Pennsylvania’s leading Catholic Day School for Boys, Grades 9-12

World Languages

La Salle students often think of 8605 Cheltenham Avenue as a second home, a place where they feel connected, where they understand others, and where they are understood.  It is our hope, as educators, that our students leave our campus ready to lead organizations with the values they have learned from their home here at La Salle; that they become heads of households, so to speak, that stand for compassion, inclusion, and respect for others.  With languages, our students will not only feel at home, but they will build homes for their communities unbound by geographic or linguistic restrictions.

“With languages, you are at home anywhere.”  This quote from British artist and author Edmund de Waal speaks to the power of language learning. 

But home construction is not easy.  Besides the dedication and hard work required of any technical skill, learning a language requires students to express ideas in new, different, and previously inconceivable ways.  Students must trigger the imagination of their childhood and constantly adapt their new and swirling knowledge to communicate clear and precise ideas.  They must also learn to listen, and deeply so.  While studying new vocabulary and language structures, students are also learning to listen to stories of people and places very different from their own, thereby growing their own cultural competency.  Though cultivating this skill takes time, it results in a student who communicates with empathy and an understanding of broader cultural contexts. 

And we, as the World Language Department at La Salle, have the team to get you home.  With a combined 206 years in the classroom, an average of just about 17 years per department member, teaching languages is an essential part of who we are.  We understand that learning language isn’t only about drills, homework, and grammar, but that it’s also about sharing stories of our first-hand experiences in places like Vietnam, China, France, England, Ireland, Spain, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Colombia, the list goes on.  And despite many years abroad and in the classroom, we continue to be students of language ourselves.  We are happy to accompany and guide our students on the lifelong quest to be at home, wherever that may be.      

World Languages Faculty

Mrs. Lastenia Breen

Mrs. Lastenia Breen

Ms. Yixiao Chen

Ms. Yixiao Chen

Mr. Michael Clemente

Mr. Michael Clemente

Mr. Nicholas Coggins

Mr. Nicholas Coggins

Mr. Benjamin Courtney

Mr. Benjamin Courtney

Mr. William Geiger

Mr. William Geiger

Mrs. Carmen Guevara

Mrs. Carmen Guevara

Mr. Stephen Horvath

Mr. Stephen Horvath

Mr. Simon Pinder

Mr. Simon Pinder

Mrs. Nary Smith

Mrs. Nary Smith

Ms. Elizabeth Wood

Ms. Elizabeth Wood

Mrs. Jennifer Worthington

Mrs. Jennifer Worthington

World Language Courses Offered

Spanish 1 (Freshman)

This proficiency-oriented course focuses on developing the language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The principal objectives of the course include practicing learned oral language skills in structured conversation, acquiring a strong foundation in Spanish vocabulary and grammar, and becoming familiar with the varied aspects of Hispanic culture.

1 Credit/full year

Spanish 2 (Freshman / Sophomore)

This course continues the development of proficiency in the basic language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The Spanish 2 course builds on the language and grammar that was taught in the first year. The study of Hispanic culture is continued. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Spanish 1 or equivalent.

1 Credit/full year

Spanish 2 Honors (Freshman / Sophomore)

This course continues the development of proficiency in the basic language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The foundation of vocabulary and grammar of the Spanish 1 course is built upon. The study of Hispanic culture is continued. The content is similar to that of the regular Spanish 2 course, but the pace is accelerated, the expectation of classroom participation is higher, the evaluation of all skills, including oral proficiency, is stricter, and supplementary materials are added. Prerequisite: Final average of A- or higher in Spanish 1 and teacher recommendation.

1 Credit/full year

Spanish 3 (Sophomore / Junior)

Spanish 3 immerses the student in a primarily Spanish-speaking environment by following the proficiency-based series utilized in Spanish 1 and 2. It is a course that completes the three-year sequence of the textbook series used in Spanish 1 and 2. Students progress from tightly guided exercises to less structured tasks in such a way that independence and confidence in oral and written communication are gradually achieved. At the Language 3 level, the students’ exploration of Culture (music, art, literature, and history) and everyday life continues to be integrated with their acquisition of language. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Spanish 2.

1 Credit/full year

Spanish 3 Honors (Sophomore / Junior)

The Spanish 3 Honors course is for the highly motivated student. The course continues the high expectations of the Honors program. This challenging course is conducted almost entirely in Spanish and students are expected to respond accordingly. Class participation is an important component. Accuracy of grammar, pronunciation and comprehension are emphasized. This course is a prerequisite for the Advanced Placement course, which ideally is taken in the student’s senior year. Culturally, students are exposed to a wider range and variety of topics and begin to read longer and more complicated literary selections. Prerequisite: Final average of B+ or higher in Spanish 2 Honors and teacher’s recommendation.

