US World Languages

The World Languages Department offers a sequential, proficiency-based curriculum in French, Spanish or Latin. The department believes that students acquire another language best by immersion in the target language and culture. Departmental faculty organize class activities and homework assignments around opportunities for students to build proficiency in each of the linguistic skill areas of speaking, aural understanding, reading and writing (with appropriate modifications for Latin).

We design the curriculum throughout so that students can progress in their ability to:

  • Understand a variety of authentic print and audio materials and their cultural content
  • Describe, narrate, inquire, express an opinion and hypothesize in the target language both orally and in writing
  • Vary their vocabulary and maintain their grammatical control
  • Sustain interpersonal communication
  • Identify and adapt to contexts which require a more formal linguistic register
  • View the world from a cultural perspective different from their own

Students entering Pace at the ninth-grade level with no prior language instruction, or those who wish to begin the study of a different language, have the opportunity to begin Spanish or French at level I. With teacher recommendation, students of higher motivation or ability follow an accelerated sequence in separate honors-level classes, typically writing the AP Examination in their junior year. All students must complete through Level III of the language and two years of foreign language as a high school graduation requirement.

Advanced Latin Poetry Honors

This course surveys the works of Catullus and Ovid while exposing students to selections of poetry and prose from a wide range of Roman authors. Active understanding of the grammar and syntax covered in Latin I-III and a good working Latin vocabulary is assumed. After a brief review of Latin grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation skills, students will read selected poems of Catullus and the myths of Daphne and Apollo, Pyramus and Thisbe, Pymalion and Galetea, Daedalus and Icarus, and Baucis and Philemon as retold by Ovid, as well as selections from Ovid’s "Amores." We will also cover the lives and times of Gaius Valerius Catullus and Publius Ovidius Naso and their works’ place in the history of literature. As soon as students have acquired some experience with the material, we will begin to work with sample AP questions in order to build familiarity with AP format and college-level analysis.

AP French Language & Culture

This course prepares qualified students for the College Board AP Exam in French Language. Conducted exclusively in French, this course is an intensive study of the French language which uses a variety of cultural, historical and literary materials. Successful completion of the course may result in college credit.

AP Latin

This course is designed to give students a broad understanding of two iconic pieces of Latin literature, Vergil’s "Aeneid" and Caesar's "Commentarii de Bello Gallico,"while preparing them for the AP Latin examination. Students continue to develop skills in literal translation, sight-reading, scansion of meter and literary criticism. The course focuses on reading Latin critically in order to identify and discuss key themes and introduces students to evaluating and building upon scholarly commentary and secondary literature written in English.

AP Spanish Language & Culture

This course prepares qualified students for the College Board AP Exam in Spanish Language. Students hone practical language skills by increasing their grammatical control and augmenting their range of vocabulary, particularly idiomatic expressions. In addition, students increase their appreciation of Hispanic literature and culture through immersion with a wide range of authentic print and audio materials. Successful completion of the course may result in college credit.

French I

French I introduces students to understanding, speaking and writing French. Emphasis is placed on acquisition of vocabulary and beginning the study of the present and past tenses. Students also begin their exploration of French culture.

French II

French II builds on the vocabulary and basic skills of French I (or French C in the Pace Middle School), presenting grammar, aural understanding, reading comprehension and oral expression on a more advanced level. Vocabulary acquisition and grammatical control continue to be key components.

French II Honors

French II Honors (for accelerated French C students from the Pace Middle School and students recommended from French I in the Upper School) builds students' proficiency at an accelerated pace, developing aural understanding, reading comprehension and oral expression on a more advanced level. Vocabulary acquisition and exploration of advanced grammar topics continue to be key components.

French III

French III reviews and expands the curriculum of French II with a continued emphasis on vocabulary acquisition and proficiency in listening and reading, as well as speaking and writing with increasing grammatical control.

French III Honors

French III Honors expands on students' skills from French II Honors, completing their knowledge of the major structures of the language. Intensive building of thematic vocabulary and idiomatic expressions enables students to express themselves more accurately in a wide range of situations. Readings consist of authentic news and magazine articles as well as short literary selections.

French IV

This course incorporates a review of essential grammatical structures and verb tenses so students may refine understanding to increase fluidity of expression. Students enhance aural understanding through the use of audio materials and increase oral proficiency through the use of paired activities during class and podcasts created outside of class. In addition to text-based reading, the course includes a variety of supplementary readings—from literary to topical— from the Francophone world.

French V

French World Literature Honors

This course is for students who have completed either Survey of Literature or French Language AP. Students will explore works by African, European and Canadian authors as a way to enhance their understanding and appreciation for the richness and variety of francophone literature outside the French mainland.

