Academics
Departments and Curriculum

Modern & Classical Languages


The Holderness modern and classical languages department encourages students to achieve comprehension and mastery of a language other than their native tongue. Knowledge of at least one culture different from our own is essential in today’s world. To this end, the school requires two years of study in one language and students are urged to continue beyond this minimal requirement. No single method or theory of language instruction is exclusively advocated by the department. Thoroughness of learning is the common emphasis. Students improve their ability to speak, listen, read, and write by using the language in the classroom as much as possible.


For Parents and Students

Wondering how to order all Spanish texbooks, and Levels 1 and 2 French textbooks for the 2016-17 school year? Click here!





Modern & Classical Languages Course Descriptions

  • French 1

    The goals of the first two years of French are to develop concurrently the basic skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension, and to expose the student to the culture of the francophonic world. At the more advanced levels, the department emphasizes the development of reading and writing skills through the study of literature and current cultural texts, while continuing to provide grammar review. An Advanced Placement course is offered to qualified students with the permission of the department and the Dean of Academic Affairs.

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    Note: Students will need both a book and access to the Supersite (ISBN: 978-1-62680-264-3)If you purchase a used textbook, you need to buy an access code which is Supersite plus the V-Text Code (ISBN: 978-1-62680-215-5). You do not need the E-cahier. Please use the following Supersite access code if you are purchasing a used book: 978-1-62680-227-8
    Click on the book(s) above for direct purchasing options. Please note: if you would like to find the books through another vendor, be sure to take note of the exact ISBN numbers so you/your child has the correct book for class.
  • French 2

    The goals of the first two years of French are to develop concurrently the basic skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension, and to expose the student to the culture of the francophonic world. At the more advanced levels, the department emphasizes the development of reading and writing skills through the study of literature and current cultural texts, while continuing to provide grammar review. An Advanced Placement course is offered to qualified students with the permission of the department and the Dean of Academic Affairs.

    Order Your Textbook(s)

    www.vhlcentral.com
    Note: Students will need both a book and access to the Supersite (ISBN: 978-1-62680-276-6)Please use the following Supersite access code if you are purchasing a used book: 978-1-62680-227-8

    Click on the book(s) above for direct purchasing options. Please note: if you would like to find the books through another vendor, be sure to take note of the exact ISBN numbers so you/your child has the correct book for class.
  • French 3

    French 3 is an intermediate course in French language and culture, bridging the levels of beginning language to advanced study. During the year, students continue their study of French grammar and become more proficient at interpreting, reading, speaking and writing directly in the language. Students also continue their study of French and francophone cultures around the world.

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    Note: Students will need both a book and access to the Supersite (ISBN: 978-1-62680-288-9)Please use the following Supersite access code if you are purchasing a used book: 978-1-62680-239-1

    Click on the book(s) above for direct purchasing options. Please note: if you would like to find the books through another vendor, be sure to take note of the exact ISBN numbers so you/your child has the correct book for class.
  • French 4

    French 4 continues the study of French language and serves as the preparatory year for Advanced Placement French Language and Culture. Students develop greater proficiency in the details of French language through the study of advanced grammar, readings, discussion, and composition. The goals of the course are to develop the ability to discuss one's ideas coherently and logically in spoken and written French and to deepen one's knowledge and understanding of French civilization and francophone culture through readings in French and francophone literature.

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    *Please make sure the Graded French Reader is a 4th Edition.

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  • AP French Language and Culture

    The AP French Language and Culture course emphasizes continued language acquisition, communication skills, and cultural knowledge and understanding.  The course will be conducted exclusively in French, and students will practice on a daily basis their interpersonal, interpretive and presentational modes of communication and expression.  The course organizes the study of literature, current events, and cultural topics under the umbrella of the six College Board designated themes:  Science and Technology, Contemporary Life, Global Challenges, Aesthetics and Beauty, Family and Communities, and Private and Public Identities.  Students are required to take the AP exam in May.

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  • French Culture

    This semester-long course will survey French culture from the French Revolution to modern times through literature, art, and film. The course will follow an historical chronology and will present important events and socio-cultural elements from a francophone perspective. For each time period, students will learn a general history, read one or two excerpts from literature, study a few works of art, and see one film. They will compare the francophone perspective with their American experience through discussion and composition in French. This course is recommended for students who have completed French 3 or French 4.

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  • Modern Francophone Literature

    The course will present literature that expresses the history and culture of the following overseas departments: Martinique, Guadeloupe, La Réunion, Tahiti, and Corsica. Students will research the history of the department and read selections from authors native to each department. Current political and socio-economic events from the francophone world will be incorporated into the class discussions. Readings and discussions will be conducted entirely in French. This is a semester course and is recommended for students who have successfully completed French 4 and/or AP French Language and Culture.

