Foreign Language

Announcements

 

State Seal of Bi-literacy
MTHS students who achieve a score of 4 or 5 on the German or Spanish AP Exam are eligible for the Illinois Seal of Bi-literacy.  In addition to a seal that will be permanently affixed to the diploma, the following will appear on their transcript:  Attained the State Seal of Bi-literacy by demonstrating high proficiency in English and (German or Spanish).

A score of 3 earns a different seal and the following gadded to the transcript:  Attained the State Commendation toward Bi-literacy by demonstrating progress towards high proficiency in English and (German or Spanish).

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Class Supply List
Link to Class Supplies List

Department’s Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing Goals

Below are the minimum listening, reading, speaking, and writing competencies we aim to achieve in each of the courses offered by the foreign language department. In establishing these competencies we modified the ACTFL guidelines for beginner, intermediate, and advanced learners. Every outcome begins with, “The student should be…”

Listening
Regular I / First Semester
Able to understand occasional isolated words, such as cognates, borrowed words, and high-frequency social conventions. Essentially little to no ability to comprehend even short utterances.

Regular I / Second Semester
Able to understand some short, learned utterances, particularly where context strongly supports understanding and speech is clearly audible. Comprehends some words and phrases from simple questions, statements, high-frequency commands and courtesy formulae about topics that refer to basic personal information or the immediate physical setting. The listener requires long pauses for assimilation and periodically requests repetition and/or a slower rate of speech.

Regular II / First Semester; Honors I / First and Second Semesters
Able to understand short, learned utterances and some sentence-length utterances, particularly where context strongly supports understanding and speech is clearly audible. Comprehends words and phrases from simple questions, statements, high-frequency commands, and courtesy formulae. May require repetition, rephrasing, and/or a slowed rate of speech for comprehension.

Regular II / Second Semester
Able to understand sentence-length utterances that consist of recombinations of learned elements in a limited number of content areas, particularly if strongly supported by the situational context. Content refers to basic personal background and needs, social conventions and routine tasks, such as getting meals and receiving simple instructions and directions. Listening tasks pertain primarily to spontaneous face-to-face conversations. Understanding is often uneven; repetition and rewording may be necessary. Misunderstandings in both main ideas and details arise frequently.

Regular III and Honors II / First and Second Semesters
Able to understand sentence-length utterances which consist of recombination of learned utterances on a variety of topics. Content continues to refer primarily to basic personal background and needs, social conventions and somewhat more complex tasks, such as lodging, transportation, and shopping. Additional content areas include some personal interests and activities, and a greater diversity of instructions and directions. Listening tasks not only pertain to spontaneous face-to-face conversations but also to short routine telephone conversations and some deliberate speech, such as simple announcements and reports over the media. Understanding continues to be uneven.

Regular IV; Honors III and IV / First and Second Semesters
Able to understand main ideas and most details of discourse on a variety of topics beyond the immediacy of the situation; however, comprehension may be uneven due to a topic of familiarity. These texts frequently involve description and narration in different tenses. Texts may include interviews; short lectures on familiar topics, news items and reports that dealing with factual information. Thus, by the end of Honors IV, students should be able to achieve some elements of ACTFL advanced listening proficiency.

Speaking
Regular I / First Semester
Able to produce isolated words and perhaps a few high-frequency phrases. Speaker has essentially no functional communicative ability.

Regular I / Second Semester
Able to produce isolated words and learned phrases within very predictable areas of need, although quantity is increased. Vocabulary is sufficient only for handling simple, elementary needs and expressing basic courtesies. Utterances rarely consist of more than two or three words and show frequent long pauses and repetition of words. Speaker may have some difficulty producing even the simplest utterances. Some speakers will be understood only with great difficulty.

Regular II / Honors I – By the end of Semester 2
Able to satisfy partially the requirements of basic communicative exchanges by relying heavily on learned utterances but occasionally expanding these through simple recombination of their elements. Can ask questions or make statements involving learned material. Shows signs of spontaneity although this falls short of real autonomy of expression. Speech continues to consist of learned utterances rather than of personalized, situationally adapted ones. Vocabulary centers on areas such as basic objects, places, and most common kinship terms. Pronunciation may still be strongly influenced by first language. Errors are frequent and, in spite of repetition, some speakers will have difficulty being understood.

Regular III
Able to handle successfully a limited number of interactive, task-oriented, and social situations. Can ask and answer questions, initiate and respond to simple statements, and maintain face-to-face conversation, although in a highly restricted manner and with much linguistic inaccuracy. Within these limitations, can perform such tasks as introducing self, ordering a meal, asking directions, and making purchases. Vocabulary is adequate to express only the most elementary needs. Strong interference from native language may occur. Misunderstandings frequently arise, but with repetition, the speaker can generally be understood.

Regular IV; Honors II
Able to handle, with some difficulty, a variety of uncomplicated, basic, and communicative tasks and social situations. Can talk simply about self and family members. Can ask and answer questions and participate in simple conversations on topics beyond the most immediate needs; e.g., personal history and leisure time activities. Utterance length increases slightly, but speech may continue to be characterized by frequent long pauses. Pronunciation may continue to be strongly influenced by first language and fluency may still be strained. Although misunderstandings still arise, the speaker can generally be understood.

