Academics
Academic Program

Modern Language

Our teaching philosophy

Teaching the Millennial Student
Falmouth Academy believes that the study of modern languages allows students a greater understanding of the world and its cultures. As global citizens of the 21st century, students must be aware of themselves as part of a global community. Our goal is to help students achieve a level of fluency that allows them to communicate and express their personalities in another language through reading, traveling, or friendships with students from other countries.

French, German, and Spanish

We offer six-year programs in the two major 'source languages' from which the English language is derived: French and German. These two languages reflect the rich connections between the history and literature of those countries and FA students’ coursework in other disciplines. We started to phase in a Spanish program in the fall of 2020-2021.
 
Language Involvement
Students start speaking in the target language from the first day at Falmouth Academy. Teachers are fluent in the languages they teach, many of them native speakers, or have studied extensively abroad. Small classes encourage listening and speaking. Cultural exploration through literature, art, music, film, news, geography, and food fosters a broadening of students' worldview and historical perspective.

Exchange Programs
The Modern Language Department reinforces the practical importance of proficiency in a foreign language through group exchanges. We currently offer exchanges with high schools in Nice, France, and Heidelberg, Germany. These exchanges offer our students the opportunity to use their second language as they host and visit students, attend school with them, and live with their families. Group excursions explore museums, historic sights, industries, and markets in the regions surrounding our partner schools.

French Course Descriptions

List of 6 items.

  • French I, Part 1

    French I, part 1 provides students with an introduction to the French language and to francophone cultures worldwide. Students will speak French daily, expand their vocabularies, investigate grammatical concepts, and increase their cultural competency. Topics to be covered include greetings and introductions, numbers, basic statements and questions, preferences, family, activities, school supplies, and holidays. This class makes use of several online components including VHL Central (the online textbook & workbook), Duolingo, and Quizlet.
    Read More
  • French 1, Part 2

    French I, part 2 builds on the foundations set in French I, part 1. Students deepen their familiarity with the French language and with francophone cultures worldwide. Students continue to speak French daily with an emphasis on conversation and increased fluency. They continue to expand their vocabularies into areas such as food and dining, weather, clothing, vacation, travel, and stages of life. This course introduces students to more advanced grammatical concepts including object pronouns and the past tense. These studies are supplemented by authentic cultural activities, often including presentations by guest speakers and/or a letter exchange with francophone penpals. This class makes use of several online components including VHL Central (the online textbook & workbook), Duolingo, and Quizlet.
  • French II

    Students in this class will begin by reviewing some of the material covered in middle school French classes, such as the present tense, direct and indirect object pronouns, and possessive adjectives, before moving on to more complex linguistic territory such as the passé composé, the imparfait, the simple future, and the conditional mood.   While the emphasis of daily class work is on listening comprehension and oral expression, students will have practice reading and writing French, as well.  Classes are conducted largely in French. In addition to studying the French language, students will spend significant time learning about the cultures of France and francophone countries around the world. 
  • French III

    This course is the direct follow-up to French II. Students will continue to improve their language skills. Special emphasis is given to reading and writing, as French III marks the transition between reading French books adapted for Anglophone readers and authentic unabridged works of literature from the 20th century. Students will be introduced to text analysis and will write their first essays in French.
  • French IV

    By the end of French IV, students will have studied all of the major aspects of French grammar, and acquired a wide base of vocabulary, allowing them to communicate in French on an intermediate to advanced level.  Students will have significant practice listening, reading, speaking, and writing French.  Readings such as short stories, plays, poetry, and other print and online sources, as well as short videos and films, provide material for the exploration of diverse francophone cultures. Importantly, by studying the cultures of francophone countries around the world, students will acquire a level of cultural awareness and appreciation for difference that will benefit them wherever they may go. Students in French IV are eligible to participate in Falmouth Academy's biennial exchange with our sister school in Nice, France.
  • French V

    Students who have completed French IV are encouraged to continue polishing their skills toward true fluency by continuing their language and culture study as seniors. French V students continue to explore the francophone world through literature, film, and online sources. These advanced students are encouraged to participate in establishing the exact program according to their particular interests.

    In any given year, French V students study texts in preparation for attending performances of French works available in the area and read several classics of French literature.  Students can access a wide range of sources to research French culture and find out more about French music, holiday traditions, and current events. Students in French V are eligible to participate in Falmouth Academy's biennial exchange with our sister school in Nice, France. They are well prepared to take the College Board's "French Language and Culture" Advanced Placement exam at the end of the year.

German Course Descriptions

List of 6 items.