1 Credit/full year

Spanish 4 (Junior / Senior)

The main goals of this course are to further the student’s proficiency in listening comprehension, conversation, reading and writing. Through videos, selected readings, and discussion, the student learns about the diversity of the people, customs, and cultural heritage of the Spanish-speaking countries, and also refines his pronunciation. There is an emphasis on learning to use the spoken and written language for everyday communication. Emphasis is also placed on learning about and understanding the culture and history of the countries where the language is spoken. The course includes a review of grammar where necessary and also explanations and practice of advanced grammar not included in the first three levels of study. Prerequisite: Final average of C in Spanish 3 and teacher’s recommendation.

1 Credit/full year

Spanish 4 Honors (Junior / Senior)

This honors course serves as a capstone experience for the students who have navigated the first three levels of Spanish, including Spanish 3 Honors, with great success. Qualified juniors should take this course in preparation for AP Spanish in their senior year. The students will continue to develop all four language skills, with an emphasis on speaking and listening, as well as analyzing some of the more advanced grammatical structures. Cultural themes (e.g., music, film, art, and literature), current events and social justice issues in the Spanish-speaking world will be the context for the course. Spontaneous and interactive conversation, as well as varied performance assessments, will challenge the students. Prerequisite: Final average of B+ or higher in Spanish 3 Honors and teacher’s recommendation. *NOTE: This course is the preferred sequence for sophomores in Spanish 3 Honors. They may then take AP Spanish or Spanish 5 in their senior year.

1 Credit/full year

Advanced Placement Spanish (Senior)

The equivalent of a 300-level college course in Spanish conversation and composition, this course prepares the student to take the Advanced Placement examination of the College Board. The course stresses oral skills, listening comprehension, reading comprehension and composition in Spanish presented within the framework of Hispanic cultures. It offers academic, social and cultural insights so as to prepare students to think critically, to compare and contrast perspectives and practices between English-speaking and Spanish-speaking people. Extensive reading of and listening to authentic sources are used to engage student in the communicative tasks of making cultural connections and comparisons Note: As with all Advanced Placement courses at La Salle, students are expected to take the A.P. exam in May. 33 Prerequisite: Final average of A in Spanish 4 or A- or higher in Spanish 3 Honors or B+ or higher in Spanish 4 Honors, teacher’s recommendation, and completion of required summer work.

1 Credit/full year

Spanish 5 (Independent Study, Senior)

Spanish 5 is a literature course intended for students who have completed Spanish 4 Honors or AP Spanish in their junior year. There is a continued emphasis on developing proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish. . Prerequisite: Final average of A or higher in Spanish 4, B+ or higher in Spanish 4 Honors or AP Spanish, and teacher’s recommendation.

1 Credit/full year

French 1 (Freshman)

This course stresses basic grammar, practical vocabulary, and sentence structure with the aim of communication. The four basic skills are emphasized throughout the year: listening, speaking, reading and writing. The focus of this class is on real-life language use, the integration of French and Francophone culture and language. During class time, students should expect to engage in group and pair work, and to actively participate in class.

1 Credit/full year

French 2 (Freshman / Sophomore)

French 2 continues the development of basic proficiency in the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing French. Through the video and CD program, students see and hear young French people going about their daily lives in Paris and other areas in France and the French-speaking world. The textbook and workbooks provide practical reading and writing practice. Prerequisite: Successful completion of French 1 or equivalent.

1 Credit/full year

French 3 (Sophomore / Junior)

This course continues to offer opportunities to improve the students’ abilities in listening, speaking, reading and writing in French. Vocabulary is expanded, and students learn to express attitudes and opinions and to exchange information in a more complex manner using varied structures and expressions. Students continue to study on real-life language use, the integration of French and Francophone cultures and language along with the more advanced grammatical concepts. During class time, students should expect to engage in group or pair work. Prerequisite: Successful completion of French 2.

1 Credit/full year

French 3 Honors (Sophomore / Junior)

In addition to the accomplishing the French 3 goals, T the French 3 (H) student (1) demonstrates effective linguistic understanding and performance within given contexts for specific purposes; (2) takes risks when expressing himself in the language; (3) works toward and achieves higher levels of accuracy in using the basic structures of the language; (4) appreciates and can articulate the cultural contributions of different linguistic communities; (5) consistently exceeds the requirement when expressing himself in speaking and writing. Prerequisite: A- in French 2.