Honors III
Able to handle successfully most uncomplicated communicative tasks and social situations. Can initiate, sustain, and close a general conversation with a number of strategies appropriate to a range of circumstances and topics, but errors are evident and may be frequent. Limited vocabulary still necessitates hesitation and may bring about slightly unexpected circumlocution. There should be emerging evidence of connected discourse, particularly for simple narration and/or description. Even persons not accustomed to dealing with speakers at this level can generally understand the speaker, but repetition may still be required.

Honors IV
Able to satisfy the requirements of everyday situations and routine school and work requirements. Can handle, but not with facility, social situations, such as elaborating, complaining, and apologizing. Can narrate and describe with some details. Can communicate facts and talk about topics of current public and personal interest using general vocabulary. Although there is some groping for words, Circumlocution is often successful. Although errors are evident the speaker can be understood without difficulty by native speakers.

Reading
Regular I – 1st Semester
Able occasionally to identify isolated words and/or major phrases when strongly supported by context.

Regular I – 2nd Semester
Able to identify an increasing number of highly contextualized words and/or phrases including cognates and borrowed words, where appropriate. Material understood rarely exceeds a single phrase at a time, and rereading may be required.

Honors I
Able to interpret written language in areas of practical need. Where vocabulary has been learned, can read for instructional and directional purposes, standardized messages, phrases, or expressions, such as some items on menus, schedules, timetables, maps, and signs. At times, but not on a consistent basis, the Novice-High level reader may be able to derive meaning from material at a slightly higher level.

Regular II
Able to understand main ideas and/or some facts from the simplest connected texts dealing with basic personal and social needs. Such texts are linguistically non-complex and have a clear underlying internal structure, for example, chronological sequencing. They impart basic information about which the reader has to make only minimal suppositions or to which the reader brings personal interest and/or knowledge. Examples include messages with social purposes and information for the widest possible audience, such as public announcements and short, straightforward instructions dealing with public life. Some misunderstandings will occur.

Regular III – 1st semester
Able to read consistently with increased understanding simple, connected texts dealing with a variety of basic and social needs. Such texts are still linguistically non-complex and have a clear underlying internal structure. They impart basic information about which the reader has to make minimal suppositions and to which the reader brings personal interest and/or knowledge. Examples may include short, straightforward descriptions of persons, places, and things written for a wide audience.

Regular III – 2nd semester; Honors II
Able to read consistently with full understanding simple connected texts dealing with basic personal and social needs about which the reader has personal interest and/or knowledge. Can get some main ideas and information from texts at the next higher level featuring description and narration. Structural complexity may interfere with comprehension. May have to read material several times for understanding.

Regular IV; Honors III and IV
Able to read somewhat longer prose of several paragraphs in length, particularly if presented with a clear underlying structure. The prose is predominantly in familiar sentence patterns. Reader gets the main ideas and facts and misses some details. Comprehension derives not only from situational and subject matter knowledge but also from increasing control of the language. Texts at this level include descriptions and narrations such as simple short stories, news items, social notices and personal correspondence.

Writing
Regular I
Able to write simple, fixed expressions and limited memorized material and some recombination thereof. Can supply information on simple forms and documents. Can write names, numbers, dates, own nationality, and other simple autobiographical information, as well as some short phrases and simple lists, although there may be some spelling errors.

Regular II; Honors I
Able to meet limited practical writing needs. Can write short messages, postcards, and take down simple notes, such as telephone messages. Can create statements or questions within the scope of limited language experience. Material produced consists of recombination of learned vocabulary and structures into simple sentences on very familiar topics, but not without errors present.

Regular III; Honors II
Able to meet a number of practical writing needs. Can write short, simple letters. Content involves personal preferences, daily routine, everyday events, and other topics grounded in personal experience. Can express present time and at least one other time frame or aspect consistently. Writing tends to be a loose collection of sentences or sentence fragments on a given topic and may provide little evidence of conscious organization.

Regular IV; Honors III
Able to meet most practical writing needs and limited social demands. Can take notes in some detail on familiar topics and respond in writing to personal questions. Can write simple letters about personal experience. Writing, though faulty, is generally comprehensible.

Honors IV
Able to write routine social correspondence and join sentences of at least several paragraphs in length on familiar topics. Can write simple social correspondence, take notes, write cohesive summaries and resumes, as well as narratives and descriptions of a factual nature. Has sufficient writing vocabulary to express self simply. May still make errors in punctuation and spelling. Good control of the most frequently used vocabulary words and syntactic structures. Writing may at times resemble literal translations from the native language.

Bachfischer, Pete

Department Chair – German
309-367-4151 x 116
pbach@mths.us

 

Petravick, Katie

Faculty – Spanish
kpetravick@mths.us

 

Hayes, Jennifer

Faculty – Spanish
jhayes@mths.us

Saathoff, Julie

Faculty – Spanish
jsaathof@mths.us

Morris, Tina

Faculty – Spanish tmorris@mths.us