The Department of Foreign Languages seeks to advance foreign language proficiency by educating our students so that each individual can participate in and appreciate the increasingly diverse and multi-cultural society in which we live. We strive to provide students with an opportunity to gain knowledge of the cultures, literature, and grammatical structures of French, Latin, and Spanish. The department pledges to broaden our students’ command of the target language in both the written and oral aspects so that each student can acquire a deeper proficiency, understanding, and appreciation of world cultures and social diversity.
Policies / Requirements / Standards
The department strongly recommends that a student take two consecutive years of the same foreign language for unconditional college acceptance. We encourage students to broaden their knowledge of a foreign language by studying more than the minimal two years often required by colleges and universities. Please check with the institution of your choice for their specific admission policies.
For continuation to the second level of a foreign language course, the department requires a C semester average. This will provide a firm foundation for continuance to a more demanding level two language course. If a student does not have a C semester average, he or she may choose from the following options:
1. Choose another language to study, beginning at the first level: French or Spanish. Due to the difficulty of Latin, we do not suggest this language as an alternative.
2. If the student would like to continue on with a level two language class, we strongly suggest outside tutoring over the summer to prepare for the advanced difficulty of the second year. It is extremely important to have a solid foundation of the language’s fundamentals before pursuing more advanced concepts. If this option is pursued, a waiver form must be signed, acknowledging the choice to oppose the department’s recommendation.
The department offers foreign language placement exams (consisting of a written exam and an oral interview in the target language) for all incoming freshmen and transfer students to test the student’s ability in and prior exposure to a foreign language. We strive to place each student in the course that is best for that individual’s academic progress and success.
The Foreign Language Department employs the following assessments:
1. Written exams and quizzes testing grammatical knowledge.
2. Oral exams testing oral comprehension and speaking ability.
3. Writing samples testing written proficiency.
4. Cultural / history projects as assigned by the individual instructor.
The following clubs sponsor a variety of cultural enrichment activities including the following: foreign language films, restaurant excursions, museum visits, and theater productions.
In the past, French Club has attended a performance of Les Miserables at the State Theatre, enjoyed a meal at Le Bistro du Beaujolais in Olmsted Falls, and has screened numerous films in French such as Les Choristes and Le Papillon. French club also celebrates Christmas in true French fashion with a traditional bûche de noel dessert and has given student members an opportunity to taste numerous French cheeses.
Spanish Club has visited the Cleveland Museum of Art and viewed the special exhibit on Spanish artists. They frequent various Mexican and Spanish restaurants in the area and organize several fiestas throughout the school year to celebrate holidays like Christmas and Cinco de Mayo.
This is an online multi-lingual dictionary that is useful when writing compositions or looking for new words in a foreign language.
An online pedagogical reference for French grammar sponsored by the University of Texas at Austin that includes a verb tutor, a verb conjugator, and a grammar reference.
An online interactive French grammar practice.
Official site of France 2, a French television channel. Here students can watch real TV broadcasts in French and read current event articles in French.
The above two links provide Spanish grammar exercises for additional practice outside of the classroom.
Mrs. Deborah Hannigan | Department Chairperson
Phone: 440-886-0300 ext. 411
Degree: B.A., Baldwin-Wallace College
Degree: M.A., Cleveland State University
Mr. Peter Knittel
Phone: 440-886-0300 ext. 437
Degree: B.A., Fordham University
Degree: M.A., University of Wisconsin, Madison