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Modern Foreign Language Courses at Veritas Scholars Academy | Parent Seminar

Modern Foreign Language Courses at Veritas Scholars Academy | Parent Seminar

Video transcript is provided below for your convenience. Each section header is marked with a time stamp so that you can skip to any portion of the seminar that you’d like!

Rebecca Tunstall:

Great to see you here. I know some more people are rolling in. but we are so glad that you're here. I promise I will not talk long because you're not here for me. You are here for these incredible modern foreign language teachers. But I wanted to just say hello. If, as people are rolling in, you want to greet us in your favorite modern foreign language, go ahead and do so in the chat.

Would be kind of fun to see that full. welcome to our seminar in Modern Foreign Language Parents, Students of Life. We're really glad that you're here. We hope to take some time to talk a little bit about the course offerings that we have at Veritas, talk a little bit about our program and just answer some questions you might have preemptively, but we'll have some time at the end as well for you to be able to ask questions that you have.

I'm sure some of you recognize some of these teachers up here, or maybe this would be the first time you can that you are considering taking a modern foreign language. But without further ado, let's jump in and get started. So we're going to start with some prayer. Mister Shearer, would you mind opening us up in prayer?

I know I'm putting you on the spot, but it would be wonderful, if that's all right.

Rob Shearer:
I'm happy to. Join me, please. Let's pray. Father, thank you for today. Thank you for all the opportunities that we have. I thank you for VSA and these folks who diligently invest in students by teaching foreign languages. I thank you for the parents and the students who are here trying to find out about what might be a good fit for them.

I pray You’d bless our time together. And, most of all, that you would show us, the ways in which you want us to spend our time and talents. We pray all these things in Jesus name. Amen.

Rebecca Tunstall:

Amen. So I want to take a moment for us to all introduce ourselves. I’m not on the screen, but in case you don't know me, my name is Rebecca Tunstall.

I'm the Manager of Diploma Services here at Veritas, as well as a US government teacher. But I want to turn my mic and camera off and turn it on over to the modern foreign language teachers to take it away and introduce themselves. Rob, do you want to go?

Rob Shearer:

Oh, well I can. Yes. Okay. Top right. I am Rob Shearer. I teach German II and German III. I taught German I for a while, but then things kind of got away from us. So, we were blessed with, students and a VSA commitment to expanding the program. And, yeah, I was an exchange student in Germany in my college years.

I did a Fulbright year there as well. I've gone back about 10 or 12 times over the last 20 years, and I keep in touch with some German friends that I have. And I listen to German media every day. So, come on in. The water's fine.

Norma Tochijara:

I love that. I am Norma Tochijara. I was born in Mexico City, so that's why the accent. And I live now in Montreal, Quebec, where they speak French. So I'm like a true Canadian. I'm all over married to a Japanese, Mexican. So we have all cultures within our home, which is really fun. And, I have two sons and they're both expecting– their wives, and one of them is going to be born anytime, so I might just leave the meeting if they call! So welcome. I teach Spanish I and II, and it is a really fun class.

Sheryl Powell:
I’m Sheryl Powell, this is my 10th year of teaching at Veritas. I teach French III and IV. I taught French two from the beginning as well. A long lifetime of teaching French. I like Rob, try to stay current. I do have a friend in France that I spend an hour with, by Skype every single week, speaking in the language and in my other positions, I have led 15 student trips to France and other countries in Europe. So, giving a chance to explore and use the language in real life situations.

Christina Wienckoski:

Okay. Hi. I'm Christina Wienckoski, and I teach French I and II. I started off in French one and now I took on French two and I love it. I love seeing the same students, the second year in a row. It's wonderful. and I started off in the public school and now I love Veritas. I'll never leave. So this is my eighth year, and I had time abroad. I did a semester abroad, and I did a year teaching English in France. And so I love it, and I can't wait to go back someday.

Beth Scott:

I’m Beth Scott, and this is just the end of my third year teaching at Veritas. I started off, I think it's the third year. It might be the fourth year, but I can't remember now. I started off, with French I and II, and then next year I'm adding French III. So I'm very excited about that.

And I agree, Christina, it's so fun to have, students that you get to watch them grow year after year. That is really exciting. I come from, just a foreign language – Modern foreign language major with French and Spanish and got to spend time in France and then doing mission training in Switzerland and French speaking Switzerland, but then picked up Spanish by living a year and a half in Bolivia as well.

