Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Congratulations to the National French Contest Winners!

This past March, all 8th graders enrolled in French participated in Le Grand Concours - The National French Contest. This exam is sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF). Students in every state in the country, as well as many abroad, participate in the contest.

We are extremely proud of the success of the students! We even had one student who scored a perfect score! Félicitations!

Lauréat National: Gold Medal
Alice Tracey

Lauréat National: Silver Medal
Julia Boucher

Lauréat National: Bronze Medal
Kiran Gite
Rachel Harrison
Liam O'Toole
Alice Liu
Andrew Peterson
Grace Hoglund
Annie Kellar
Kerry Liu
Vignesh Chockalingam
Allison Candell
Susannah Benn
Madeleine Goldstein

Casey Henehan
Risa Komatsu
Louisa Kuper
James Marafiote
Glen Akonjang
Connor Wells
Esme Auster
Julia Leone
Rami Saleh
Andrew Ward
Chloe Kaplan

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

AHS to Launch National World Language Honor Societies

Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, juniors meeting academic standards will be invited to apply for membership the National World Language Honor Societies of Arlington High School. Honor society chapters will be opened for all four languages:
Our mission in launching these Honor Societies is to reward and recognize high achievement in language studies, promote high standards of scholarship in language studies, support and encourage language studies, stimulate interest in and enthusiasm for language studies, and promote and perpetuate international friendships and cultural understanding.

Please view the NWLHS (National World Language Honor Societies) page for more information.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Boston Globe Article: "Biting into foreign tongues"

An article on elementary language programs was just published in the Boston Globe, and our program here in Arlington was referred to:

We are proud to have expanded our language program in the high school, now offering students four language choices (French, Latin, Mandarin and Spanish), and are confident we will continue to expand and grow our programs in the district.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Congratulations to the National Latin Exam Winners!

In March, 57 eighth grade students participated in the National Latin Exam, a multi-national test given to Latin students in middle and high school. This year's exam was given to over 136,000 students in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan,New Zealand, Poland, United Kingdom, Zimbabwe, and Taiwan. The test is a forty-question multiple choice exam that covers general knowledge of Latin grammar and vocabulary, mythology, ancient Roman customs, English/Latin derivatives, and translation abilities. Eleven Ottoson students earned awards on this year's Latin 1 exam. We are so proud of their hard work and outstanding achievements in Latin this year!

Congratulations (or Gratulationes in Latin) to all the winners!

Gold Medal/Summa Cum Laude:
Linnea Berryman

Silver Medal/Maxima Cum Laude:
Vielle Roby
Tess LaValley
Allison Stillerman
Daytawn Campbell
Ian Bernardin

Cum Laude Certificate:
Michaela Farmer
Megan McKenna
Gabriela Rivera
Ramsey Talameh
Katya Donovan

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Study of Spanish Artists Brings Culture & Language Into the Classroom

In Emmy Robinson’s Spanish class, students have been presenting a cultural project that allowed them to delve into the lives of a Spanish artist of their choice. Ms. Robinson asked students to choose any artist they were interested in as the focus of their project: from painters to sculptors to musicians to architects. Students researched the artist, prepared a presentation to share with the class, and created an original piece of art in the style of the artist. The presentations were, of course, done entirely in Spanish! And the artwork these students created was truly amazing. Students made architectural models, painted, made sculptures, and one boy even wrote and played a song on his guitar, which he then embedded on Glogster for his presentation. This is the perfect example of what we in the world language department strive for: marrying cultural understanding with linguistic ability. Bravo to the students for their excellent work!

Student painting in the style of Oswaldo Guyasamín, by Ashley Smith

Student Architectural Model in the style of Santiago Calatrava, by Julia Erskine and Anahis Kechejian

Student Rendering of Painting by José Manuel Merello, by Lisa Lucero and Jessie Page  

Student Architectural Model in the style of Santiago Calatrava, by Will White

Monday, May 7, 2012

Teachers Attend MaFLA "Diversity Day"

Three members of the World Language Department attended the annual "Diversity Day" on Saturday, May 5th, in Newton. This professional day is sponsored by the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association and focuses on culturally and pedagogically enriching lectures and discussions for various languages: French, Latin, Mandarin and Spanish.

Merridith Minerd, who teaches Spanish at Ottoson Middle School, attended the Spanish strand, where she learned about Medieval Spain, Project-Based Learning through Spanish Film, and Feminism in Latin American literature.

Ed Foley, who teaches Latin at Arlington High School, attended the Latin strand, where he learned about Ovid in Renaissance Art, Teaching Aphrodite, and Active Latin Pedagogy.

Catherine Ritz, who teaches French and Spanish in Arlington High School, attended the French strand, where she learned about the Culture of Maghreb, Cultural Diversity in Martinique, and Discovering the French Carribean.

To learn more about this important professional conference, please go to or click here.