Latin II Honors

Latin II Honors is an accelerated continuation of Middle School Latin C. Students complete the text series and make the transition to reading the works of ancient authors such as Livy and Caesar. Students continue to strengthen their language skills with regular review and practice of all aspects of the language. Roman history and Greek and Roman mythology are treated in some depth.

Latin III Honors

Latin III Honors explores authentic Latin prose dating from the mid-Republic to the rise of Christianity. Students read selections from numerous authors, including Cicero, Pliny, and Tacitus. Students move from focusing on what the text says to examining more thoroughly how and why the author presents events in a particular fashion. An introduction to Latin poetry in the spring semester allows students to preview content similar to that of Latin IV Honors and AP Vergil while building the analytical skills emphasized in those courses.

Latin IV Honors

Latin IV Honors examines authentic selections of Latin prose and poetry from the works of Roman authors, including Petronius, Apuleius, Cicero, Vergil, Ovid and Martial. Designed as an opportunity to continue to build facility with vocabulary, grammar and syntax while acquiring newer skills such as metrical analysis and literary criticism, Latin IV Honors may serve either as a bridge to AP Vergil or as a capstone to a student’s Latin experience at Pace.

Spanish I

Spanish I constitutes the first level of Spanish for Upper School students. This course involves students in understanding, speaking and writing basic Spanish. Emphasis is placed on acquisition of vocabulary and introductory grammatical forms as well as increasing awareness of the Hispanic culture.

Spanish II

Spanish II builds on the vocabulary and basic skills of Spanish I, increasing core vocabulary through more advanced opportunities to read, write, speak and hear about the Hispanic world. Particular emphasis is placed on the mastery of all indicative verb tenses.

Spanish II Honors

Spanish II Honors (for accelerated Spanish C students from the Pace Middle School and students recommended from Spanish I) builds students' proficiency at an accelerated pace, developing aural understanding, reading comprehension and oral expression on a more advanced level. Vocabulary acquisition and exploration of advanced grammar topics continue to be key components.

Spanish III

Spanish III reviews and expands the curriculum of Spanish II, completing students’ knowledge of the major structures of the language. Students continue to hone their linguistic skills via authentic print and audio materials.

Spanish III Honors

Spanish III Honors immerses students in using and understanding Spanish in a variety of real-life situations. Students significantly improve their ability to express themselves orally and in writing, enhancing their vocabulary and control of advanced grammatical structures. Students continue to increase their understanding of authentic print and audio materials.

Spanish IV

Spanish IV is an elective course which promotes students' ability to communicate in diverse, authentic cultural and linguistic situations. Students use a variety of print and electronic media. Vocabulary acquisition and increased grammatical control continue to be integral to the course work, especially through less structured writing assignments and class presentations.

Spanish V

Spanish V is an advanced intermediate course designed to increase students' ability to read both literary and non-literary prose critically, using short texts and films as a means to explore past and contemporary cultural issues in the Hispanic world. The course places particular emphasis on improving students' formal writing as they address important themes of the works studied. Students hone their oral proficiency during class discussion, conducted exclusively in Spanish, and continue to expand their vocabulary and increase their grammatical control as they engage with the work of the class.

Spanish V Literature Honors

Spanish V Honors introduces students to literary criticism by leading them through a chronological survey of the important literary schools of the Hispanic world from the Medieval period to the present, with a special focus on poetry and short stories. Students study both the works and biographies of important authors as well as explore the relationship among the arts and societies of different time periods. A primary goal of the course is to prepare students for their first Spanish literature course in college.

Faculty & Staff

World Languages Department

Ms. Laura Agront-Hobbs

Ms. Laura Agront-Hobbs

US World Language Teacher
Mrs. Helen Hathorn

Mrs. Helen Hathorn

MS/US World Language Teacher
Mrs. Elizabeth Kann

Mrs. Elizabeth Kann

US World Language Teacher
Mrs. Cappy Lewis

Mrs. Cappy Lewis

US World Language Chairperson, US World Language Teacher
Mr. David Matanes

Mr. David Matanes

US World Language Teacher
Dr. Paula Pontes

Dr. Paula Pontes

US World Language Teacher
Ms. Allison Riley

Ms. Allison Riley

US Dean of Students, US World Language Teacher
Ms. Nancy Robinson

Ms. Nancy Robinson

US World Language Teacher
Mr. Grady Stevens

Mr. Grady Stevens

Dean Class of 2020, US World Language Teacher, US History Teacher

Hero Image