We have so much fun in French class. Like if the kids have half as much fun in class as we have teaching it, they are in for a real treat. So, so happy to be here with you all.

Norma Tochijara:

7 Reasons to Study a Modern Foreign Langauge (6:17)

So I'll jump to this one. So there are– we have just seven. But there's a lot more reasons why it's a good idea to study a second language, or a third, if you think that, “Oh, my goodness, I speak two languages. That is fabulous.” That is fabulous! But if you go all over the world, they speak two and three normally. That's the minimum. So it is just the normal thing to speak more than one language. It's just we're not used to it, right?

So one of the reasons that you can learn another language is because it will humble you. You are so good in rhetoric and you're so good in sciences. And you can recite the Nicene Creed so well and you're so fabulous that all these many, many things and skilled but what happens all of a sudden? You're in class and you speak like a five year old, and it's okay, and you can just practice and your grammar is terrible. And you have to go through the words and roll your letters and speak in different languages. It will humble you. It is fascinating.

It will give you a sense of humor. You will laugh. You will learn to laugh at how you sound and how others sound, and how the words and the grammar and all that. It's just funny! And you have to learn to laugh about yourself and the language itself. So it's going to be, bringing a lot of, humor. And that's why I think we all agree that speaking another language is so much fun, because it's that it brings a sense of humor. You just laugh about how you yourself sound and how others sound, and how your teacher with an accent sounds. And it's okay. You will learn to conquer different barriers every day, constantly. You're going to be realizing like, “Oh, this is easy. I can handle this. I know how to say it.” And you feel very confident. And all of a sudden there is another step of grammar that makes you like, “Oh, this is tricky because this is not how we say it in English.” And my brain is just like, how do I put this? And you just have to work it out. And so it will just conquer that. And once you conquer you’re like, “Oh, I feel pretty good now I can do this.” And then again, there's another one that, so it will just train you, which is so much fun to do that.

It will teach you what winning really looks like. Think of somebody who wins with a winner in life. And he's like, good at everything. And they manage to win prizes here and there, and they're fabulous, at everything. But really, somebody who has a very exciting life is somebody who has a lot of little wins during the day. So if you think about it, it's not just winning something big one day. That is lucky, but it is lots of wins during the day. It just starts by waking up and writing down the vocabulary you want and then memorizing it. You won. I'm not very good at speaking on the mic, but I'm going to I'm going to win just this today and it's just winning that task of the moment of the day.

And little by little, all of a sudden, your day, instead of finishing the day or defeated and tired, you look back and it's like it's filled with little wins. That was a glorious day. So that is something to be excited about and it will be filled with lots of little wins during the day.

It will teach you perseverance. That's something that if you stay long enough, it will make you good at it, or at least good enough. Right? It will give you the confidence to be like, well, I'm not great at this, but at least I can understand the idea of what they're talking about. And that is super exciting when you're like, and every one of us have probably experienced this, that students have reached into saying “Mrs. Carter. or Mrs. Powell guessed what I was watching a movie, and I understood what they were saying,” and you don't realize how much you have increased until you are saying,”Oh my goodness, I understood. Or at least I have an idea of what they're talking about.” And you will never experience that unless you do that. You persevere, long enough to get to that point.

It will give you the ability to communicate with other people and other cultures. This is what I'm doing and stick with my hands. This is it. It will give you like, “Oh, this is how Mexicans talk!” And it is this, this, we speak with our hands and with our mouth, and we open our mouth, and we don't speak like this. I always tell my students in French. Everything is in the front. Oh, you would do everything in the front? English. It's in the middle. You don't open your mouth. You just speak. Almost like with no expression. If you want to speak like like a Mexican, you're going to open your mouth very big. Right?

So all those little cultures, it's going to help you understand how do I interact and how do I act and how do I imitate. So that would be very good for you. A lot of the students have never left the country, or the state, and it will give you a great appreciation for other cultures. “Oh, this is what they eat. This is what they do. This is what is acceptable. This is how they say hi. This is how they don't say hi.”

