Modern and Classical Language

Bellarmine offers five foreign languages that fulfill graduation requirements: American Sign Language, French, Latin, Mandarin, and Spanish. Students are required to study two years of the same foreign language.

With the understanding that language is the essential tool of communication, the emphasis of our program will focus on the mastery of communication skills. For French, Mandarin and Spanish, the focus is on speaking, listening, reading and writing. For American Sign Language, students will develop their productive and receptive communications skills. Latin students focus on their ability to read and understand the language of the Ancient Romans. While these skills are important, they are, in fact, the mechanics of any language. We hope to convey, through exposure to other cultures, the beauty of diversity, the creativity of humanity, and the joy of expanded cultural awareness.

In American Sign Language, French, Spanish, and Mandarin, classes are conducted almost entirely in the target language, starting as early as possible. It is the goal of the department to ensure that after completion of the second year, students are able to communicate in the second language at a basic level and have an understanding of the countries and/or cultures where the language is used.

Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) Program

Bellarmine offers honors and/or AP level classes in French, Latin, Mandarin and Spanish. Students who are driven to challenge themselves in their language classes will find our Honors and AP Program a valuable learning experience. Our honors courses offer a rigorous and challenging curriculum, and our AP courses are specifically designed to prepare students to succeed on the College Board Advanced Placement exams.

In the spring of each academic year, students in language class levels 2 and 3 will receive specific feedback from their current teachers regarding individual readiness for an honors or AP course. After receiving this feedback, students are free to decide whether or not to enroll in the honors/AP course.  If they do wish to pursue that option, they must follow the Informed Enrollment process of soliciting feedback from their parents and counselor, and secure counselor approval, prior to enrollment.

Courses
Course Name
Term
UC / CSU Approved?
American Sign Language 1 Year Yes

Course Description: This is a beginning language course, the focus of which is on preparation for acquiring a visual gestural language. Students will learn finger spelling, basic vocabulary and grammatical structures. Students will use their knowledge of basic vocabulary and structures to communicate with particular emphasis on comprehension. Additionally, students will compare the grammatical structure of ASL with that of English. Basic cultural aspects of deafness, as well as the historical and linguistic development of sign language are important components of the course.

American Sign Language 2 Year Yes

Prerequisites: Completion of ASL 1 with a grade of C minus or better, or a satisfactory score on the 8th grade placement exam, is required.

Course Description: This course is the continuation of our beginning level course in American Sign Language (ASL). In this course, students continue their study of finger spelling, vocabulary and grammar structures. Students use their newly-acquired vocabulary and grammar structures to communicate, with particular emphasis on comprehension. Additionally, students continue to have opportunities to compare the grammatical structure of ASL with those of English, and examine the cultural aspects of deafness.

American Sign Language 3
Year
Yes

Prerequisites: Completion of ASL 2 with a grade of C minus or better.

Course Description: This course is the continuation of our American Sign Language (ASL) level 2 course. Students will utilize their knowledge and continued study of finger spelling, vocabulary and grammar structures to communicate, with particular emphasis on comprehension. Students will continue to compare the grammatical structure of ASL with those of English and will consider the cultural aspects of deafness.