1 Credit/full year

French 4 (Senior)

This course furthers the student’s proficiency in writing, conversation, reading and listening. Through videos, selected readings, and discussions, the student learns about the diversity of the people, customs, and cultural heritage of French-speaking countries, and also refines his pronunciation. The focus of this class is on real-life language use, through the integration of French and French culture. Prerequisite: Successful completion of French 3.

1 Credit/full year

French 4 Honors (Senior)

In this course students continue to develop proficiency in writing, speaking reading and listening. The four basic skills are emphasized throughout the year as students expand their vocabulary while mastering more complex grammatical structures and creative writing. Students learn to write paragraphs and short essays through directed writing activities. Readings include short stories, poems, newspapers and movies which give students understanding of and insight into French history and culture. The focus of this class is on real-life language use, the integration of French and Francophone cultures and language. During class time, students should expect to engage in group or pair work. Prerequisite: Final average of B or higher in French 3, and teacher’s recommendation.

1 Credit/full year

Advanced Placement French (Junior / Senior)

The equivalent of a 300 level college course in French conversation and composition, this course prepares the student to take the Advanced Placement examination of the College Board. The course stresses oral skills, listening comprehension, reading comprehension, and composition in French within the framework of French-speaking culture. Note: As with all Advanced Placement courses at La Salle, students are expected to take the A.P. exam in May.

1 Credit/full year

French 5 (Independent Study, Senior)

This is an independent study course intended for students who have completed French 4 in their junior year. The focus of the course is on French history, literature, poetry, film and culture. There is a continued emphasis on developing proficiency in speaking, reading and writing French. Students meet regularly with the teacher to discuss reading and audio-visual assignments, develop proficiency in conversation and to reinforce advanced grammar. Students are expected to complete reading assignments and watch the relevant films during the summer break prior to the start of the course. Prerequisite: Final average of B in French 4, and teacher’s recommendation.

1 Credit/full year

Latin 1 (Freshman)

This course offers the students a chance to study a language and culture that has heavily influenced the English language for more than 2000 years. The students will read Latin selections which slowly build their confidence and vocabulary until they are able to read and understand the Latin with a minimum of translation. Additional oral work is given in class to enhance the text, and students learn much about Roman culture and history from their reading. Vocabulary and graded grammar work is stressed and students come away from Latin 1 with a stronger command of English vocabulary through the study of derivatives from Latin.

1 Credit/full year

Latin 2 (Sophomore)

Latin 2 is an intermediate course which features a heavier emphasis on grammar and vocabulary. Latin 2 includes increased work in verb forms, including the perfect tense and the passive voice, and throughout the year a cultural emphasis is placed upon Greco/Roman mythology along with Roman history. Vocabulary continues to be an important component of the course, and students will work with forms that they’ll see again in Caesar and other Roman writers. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Latin 1.

1 Credit/full year

Latin 2 Honors (Sophomore)

Latin 2 Honors is an honors course which takes the material in the regular intermediate course and moves it along at a faster rate, and additionally covers the cultural material in the text for which a regular course cannot find time. Like Latin 2 it features a heavier emphasis on grammar and vocabulary, and includes increased work in verb forms, including the passive voice, and throughout the year an emphasis is placed upon the culture of the Romans along with their history. Vocabulary continues to be an important component of the course, and students will work with forms that they’ll see again in Caesar and other Roman writers. Prerequisite: A grade of B in Latin I and permission of the instructor.

1 Credit/full year

Latin 3 (Junior)

At the Latin language 3 level, students progress from tightly guided exercises to translating Roman authors. In this way independence and confidence in written communication, along with understanding written Latin, are gradually achieved. Students progress from the second level text to the third level, then through he prose of Livy, Caesar, Cicero, and then the poetry of Catullus, Horace, and Vergil. The students’ exploration of culture, music, art, literature, and history enlivens the Latin prose and poetry they read. Latin 3 helps prep the students for the AP Latin class. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Latin II and permission of the instructor.

1 Credit/full year

Latin 3 (Honors)

The Honors students in level three Latin progress from guided reading and exercises to translating authentic Latin. They build confidence and independence with understanding written Latin and by reading and translating Roman authors. Students progress from the second level text to the third level, then through the prose of Livy, Caesar, Cicero, and the poetry of Catullus, Horace, and Vergil. The students’ exploration of culture, especially toward the end of the year as they deal with Medieval Latin in the Carmina Burana (encompassing music, art, literature, and history) and everyday life continues to be integrated with their acquisition of language. Latin 3 Honors helps prepare the students for the AP Latin class.

Prerequisite: A grade of B in Latin 2 Honors (B+/A- in Latin 2) and permission of the instructor.