Some people– like in France greet with or 1 or 2 kisses to greet some. It's, so many, many cultural things are so different from your own culture. Right? In Mexico, you go to somebody's house, you sit down on the couch, and you do not put your feet on the couch. That is so rude. In Canada, you actually take your shoes off when you enter people's houses, or it's rude. So all those little things are fascinating and will give you an opportunity to be like, “I want to learn. I want to learn about that country,” and be excited about it. So that is just seven that, we have here, but I'm sure there's a million more that you can think of.

Sheryl Powell

How to Choose the Best Language For Your Family (13:12)

There are lots of ways to look at choosing the best language for you and for your family. I noticed in the chat that one person said, I want to learn Spanish because my mom is from Mexico and my siblings are from this country. And that's a great reason! So find the country that interests you for whatever reason, the culture, somebody, you know, somebody you want to know, also look for the language that gives you opportunities to practice. Mrs. Tochijara is living in Quebec, so she, of course, eventually decided she better learn French, which she is doing.

Is there a language that sounds fun to you? I remember I was interested from before ninth grade. I was just so in love with the French culture, but I knew very little about it, that that was the language that I wanted to study and to learn. And is there a specific professional direction you're interested in? There might be specific languages that would be helpful to you, particularly in our global world today.

My daughter lived in the Czech Republic and for two years and needed to learn the language there to speak. She is now working for a German company and wishes she had German instead of French. But not in my household! Ha! So there are lots of possibilities, to think about what language would best fit me and where I'm going and what I'd like to do.

Rebecca Tunstall:

Language Requirements for Veritas’ Accredited Diploma Program (14:50)

All right, as I warned, I'm going to pop back on for just a moment and I want to talk a little bit about the language requirements for Veritas. For those of you who are interested, some of you are here just interested in taking a language course. You're not concerned about diploma requirements and that's great. We'd love to have you.

But some of you are interested in how many classes do I have to take for language if I'm part of the full time Diploma Program at Veritas? The options that we have, we have different types of language. We have ancient language, and then modern foreign language. We classify those differently. Obviously all are languages. But today we're focusing on the modern foreign language version, no matter what diploma track that you are in, if you choose to be a full-time diploma student, and if you're curious about that and you'd like to know more, I'm going to give you a link right now and I'll give it to you at the end for a free consultation to learn a little bit more about this.

But every track that you could choose to go in from, Associate all the way up to Highest Honors will be required to take two modern foreign language credits during their time here. You have choices that you're learning right now, and you're about to hear of all the offerings that we have in modern foreign language, but you will have to take it. Many students will go on to do more. If it's a language that has more than just one and two to study all the way through, you'll get to see what those options are today.

Some of you might be wondering, why arern’t we talking about Greek or Hebrew or Latin? I know Veritas offers those things. It's not because they're not languages. Of course they are. But we can put them in the category of ancient languages. When we study Hebrew and Greek here at Veritas, we're really focusing in on Biblical Hebrew, and we're looking back at Biblical Greek, and we're going to look at scriptures and interpret through that lens. We're looking at it from a more historical perspective as well as, of course, Latin.

But when we're focusing in on modern foreign languages, we're looking at how to use that here and now and listening to the reasons that you can study and how to choose. These are languages that are actively flowing and how we use it in today's day and age. So if you have more questions about that, please do schedule a consult. It is free and they can help walk you through different options and have a better understanding of some of those courses. And now I will turn my mic and camera back off so that you can hear about the different offerings we have here at Veritas.

Norma Tochijara:

Why Live Classes Are The Best (17:24)

So why are the live classes best? And again, as I mentioned earlier, because you see the hands, the mouth, the gestures and all that will help you retain the information better. We play games, all of the classes. We play different things. We're very creative people in this group. All of this bunch of people, as you can see.

But we love to make the class interactive and very engaging. So, games and being corrected on the spot. It's a lot better because right there because I like, “Oh no, no, this. Repeat after me.” We can try that and we can help you with the pronunciation right there, almost like a personalized part.

So, sometimes online, it's just you think you sound great. You know, I think I sound fabulous in French, but when I speak, nobody understands me. So I'm like, what? But, when somebody corrects me, then right there you can see that improvement. And you have obviously friends that have the same things in common with you.

