The Foreign Languages Department offers students the option of learning German or French as an additional language. In line with the RC Core Values, we strive to educate “a diverse student body with a multilingual, multicultural approach stressing tolerance and respect for the views of others.” As a Foreign Language Department, we believe that our students must acquire an additional world language in order to fully meet the needs of today’s global society. Our department meets this expectation by equipping students linguistically and culturally in order to communicate successfully in a pluri-linguistic society.
We promote inclusive education, therefore differentiated and diversified teaching methods/strategies are the basis of our instruction and curriculum development. The language acquisition we provide will not only create meaningful connections to the students’ lives and interests but will also allow them to make connections between the target culture and other cultures of the global community.
The Foreign Languages Department aims to:
- Have students gain competence in each language, while giving equal importance to all languages
- Provide students with real-life scenarios for communication
- Encourage the use of project-based assignments to foster creativity and original thought
- Make effective use of IT and web resources as an important component in language learning through the use of game-based learning and self-directed learning
- Develop opportunities for extracurricular activities, cultural trips, international exchange experiences as well as encourage summer language programs
- Provide and encourage students to take the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) external benchmark examinations at Robert College
- Give students the opportunity to consider university programs where French or German are necessary
Programs and Courses
French and German courses are organized according to the “Common European Framework of Reference for Languages”. This guideline aims to provide a method for assessing and teaching that applies to all languages across Europe. Six different levels have been defined and are becoming increasingly recognized as the European standard for language proficiency:
A1 and A2 designed for an elementary user
B1 and B2 designed for the independent user
C1 and C2 for the experienced user
Although all four competencies (listening comprehension, reading comprehension, writing and speaking) are taught, emphasis is given to speaking the language. At all levels, our students improve their grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. Our students learn through a variety of resources (such as technology, songs, films, film clips and literary texts) and differentiation strategies, which are important elements of the curriculum in order to engage and motivate students of all levels in the classroom.
Students are required to take 3 years of foreign language electives, enabling them to reach a strong A2 level. Starting in 9th grade, students can follow the French/German 3 and French/German 4 elective classes which aim to prepare students for the B1 and B2 language levels respectively. While Robert College does not offer AP French or German classes, certain students with a strong enough B2 level take this exam in 11th or 12th grade.
Over the last three years, more than 12 students have gone to universities in Germany and more than 5 students have been accepted into French programs. For students aiming to study in the US, a level of B1 or higher has several advantages:
- 3rd language proficiency sets students apart from others during university applications, as does taking higher level classes like French or German 4.
- Some US programs now require a 3rd language
- University credit may be given based on AP language exam results
- Some universities accept DELF or FIT language certificates for placement into higher level language classes