Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happy Holidays from the World Language Department!

To celebrate the holiday season, students in the World Language department got a treat of festive activities from around the world! Ms. Alderuccio led French caroling, with students going around to different parts of the school singing French Christmas carols. In Ms. Lahey's French classes, students also sung Christmas carols and made chocolate truffles, which they tasted to vote on the best recipe. In Mr. Smith's Latin class, students put on togas for a group photo. Students in Ms. Toro's Spanish Club made traditional food and decorated the classroom for the holidays.

From the World Language department, we wish everyone Bonnes Fêtes! Joyeux Noël! ¡Feliz Navidad! ¡Felices Fiestas! Buon Natale! Feriae felices! shèng dàn kuài lè! and 圣诞快乐!

Mr. Smith demonstrating the correct way to put on a toga.
Toga time in Latin class!
The Spanish Club decorated Ms. Toro's room for the holidays!
The Spanish Club making decorations.
Jingle Bells in French!

Chocolate truffles.
Students singing French carols in the WL hallway.

Students singing French carols in the WL hallway.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

AEF Awards WL Dept. $3,000 for AP Vertical Teaming

The World Language Department was just awarded a $3,000 grant from the Arlington Education Foundation to support the launch of AP Vertical Teams in French, Latin, and Spanish. The grant will fund professional development for all teachers -- middle and high school -- to attend College Board workshops. Teachers will then participate in AP Vertical Teams to review, revise, and collaborate on curriculum and assessments from level 1 to AP.

In recent years, each of the AP world language exams has been radically changed to reflect current research on foreign language acquisition, emphasizing the three modes of communication (interpretive, interpersonal, presentational) over discrete grammar and vocabulary items. Without strong preparation from the start of language study, success with the AP curriculum and exam is difficult.  

Key goals of the grant are: to strengthen instruction in World Language classrooms at all levels; to foster collaboration between teachers in the 6-12 language program; to strengthen World Language curriculum at all levels to better prepare students for rigorous AP language courses.

We are extremely grateful to the AEF for its continued support! ¡Gracias! Merci! Gratias!

Read about AEF's recent fundraiser, where WL Director, Catherine Ritz, was a guest speaker:

Thursday, December 12, 2013

APS Receives Additional $2,000 Grant from C.A.S.IT

At the General Assembly for the Centro Attività Scholastiche Italiane (C.A.S.IT) on December 8, the World Language Department of Arlington Public Schools was awarded an additional $2,000 grant towards its new Italian program. C.A.S.IT awarded APS $16,000 last year to support the return of Italian to the district.

The additional award was a surprise to WL Director, Catherine Ritz, and Italian Teacher, Dr. Antoni Di Sanzo, who had been invited to attend. These funds will help support materials needed to expand the Italian program in future years.

We are very grateful to C.A.S.IT for its support! Grazie mille!!

WL Director, Catherine Ritz, and Italian Teacher, Dr. Antoni Di Sanzo
receiving the award from C.A.S.IT President, Adelaide Guarracino

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

National World Language Honor Society Officers Hard at Work

This year marks the first that Arlington High School offers National Honor Societies for French, Latin, Mandarin, and Spanish. Each honor society is sponsored by a teacher's organization:

Collectively, these societies are called the National World Language Honor Societies (NWLHS) of Arlington High School. NWLHS recently held a meeting with faculty adviser Véronique Lahey in which officers were nominated and work began on how the NWLHS could fulfill its mission of promoting foreign language study at AHS and in the Arlington community. 

NWLHS officers are as follows:
  • President: Jacob Malin (Latin & Spanish)
  • Vice President: Isabel Verghese (French)
  • Treasurer: Julia Wood (French)
  • Media and Communications: Sarah Daum (Spanish)
Officers are developing strategies for reaching out to the community about their language of study. For example, discussions are underway about designing presentations for middle school and elementary school students, designing ads or promotional materials for Discover Languages Month, and making videos showing the use of their language in the Arlington community at large.

We look forward to seeing the work of this dedicated group of students!

NWLHS Officers, hard at work!

Treasurer: Julia Wood
Media & Communications: Sarah Daum
Vice President: Isabel Verghese
President: Jacob Malin

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Italian Flourishing at AHS

This year, Arlington High School saw the return of the Italian program, with 75 students enrolling in three sections of Italian 1, making up the first students to study Italian at AHS since the program was cut back in 2002. AHS received a $16,000 grant from the Centro Attività Scolastiche Italiane (C.A.S.IT., Inc.), an organization affiliated with the Italian Consulate, to bring Italian back to the district.

Yesterday, AHS Italian teacher, Dr. Antoni Di Sanzo, visited with the Italian Consulate to promote the program and speak with the Consul General, Guiseppe Pastorelli. Dr. Di Sanzo was also interviewed by Rai Italia, an Italian television network doing a piece on Italian language learning in the United States.

Dr. Di Sanzo with the head of the Italian Consulate, Guiseppe Pastorelli
Already, students in Italian 1 are able to communicate with basic proficiency in Italian, thanks to Dr. Di Sanzo's excellent teaching. Recently, students completed an essay in which they introduced members of their family, saying what their names were, how old they were, describing them, and saying things they like to do. In the below sample, a student described the family from the movie, "The Incredibles." Dr. Di Sanzo was impressed with the progress his students are making after only a few months of study. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

National World Language Honor Society Students Meet

During the 2012-2013 school year, the National World Language Honor Societies of Arlington High School were launched for French, Latin, Mandarin, and Spanish (for more information, click here). Last week, the first cohort of inductees met with adviser Véronique Lahey to develop a plan for demonstrating their commitment to world languages in the Arlington community. Students discussed how they could promote their language and culture of focus by reaching out to the community by, for example, speaking to elementary and middle school students about their language, creating videos showing the importance of their language in Arlington, or developing public awareness campaigns to show during Discover Languages month.

Juniors interested in joining the National World Language Honor Societies of Arlington High School should speak to Ms. Lahey, who will be sending out letters of invitation to qualifying students in the second semester.

Game Day for the French Club @ AHS

The French Club had its first meeting this year, with students playing authentic French games such as "devine-tête" (literally, "guess-head") and Monopoly, Lyon-version. Club adviser, JoLinda Alderuccio met with over a dozen students in her room for what should be a monthly get-together of AHS francophiles!