So you can, have fun and practice and, have dialogs with each other about the same topics that you're learning at the same time to reinforce the vocabulary and all those things are going to be just very, very helpful for retaining information and learning the culture because, again, like, I live in Quebec, my son actually took French with, Cheryl, Miss Powell, and, and she can tell you it's like learning the culture.

And the French in Quebec is different than the French in France. And, when you take French in in person, they will right away tell you, “Oh, no, this is how we say it in France. But for example, here in Quebec, we say like this”, or in Germany or, Spanish in Spain and Argentina, very different cultural things that it will be very engaging.

So, definitely will help you retain the information much better in practice and, more, specific to what you want to learn.

Sheryl Powell:

The Benefit of Studying Foreign Language Over Multiple Years (19:50)

As, Rebecca said, we have two years a requirement for those going on any kind of diploma, but we have third and fourth year with most of our languages. And there are benefits to studying multiple years of the language. I was thinking this morning, when, I learned to play the piano, and, I shouldn't even touch it because Mrs. Wienckoski is just an absolutely fabulous genius pianist. But my first year was kind of sad. By the time I had taken 6 or 7 years, I was skilled enough to play in church and so on. And the same is true with language. the longer that you use it, the longer that you, are involved in it, the stronger you become. And, just like we said, with toddlers or, or another skill, a sport or an instrument, it takes time. It takes practice. And you become more interested in the culture. You're willing to try to say things, you're willing to try to put words together.

If you take four years of high school, French here, or Spanish or German or even three years, there are several advantages. For one thing, we offer Dual Enrollment, you can get college credit for those upper-level classes as well, where you're going to university may say, “Okay, you've met your language requirement for us because you have taken the advanced levels in high school.”

We have, presently a French National Honor Society, a German National Honor Society, hopefully a Spanish soon. And these are impressive credentials on your, on your, resumes when you submit them to colleges and to other places that you have been, such a strong student that you have been accepted into this, organization.

So, there are just lots of advantages. And of course, proficiency, the ability to eventually think in the language and respond without translating word for word. It's just fun to be able to speak another language like that.

Norma Tochijara:

Spanish (22:22)

All right. So I'm going to speak about Spanish just because I teach it. I teach Spanish I and II. And this is the book we use, Avancemos! It's a super fun book because, it's divided in units. and each unit has lesson one and lesson two and unit two, lesson one or lesson two and so on. And each unit is a different country.

So we go through Argentina and then we watch videos from kids who are about the same age as the students that are from Argentina. And so you can hear their accent so you don't get used to just me. This is how we speak. That way you don’t say “I can understand Mrs. Tochijara, but I don't understand anybody else.”

But in this case, you can hear the accent from different places, and they love that. Well, the students are super fun videos. Good acting, bad acting, its just funny. And also there's lots of audios that you can listen and, answer questions about the audio. So there's a lot of listening and practice other than me. There's lots of practice.

We do breakout rooms so that you have smaller groups, that you can practice in, smaller settings. So some of those who are more shy than others, that's where you can talk a lot. Of course, in all languages and all language classes, my webcam is essential just because it's a language to practice. And we want to hear you. We want to, hear you often, but, the small breakout rooms are sometimes like confidence building. So this is really a great program. And when we learn a country, one of the days is just traveling through that country, and we learn about special places that we can visit and the food. And sometimes we, are encouraged to make the food that we learned, and they sometimes show us what they make or we eat it. And, so those kind of fun things that, we have in this program, which is absolutely fun and fabulous, Spanish one, it's the basic grammar, but Spanish two is built on that.

So it's almost like the same thing that we're learning. But the first one you were just introduced to all the grammar and Spanish two, is like we go over and again and it's like, “Oh yes, I remember that. I remember.” And then you start to apply it a little bit more, with a little bit more assurance of what you know. So that is a fun part about Spanish one.

And do and then Spanish three and four. I don't teach Spanish three and four. We have, other teachers that could not make it. We have fabulous Spanish teachers. So whoever you choose, they're going to be, you're going to love them. They're, really, really fabulous. They love their students. So I cannot speak, well enough about all of them. And Spanish three and four also use Avancemos! Spanish IV its course. There's no picture because it is to be determined yet as we're still figuring it out for Spanish four, but most likely is going to be Avancemos! But they're going to decide in the next couple of weeks, I hope.