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  • Latin 2

    In the second year of Latin, students build upon the work of the first year and are presented with more advanced grammar and training in organizing a burgeoning system of Latin declensional endings and verb conjugations. With growing reading proficiency, students are able to read selections from the Vulgate Bible as well as articles from Nuntii Latini, a weekly news summary in Latin. The year ends with an introduction to the subjunctive mood.

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  • Latin 3

    Third and fourth year Latin are the reading years, and the focus shifts from the building blocks of vocabulary and grammar to understanding the art of translation and the world of Latin literature. At the beginning of the third year, regardless of what grammar remains to be learned, we launch immediately into reading a Latin text. Concurrent with reading, the first months are filled with ongoing review, and any new grammar not covered in the first two years is explored and learned as it arises in context in the readings. Texts read in the third year include excepts from Satyricon of Petronius (a graded reader subtitled “The Millionaire’s Dinner Party”), Caesar’s De Bello Gallico, and Ovid’s tale of Pyramus and Thisbe from Metamorphoses.

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  • Latin 4

    Fourth year Latin is a continuation of an exploration of Latin literature. We begin the year with a number of letters of Pliny the Younger. With Pliny, we also use the Penguin translation alongside the text to examine more closely the difference between literal and literary translating. Texts for the remainder of the year vary according to student interest and have included works of Horace, Cicero, Vergil, Catullus, and Livy, as well as some mediaeval authors. Often, the year will end with an introduction to the AP syllabus of the following year.

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  • AP Latin

    AP Latin at Holderness is offered to any student whose proficiency with the language has risen to the appropriate level. Successful completion of the fourth year course (or an equivalent program) and recommendation of the instructor are prerequisites for acceptance into AP Latin. See the College Board course description for more information.

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  • Mandarin Chinese 1

    The goals of the Mandarin Chinese program are to develop basic skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension, and to expose students to the culture of China. Students enrolled in Mandarin Chinese will spend time focusing on fundamental skills of vocabulary, syntax, character recognition and drawing, and tonal recognition and pronunciation. Each successive course builds on the work done in previous years, leading to linguistic and cultural proficiency in the intermediate and advanced courses.

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    Textbook information coming soon.
  • Mandarin Chinese 2

    The goals of the Mandarin Chinese program are to develop basic skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension, and to expose students to the culture of China. Students enrolled in Mandarin Chinese will spend time focusing on fundamental skills of vocabulary, syntax, character recognition and drawing, and tonal recognition and pronunciation. Each successive course builds on the work done in previous years, leading to linguistic and cultural proficiency in the intermediate and advanced courses.

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    Textbook information coming soon.
  • Mandarin Chinese 3

    The goals of the Mandarin Chinese program are to develop basic skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension, and to expose students to the culture of China. Students enrolled in Mandarin Chinese will spend time focusing on fundamental skills of vocabulary, syntax, character recognition and drawing, and tonal recognition and pronunciation. Each successive course builds on the work done in previous years, leading to linguistic and cultural proficiency in the intermediate and advanced courses.

    Order Your Textbook(s)
    Textbook information coming soon.
  • Mandarin Chinese 4

    The goals of the Mandarin Chinese program are to develop basic skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension, and to expose students to the culture of China. Students enrolled in Mandarin Chinese will spend time focusing on fundamental skills of vocabulary, syntax, character recognition and drawing, and tonal recognition and pronunciation. Each successive course builds on the work done in previous years, leading to linguistic and cultural proficiency in the intermediate and advanced courses.

    Order Your Textbook(s)
    Textbook information coming soon.
  • Spanish 1

    The aim of the first two years of Spanish is to help students achieve a mastery of basic written and spoken language, and to introduce Spanish and Hispanic history and culture. The Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 courses stress vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and pronunciation. Students and teachers use internet sources alongside the textbook to engage with real-life situations, current events and to look at the cultural differences and similarities between what we study and the students' own experiences.

    Order Your Textbook(s)

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    Note: Students will need both a book and access to the Supersite. Please use the following Supersite access code if you are purchasing a used book: 978-1-61857-216-5

    Click on the book(s) above for direct purchasing options. Please note: if you would like to find the books through another vendor, be sure to take note of the exact ISBN numbers so you/your child has the correct book for class.
  • Spanish 2

    The aim of the first two years of Spanish is to help students achieve a mastery of basic written and spoken language, and to introduce Spanish and Hispanic history and culture. The Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 courses stress vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and pronunciation.  Students and teachers use internet sources alongside the textbook to engage with real-life situations, current events and to look at the cultural differences and similarities between what we study and the students' own experiences.

    Order Your Textbook(s)

    www.vhlcentral.com
    Note: Students will need both a book and access to the Supersite. Please use the following Supersite access code if you are purchasing a used book: 978-1-61857-218-9

    Click on the book(s) above for direct purchasing options. Please note: if you would like to find the books through another vendor, be sure to take note of the exact ISBN numbers so you/your child has the correct book for class.
  • Spanish 3

    In the third and fourth years, students continue to expand their working vocabularies and grammatical understanding, and focus on writing and speaking with fluidity and idiomatic language. Students will study not only literary selections in Spanish, but will also use current events, pop culture, art and historical events to practice the language and increase their cultural understanding of the many Spanish-speaking regions of the world. These courses are conducted almost exclusively in Spanish.

