana, and katakana, and begin studying kanji. Students in this beginning level learn to tell about themselves and their environment, as well as ask about others’. Although this is a class for those with little or no Japanese language learning background, students speak Japanese from the first day of class. Placement is determined by the department.

Through the study of literature, history, art, and current events, students will develop a strong command of the Spanish language and expand their cultural understanding. A variety of media and materials (such as articles, literature pieces, literary and cultural blogs, videos, documentaries, online news and podcasts, among others) will serve as a platform for students’ exploration of the Hispanic language and culture. This course will focus on students’ development of proficiency in integrating language skills, synthesizing written and aural material, acquiring and analyzing information from authentic sources in Spanish, being able to comprehend different dialects and accents of the Spanish-speaking world, and communicating confidently. This course is taught entirely in Spanish.  Prerequisites: Spanish 3, Honors Spanish 3, Spanish 4 or equivalent, and permission of the department.