And it is the same. So Spanish one and two is the basic grammar, the learning of the basics. And then Spanish three and four, there's a lot more conversation. There's a lot more paragraph writing and reading. More like bigger books and translating. So it's a little bit more intense in that sense, but it's just really exciting because, you feel very confident, very comfortable knowing what you know.

So it's really, really exciting. So I encourage you to go and do it. Spanish four is the first year that we're going to offer that one so that they are creating assignments correctly. so I totally encourage you to check that one out. You're going to love it.

Mandarin Chinese (26:36)

Well, I'm just going to go over this. it's just for Mandarin Chinese. Again, the teacher could not make it today, but this is the book they use. I don't know enough about the program to teach, but, he is native, like, he speaks very, very well, obviously. Anyway, it's just it's a very good, good Mandarin. If you're excited about the language. I've heard of several students that have taken this class and they love it. So, if you are slightly interested, it's a good place to try it. I mean, you lose nothing by trying. If you want to try Chinese this year, why not Mandarin? So, give it a try. This is the safe place to try.

Rob Shearer:
German (27:25)

Gute Nacht and so let me talk a little bit about German. German and English are closely related. There are a lot of cognates, a lot of overlap. German and English both derive from Anglo-Saxon, and they've gone slightly different paths. So it is a little different in some other ways. But, it has the great advantage of– if you look at the citizens of the European Union, more citizens of the European Union speak German than any other language, more than English, more than Spanish, more than French, more than Italian. German is the dominant language in the European Union for a number of different reasons. It's also the language of a great deal of advanced scholarship. Especially in the sciences, there are a lot of patents and, professional papers that are written and available first and sometimes only, in German. And there's some great literature in German and some great music in German, both classical and modern.

So in German I we cover about two thirds of our grammar textbook, Wie Geht’s? They get you through, basically vocabulary, declension of nouns, conjugations of verbs, and that sort of thing. In German two, we go back and review that, but we add in, all of the other tenses and the subjunctive in the passive, and get you finished out with, all of the German grammar concepts that you need to read literature, because that's our real goal.

We want to get you to the point where you can read German literature on your own. So the second half of German II is devoted to reading modern German literature. You have an assignment for each class to translate a couple of pages. We come into class, we read so that I can check and correct your pronunciation, and everybody participates.

So everybody reads a paragraph and I correct your pronunciation, and then everybody translates through the paragraph. When we go to the next person. We also spend a little bit of time every week listening to videos, from native speakers. There are a couple of great sources online, people who produce new videos going out and doing sort of man on the street interviews.

And we play those in class. We talk about them, we discuss some of the accents that are being heard. Yeah, it's, it's a lot of fun! I even add in some pop music. My students will tell you, Mr. Shearer actually has his favorite German punk bands, and, I will play them from time to time and we will translate the lyrics.

So the nice thing about a German punk band, even German rap, is they have meticulous pronunciation. It's not like a garage band where they're slurring the words. The Germans are very particular about pronouncing things. And the great thing about German phonetically is there's only one phonetic rule: pronounce all the letters. All the letters have one sound, and you pronounce all the letters. There's nothing left out.

German III. After you take German II, we do just the briefest of grammar review, and then it is a year spent in literature. We read some of the Grimm's fairy tales in German, and they're quite interesting to read in the original language that they were collected in. And we read, the first draft of Gertrude's famous Faust play. The full play is a seven hour production, and, it's about 400 pages. So we don't do that. We do the first draft, which is like about 60 pages. And then we read Maria Stuart by Friedrich Schiller. Schiller is the Shakespeare of the German language. He was a contemporary of Gerta. He wrote in the early 1800s, did a number, mostly historical plays.

So that's sort of the German coverage over two years., we give you a very thorough grounding in grammar. We introduce you to German literature, both, 20th century and then early modern. German three, you are eligible to do Dual Enrollment and get college credit. And we've got very good reports back from our graduates from this program that they have either been able to get advanced placement, or that they've been able to get college credit by completing all three years of German at VSA.

Oh, and we have an Honor Society. And, that if you have a high grade point average overall and, a B-plus or better average in your German classes, then you get to wear a little tassel on your graduation gown with the German national colors in it to signify that you're a member of the German Honor Society.

And I'll pass it to whoever is next.