Latin 4

Latin 4 is designed to review grammar points of importance and the morphology and syntax of nouns and verbs designed to enable students to read and appreciate Roman authors. Beginning with a brief review of grammar and syntax, Latin 4 quickly proceeds to analysis of excerpts from Roman authors, specifically the histories of Eutropius, Cicero, and Caesar, a unit on the poetry of Catullus, Horace Ovid, and Vergil, and then historians of the Empire, particularly Suetonius and the Emperor Augustus. Finally, some later Latin is given attention, with excerpts from the writings of Petronius and Pliny. Through all these writings, intensive work is done on the grammar and syntax of Latin. Juniors who successfully complete Latin 4 can continue their studies with AP Latin their senior year.

Latin 4 Honors (Junior/Senior)

As the capstone course in the Latin program at La Salle, Latin 4H is designed to review grammar points of importance and the morphology and syntax of nouns and verbs designed to enable students to read and appreciate Roman authors. Beginning with a brief review of grammar and syntax, Latin 4H quickly proceeds to students reading excerpts from Roman authors, specifically the histories of Eutropius, Cicero, and Caesar, a unit on the poetry of Catullus, Horace, Ovid, and Vergil, then historians of the Empire, particularly Suetonius and the Emperor Augustus. Finally, some later Latin is given, with excerpts in the writings of Petronius and Pliny. Through all these writings, intensive work is done on the grammar and syntax of Latin, and juniors who take Latin 4H can try for the AP course in their senior year.

Prerequisite: A grade of B+ or higher in Latin 3 Honors or an A in Latin 2, and permission of the instructor

Advanced Placement Latin (Senior Elective)

Advanced Placement Latin is a college-level course that helps students develop their linguistic competence and analytical skills through various activities: precise, literal rendering of prepared poetry and prose; reading with comprehension of sight passages, both poetry and prose; and written analyses that reflect the results of critical reading in clear and coherent arguments supported by textual examples. The Latin texts that are read allow students to encounter some of the central people, events, and literary genres of Roman times, focusing on the core periods of the late Republic and the early Empire. Students will read from Vergil’s Aeneid, one of the most important works in Latin literature, and an excellent example of Latin poetic style, and from Caesar’s Gallic War, a fine example of Roman historiography and a discussion of ancient culture and ethnicity. English readings from Vergil’s Aeneid and Caesar's Gallic War are also included in the required syllabus in order to put the Latin excerpts in a significant context. Using these authors and works as a base, the course helps students reach beyond translation to read with critical, historical and literary sensitivity. Note: As with all Advanced Placement courses at La Salle, students are expected to take the A.P. exam in May. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

1 Credit/full year

Chinese 1 (Freshman)

This is an introductory course for motivated students who are open to a very different language-learning experience of a non-Romance language. The dialect taught is Mandarin as spoken in Beijing, which is accepted worldwide as the standard for Chinese. Students will develop the ability to engage in conversations on every-day topics with emphasis on proper grammar, pronunciation and colloquial expressions. There will be a gradual introduction to reading and writing the Chinese characters. Chinese customs and culture will be explored throughout the course. Prerequisite: For students who take this class as an elective in addition to another modern language course, they need a grade of C or better in the modern language class and teacher recommendation.

1 Credit/full year

Chinese 2 (Sophomore)

This course is a continuation of Course 491, Chinese 1. Students will continue the development of conversational skills with increasingly more difficult topics, more complex grammatical patterns, and expanded vocabulary. Increased emphasis will be placed on the reading and writing of Chinese characters. Chinese will be used in the conduct of the as much as possible. The integration of Chinese history, customs, and culture will continue to be integrated throughout the course. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Chinese 1 and the recommendation of the teacher.

1 Credit/full year

Chinese 3 (Junior)

This is an intermediate level course, which builds on the skills developed in previous courses. Classes will be conducted entirely in Chinese to the extent possible. Increased emphasis will be placed on reading and writing skills in addition to the continued development of oral skills needed to function in day-to-day real-life situations. Modern Chinese slang will be integrated into the expanding vocabulary. Chinese history and culture will continue to be a part of the overall learning experience. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Chinese 2 and the recommendation of the teacher.

1 Credit/full year

Chinese 4 (Senior)

Chinese 4 completes the four-year curriculum in Chinese. This course uses collections of essays as the focus. Emphasis is on reading and discussions in Chinese on the readings. Periodic assessments test the students’ knowledge of an expanded vocabulary of characters as well as correct usage of language patterns. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Chinese 3 and the recommendation of the teacher.

1 Credit/full year