Asheville School offers French, Spanish, and Chinese. The primary departmental goal is to enable a profound study of language that will lead to a lifelong interest in communicating authentically in a globalized cultural environment. Classes focus on practical oral communication skills while also providing students with the formal grammatical underpinnings that lead to effective written expression.
Language teachers insist on cultural literacy, and Asheville School students are encouraged to pursue international experience in the form of homestay and immersion experiences. Asheville enrolls numerous international students, all of whom are fluent in English, and they serve as practical examples of the value of speaking more than one language.
French I-V (Regular, Honors and AP)
The French program is textbook-free; the curriculum is based on a series of dynamic teacher-generated lessons that give students a firm basis in grammar, vocabulary, culture, and communication. At all levels, the students are constantly exposed to authentic French in a fun and interactive setting that utilizes the most up-to-date methods (e.g.: SMART Board technology, "flipped" grammar video lessons, blogs, streaming Internet content, podcasts, and music). In upper level courses, the main focus becomes refining formal written and spoken communication via the study of modern life, culture, history, art, and literature in the francophone world.
Spanish I-VI (Regular, Honors and AP)
The listening-speaking progression in Spanish is established through classroom conversation and the use of a variety of audio and visual materials, with emphasis placed on recognizing and learning recurring patterns within the language. Students in Spanish I-IV utilize the ¡Avencemos! textbook series, which provides a solid foundation in the language and introduces the cultures of the entire Spanish-speaking world. The related workbook and Internet-based materials offer opportunities for practice in listening comprehension and vocabulary acquisition. In upper level courses, students work on developing the fluency in Spanish needed to succeed on the AP Spanish Language and Spanish Literature examinations.
Classes in Chinese introduce students to the skills necessary to speak and write Mandarin Chinese, while emphasizing sentence building exercises and the reading and writing of Chinese characters. Students develop basic language skills through the use of classroom conversation and Internet-based audio programs. Classes incorporate Pinyin romanization and Chinese characters in teaching students to listen, speak, read, and write the language. Using proper pronunciation and accurate tones when speaking the language is emphasized. The grammar component of the course focuses on sentence patterns and word order. Culture is presented through readings in English and through hands-on experiences with calligraphy and traditional tea services.