    Order Your Textbook(s)

    Note: Students will need both a book and access to the Supersite. Please use the following Supersite access code if you are purchasing a used book: 978-1-61857-220-2

    Click on the book(s) above for direct purchasing options. Please note: if you would like to find the books through another vendor, be sure to take note of the exact ISBN numbers so you/your child has the correct book for class.
  • Spanish 4

    In the third and fourth years, students continue to expand their working vocabularies and grammatical understanding, and focus on writing and speaking with fluidity and idiomatic language.  Students will study not only literary selections in Spanish, but will also use current events, pop culture, art and historical events to practice the language and increase their cultural understanding of the many Spanish-speaking regions of the world.  These courses are conducted almost exclusively in Spanish.

    Order Your Textbook(s)

    Note: Students will need both a book and access to the Supersite. Please use the following Supersite access code if you are purchasing a used book: 978-1-61857-887-7

    Click on the book(s) above for direct purchasing options. Please note: if you would like to find the books through another vendor, be sure to take note of the exact ISBN numbers so you/your child has the correct book for class.
  • AP Spanish Language

    The AP Spanish Language and Culture course emphasizes continued language acquisition, communication skills, and cultural knowledge and understanding. The course will be conducted exclusively in Spanish, and students will practice on a daily basis their interpersonal, interpretive and presentational modes of communication and expression. The course organizes the study of literature, current events, and cultural topics under the umbrella of the six College Board designated themes: Science and Technology, Contemporary Life, Global Challenges, Aesthetics and Beauty, Family and Communities, and Private and Public Identities. Students are required to take the AP exam in May.

    Order Your Textbook(s)

    Note: Students will need both a book and access to the SupersitePlease use the following Supersite access code if you are purchasing a used book: 978-1-61857-226-4

    Click on the book(s) above for direct purchasing options. Please note: if you would like to find the books through another vendor, be sure to take note of the exact ISBN numbers so you/your child has the correct book for class.
  • AP Spanish Literature

    The AP Spanish Literature and Culture course is a survey of Spanish and Hispanic literary works ranging from the 13th century to the 21st century. Students read and analyze poetry, prose, essays and theater pieces from several time periods, including such notable works as Cervantes' El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha (excerpts), Lorca's La casa de Bernarda Alba, and poetry by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. Students refine their analytical writing skills through comparative essays and shorter, interpretive pieces. Much of the class time is spent discussing the readings; students thus hone their speaking skills as well. The class is conducted exclusively in Spanish. Students are required to take the AP exam in May.

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    If you purchase a used textbook, make sure there is no writing in it.

    Click on the book(s) above for direct purchasing options. Please note: if you would like to find the books through another vendor, be sure to take note of the exact ISBN numbers so you/your child has the correct book for class.
  • Protestas

    In this course, students will study a variety of sociopolitical issues through the lens of protests in literature, art, and film as well as reports in the media. The protests we study may or may not have roots specifically in Spanish or Latin American countries and cultures, but their expression will be in the Spanish language, and most will have been created by Spanish, Latino or Latin American artists. All work for the class will be conducted in Spanish. This is a semester length course.

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View Our Curriculum

Faculty

  • Kristen Fischer

    Languages Department Chair & Director of Instructional Services
    (603) 779-5323
    Middlebury College (VT) - MA
    Middlebury College (VT) - BA
    Needham High School
    Bio
  • Jean Henchey

    Spanish Faculty
    (603) 779-5318
    Rutgers University - MAT
    Plymouth State University (NH) - BA
    University of Maryland
    American High School of Barcelona, Spain
    Bio
  • Douglas Kendall

    Latin Faculty
    (603) 779-5314
    St. John's College (NM) - MALA
    U of Montana - BA
    Bio
  • Jay Kourkoulis

    French & Mathematics Faculty
    Bio
  • Amelia Ortiz

    Mandarin Chinese Faculty
    Williams College - BA Chinese and International Relations
    Bio
  • Janice Pedrin-Nielson

    French Faculty & Community Service Coordinator
    (603) 779-5313
    Smith College (MA) - MAT
    Middlebury College (VT) - AB
    Bio
  • Tobi Pfenninger

    Spanish Faculty, International Student Coordinator & Dean of Faculty
    (603) 779-5306
    Plymouth State University (NH) - BA
    University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign - M.Ed.
    Bio
  • Kelly Pope

    Spanish Faculty
    (603) 779-5317
    Governor Dummer Academy
    Bowdoin College - Bachelor of Arts Spanish
    Bio
Holderness School
33 Chapel Lane, Holderness NH, 03245
mail P.O Box 1879 Plymouth, NH 03264-1879
phone (603) 536-1257