  • German I, Part 1

    This is an introductory course into the German language and culture for students entering 7th grade. It is taught mostly in German and places emphasis on aural comprehension and conversational skills.  Students are encouraged to speak in the target language when practicing various topics including introducing themselves, greeting people, telling time, or talking about school, animals, and pets. Learning vocabulary and basic grammatical concepts, as well as developing strong reading and writing skills in German are additional focuses of this class. This is accomplished through a variety of learning tools, such as dialogs, short texts, catchy songs, poems, multifaceted exercises, and video clips.
  • German I, Part 2

    This course is a continuation of German I, part 1. Students expand their listening and speaking skills as well as their writing skills with themes such as hobbies, family, best wishes, and professions. They also continue to learn poems and songs, which emphasize correct pronunciation and sentence rhythm. Students deepen their cultural experiences by learning about traditions or exploring Germany’s geography.  Reading a bi-monthly German magazine enhances the cultural aspect.
  • German II

    German II is an advanced introductory course that includes a brief review and greater expansion of vocabulary and grammatical structures covered in German I, parts 1 and part 2.  German II completes the introduction of the most basic German grammatical concepts with an emphasis on the present perfect tense and more complex sentence structures. This enables students to expand their writing and conversational skills when working on topics such as friendship, shopping, fashion, sports, and living or traveling in Germany. German II students work with a variety of materials including video clips and audio recordings.
  • German III

    This is an intermediate-level course that includes a review and expansion of grammatical structures and active vocabulary. Cases, prepositions, and sub-clauses are reviewed and solidified, and the simple past and subjunctive mood are introduced. Vocabulary becomes broader and enables the students to speak in an increasingly sophisticated manner. Reading and writing assignments increase in length and difficulty, and students take increasing responsibility for making presentations in class and at all school meetings. Reading materials include excerpts from different fiction and nonfiction books, as well as a monthly German magazine. Audiovisual materials, language learning games, and various projects support the learning. Students in German III participate in the National German Exam for High School Students.
  • German IV

    The language component of German IV consists of a comprehensive review of grammar and syntax with an increased focus on more idiomatic and complex oral and written expression. Class discussions – in German – expand the students’ vocabulary and their fluency. Reading materials include prose and poetry about past and contemporary issues, in history, art, literature, and current events. The choice of material is tailored to the students’ interests. Language learning games and various projects support the students in their efforts. Students polish their skills as speakers of German by making presentations in class, at All-School Meeting, or as ambassadors of Falmouth Academy when they take part in the biennial exchange trip to our partner school in Heidelberg, Germany. Part of the curriculum is to prepare students for this trip and to provide them with background information regarding customs and culture, as well as “practical” travel vocabulary. Students in German IV participate in the National German Exam for High School Students.
  • German V

    The goal of this course is to further improve students’ language fluency and literacy. Students learn to express themselves at a high level of proficiency, both in speaking and writing, by reading and discussing unabridged literary works in German.
    Much like English literature courses at Falmouth Academy, the emphasis of this course is on reading with understanding and insight and exploring the many intertwining themes and ideas in class discussions. The choice of material is tailored to the students’ interests. Language learning games and various projects support the students in their efforts. Students polish their skills as speakers of German by making presentations in class, at all-school-meeting, or as ambassadors of Falmouth Academy when they take part in the biennial exchange trip to our partner school in Heidelberg, Germany.
    Students polish their skills as speakers of German by making presentations in class, at all-school-meeting, or as ambassadors of FA when they take part in the biennial exchange trip to our partner school in Heidelberg, Germany.

Spanish Course Descriptions

List of 4 items.

  • Spanish I, Part I

    This is an introductory course to the Spanish language and culture. Through the use of a textbook and authentic material, students discover a language and culture very different from the one in which they currently live. They explore Paraguay, Costa Rica, and Spain in particular. Students learn how to have introductory conversations about themselves, how to describe their school experience, and how to talk about their family and life at home. From the very first day, students will learn words and phrases upon which they will build for the rest of their language career at Falmouth Academy. Through listening, speaking, writing, and reading, students will find themselves becoming more and more fluent as the year progresses. Students from this class will move on to Spanish I, Part 2.
  • Spanish I, Part 2

    This is a continuation of Spanish I, part 1. Students continue to experience all four skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing), with a special emphasis on speaking, so students can move confidently into Spanish II with a solid foundation. In Spanish 1 part 2, students study the cultures of Mexico, The Dominican Republic, and Colombia.
  • Spanish II

    Spanish II is an advanced introductory course that includes a brief review and greater expansion of vocabulary and grammatical structures covered in Spanish I, parts 1 and part 2. Spanish II completes the introduction of most basic Spanish grammatical concepts with an emphasis on past tense and more complex sentence structures.
  • Spanish III

    Description coming soon.

Meet our Faculty

List of 7 members.

  • Photo of Petra Ehrenbrink

    Dr. Petra Ehrenbrink 

    Academic Dean/Department Chair
  • Photo of Christine Carter

    Dr. Christine Carter 

    French
  • Photo of Gundhild Eder

    Mrs. Gundhild Eder 

    German
  • Photo of Bettina Freelund

    Dr. Bettina Freelund 

    German & Learning Support
  • Photo of Jennifer Park

    Ms. Jennifer Park 

    Spanish
  • Photo of Ben Parsons

    Dr. Ben Parsons 

    MS Coordinator/English/French
  • Photo of Pauline Levy Valensi

    Ms. Pauline Levy Valensi 

    French

Global Seal of Biliteracy & AATG German Center for Excellence

Falmouth Academy's Modern Language program credentials with the Global Seal of Biliteracy and its German program is recognized as a Center of Excellence by the American Association of German Teachers.

Learn more about what these designations mean at theglobalseal.com and aatg.org
© Falmouth Academy. All Rights Reserved.