World Languages

The study of another language broadens a student's horizons, providing insight into other cultures. At Woodward, we want our students to graduate with a foundation that will allow them to someday study or work in a country of their language proficiency. We are dedicated to becoming a national model in language education. The Upper School offers Spanish, French, Japanese, German, Mandarin Chinese, and Latin. Students must complete at least two full years of the same world language in grades nine through 12, and courses are offered at varying levels.

World Language Courses

French 1

Level 1 emphasizes the development of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. This course covers elementary grammar and vocabulary, pronunciation, and an introduction to major aspects of Francophone culture.

French 2

Students practice and perfect additional vocabulary and grammar, including past and future tenses, and study Francophone cultural themes. In the honors course, the study of Le Petit Prince introduces students to reading and writing on an advanced level.

French 3

Students review basic grammar and learn more advanced concepts and are encouraged to use French to express themselves creatively. Reading selections develop conversational skills and cultural awareness. Honors students read a French novel to develop understanding of abstract ideas and literary interpretation.

Francophone World Studies

Students in this advanced course analyze and discuss reading selections, current events, and film. Students continue to develop practical communication skills.

Voices of Francophone Literature

This course covers French literature and other forms of media, from the early silent films of 1895 to works from the 20th and 21st centuries. Students learn about important French literary periods and movements, such as the Nouvelle Vague (New Wave) and French philosophies on society and culture.

African Négritude & Post-Colonial France

The texts, lectures, and screenings in this course investigate post-colonial French occupation of its overseas territories. Students read seminal texts of Négritude, the central intellectual movement of the French Caribbean, and learn to appreciate the role of Négritude in defining French Caribbean and Maghrebi (North African) identity.

AP French Language & Culture

This advanced level course emphasizes fluency and accuracy and encourages students to explore culture in contemporary and historical contexts. Students may take the AP French Language and Culture exam.

Spanish 1

Level 1 introduces elementary grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation as well as cultural material from Spanish-speaking countries. Emphasis is on development of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.

Spanish 2

Level 2 expands on skills and material acquired in level 1. Students practice and perfect the use of more advanced grammar and vocabulary while continuing the study of Hispanic cultures.

Spanish 3

Students are introduced to more advanced concepts. Reading selections increase conversational and writing skills, and students are encouraged toward greater freedom and creativity in use of the language. In the honors course, students read select chapters from "Don Quixote" to enhance their understanding of abstract ideas and literary interpretation.

Spanish 4

This course includes comprehensive review of grammatical concepts, emphasis on vocabulary, and development of practical communication skills and cultural awareness. In honors courses, students analyze reading selections from the literature and media of Spain and Latin America.

Spanish 5

This course expands knowledge of language and culture to include classic and contemporary literature, current events, film, and culture, along with grammar review, preparing students for college-level Spanish.

AP Spanish Language

This course is comparable to third-year college and university courses and prepares students to take the AP Spanish Language exam in the spring.

AP Spanish Literature & Culture

This course introduces students to the formal study of a body of literature written in Spanish from Spain, Latin America, and the United States. Emphasis is on critical reading and analytical writing.

Latin 1

This introduction to Latin vocabulary, grammar, and syntax emphasizes ancient Roman and Greek culture and civilization, mythology, and derivatives.

Latin 2

This course continues with more advanced Latin grammar and syntax and stresses development of translation ability, with the goal of reading short selections of Latin literature in the second semester.

Latin 3

This course focuses on advanced syntax and sentence structure, develops proficiency in translating Latin authors, stresses rhetorical and literary devices, and increases mastery of forms and deviations.

Latin 4

Course content for Latin 4 is designed by the department to meet the abilities and needs of students who have completed Latin 3.

AP Latin: Vergil

This course promotes reading Latin poetry and prose with historical and literary sensitivity. Students develop linguistic skills by translating poetry and prose precisely and literally, reading passages of poetry and prose with comprehension, and analyzing texts in written arguments supported by textual examples. The course is equivalent to an upper-intermediate college or university course.

German 1

Students learn to talk about themselves, their home, and school environment, and they learn skills such as making a purchase in German. The course includes study of elementary grammar and vocabulary, pronunciation, and introduction to major aspects of German culture.

German 2

Level 2 continues development of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills as students expand their communicative competencies and practice and perfect the use of more advanced grammar and vocabulary, while continuing the study of German culture.

German 3

This intermediate course emphasizes language skills while teaching more nuanced communicative competencies. Students are encouraged to express themselves creatively in German. The course rounds out all the major grammatical concepts in Modern High German and fosters reading, writing, and conversation skills as well as cultural awareness.

Japanese 1

Level 1 emphasizes spoken aspects of learning Japanese and on mastering hiragana and katakana, the Japanese phonetic syllabaries. Students are introduced to the Japanese writing system using kanji characters, and the course covers basic elements of Japanese culture.

Japanese 2

Students continue to develop vocabulary, reading comprehension, oral communication, and simple composition. The course introduces and expands upon informal speech. Reading and writing practice using kanji continues, and students cover aspects of Japanese culture and everyday life.

Japanese 3

In this advanced course, students build on grammar, vocabulary, and written language. More extensive cultural themes introduce or reinforce language concepts. Students learn skills such as writing traditional letters and using proper etiquette during meals.

Japanese 4

This advanced level course allows students to explore "the Japanese soul," the social, historical, and cultural forces that influence Japanese life. They learn about the honorific keigo language, the historical context of Japanese immigration, Japanese internment camps during World War II, and the bombing of Hiroshima, as well as the traditional arts such as the tea ceremony, calligraphy, and haiku poetry. Students will be able to write 340 kanji and communicate at an intermediate level in Japanese.

Mandarin Chinese 1

Students learn to understand, speak, read, and write Mandarin Chinese at an elementary level. Emphasis is on Pinyin, the Chinese phonetic system, and the acquisition of character components. Students learn simple conversation such as greetings and discussing time. The course introduces Chinese culture, art, and customs.

Mandarin Chinese 2

This course continues to develop competency in Chinese. Students are introduced to more vocabulary, sentence structure, and grammar so that they can conduct daily conversations, read level-appropriate articles, and write short passages.

Mandarin Chinese 3

Students continue to develop Chinese language skills with additional vocabulary and more sophisticated grammar. The course uses Chinese movies and video clips for listening training, and students read longer paragraphs and articles. Students are introduced to four character idioms while studying ancient stories and traditional customs.

Mandarin Chinese 4

This course focuses on expanding vocabulary by reading and on writing longer paragraphs and articles. Cultural topics are adopted for language discussions, and the Chinese Advanced Placement test is introduced to honors students.

International Language Certifications

Learn More

Woodward Academy is committed to offering great opportunities to its students, and taking an International Language Exam is one way to extend what they have learned in the classroom to potential international studies and careers. Students who qualify take placement tests in the following languages:

These tests are internationally recognized and approved by foreign governments and universities. Most of the exams follow the Common European Framework of