Christina Wienckoski:

French I (32:27)

Bonjour. I mean, sorry, I should say bon soir, it’s evening. I'm Christina Wienckoski and I teach French one and two here at VSA. This is my first year teaching French two, so I've had French one since I think it was 2016, so it's been a while, but, so our curriculum is called Bien Dit! and it's, it's a wonderful curriculum as Norma said, like the Spanish curriculum, it is very interactive. It combines a lot of, you know, reading activities, listening activities, speaking, reading, writing, speaking, listening activities and every class will have those opportunities. In French I, we're just kind of, you know, building, learning the building blocks of language and how, you know, French is like English, and how it's not at all like English.

Also, you know, with gender agreement of nouns and, the actual idea of gender of nouns, you know, just the structure, sentence structure, conjugating verbs, adjective agreements. We just focus on building conversational skills, in real-life situations. So we kind of try to keep it in context. Our latest chapter we just did, is ordering from a menu, you know, food vocab.

And so my students, I hope they feel confident with ordering from a menu in France. And actually, I had a student who just was over in Paris and she said, “Madame, that was so great.” She understood the menu and she was so proud of herself. So it was really cool to hear from her.

And, so that that was so exciting. But, yeah. So just some of the things we focus on, just, you know, giving date time, whether, introducing ourselves, our families, describing each other, our friends, likes and dislikes. Right now we're in clothing, so that's fun. We have a little fashion show, things like that.

And so we have what we cover in French I is, eight chapters. And like Norma said about the Spanish curriculum, the French curriculum is very similar, where you're kind of in a different Francophone region, you know, for each unit. And so, right now the focus is in North Africa, a lot of French speaking countries in North and further in Africa and Western Africa.

So we're focusing on the country of Senegal and learning a lot of just a lot of the cultural differences. So we kind of explore those and talk about those. I had some students who were missionaries in Senegal, so that was really cool to hear from them and their perspective and, just that kind of thing. And trying to think, what else?

Yeah, today we went over a hymn in French. I think Christmas is probably my favorite time because we explore the Christmas carols and the French Christmas carols and, we do analyze a little bit of scripture. And so we have a lot of fun. We laugh a lot in French. So I could let Beth speak about French II.

Beth Scott:

French II (35:23)

Well, French II, builds on some of that great foundation that you learned in French one. And, so this, just like Norma was saying with Spanish, it just takes everything a level deeper. So you got some of those great building blocks that you started with, and now we're just ready to take everything, just a little bit deeper.

So I know a lot of students, start to get stressed out at the end of French I and think, “Oh, I don't know if I could go into French II. It feels overwhelming.” But we do review at the beginning, so we, we take some of those concepts. We just learned at the end of the year.

And then we bring those back around. And so we do some review and then we just take everything to that next level. And it's really this curriculum is about that really strong foundation. I know there are a lot of different approaches to learning a foreign language. And, I really like the way this curriculum is able to, pull in both the practical speaking side, they try to get you speaking really quickly by giving you some phrases and expressions that you can start using right away.

So we can start building conversations and speaking with one another while at the same time building up your vocab and working on some of those grammar concepts. So it's a nice blend of speaking and then also getting some of those things of just having to memorize new vocab and, working all that together and also just so many different activities.

We were talking about the benefit of a live class, and I just think there's no comparison to studying this on your own, or even just with a video curriculum. But that ability to be there and just to hear yourself say the words out loud, to be able to come on my webcam, to be able to be in a breakout room with your friends or, you know, you present your conversations that you come up with, all of that is just building so much confidence with the language, and you realize very quickly you don't have to say it perfectly.

That's what we're there for. We're there to learn, to fix all of those little things with pronunciation. And all of that can happen in real-time. And so, and just like Christina was saying, we laugh a lot. We have so much fun in these classes. We travel around the world. I feel like we travel to all of these different locations.

And so we talk about, this curriculum is sort of based on three different things. It talks about sort of this interpretive mode of communication where we're figuring out what things are saying we're doing listening practice, we're reading and translating and figuring things out. But then also that interpersonal connection, and one of my favorite things that we do are our projects that we present to one another.

So that last mode of communication where we're actually presenting our work and we have so much fun watching videos that the students have made, to present different grammar concepts and vocab that they're learning or like in French I where we make menus or we make a model of our dream house things like that that are so fun and keep everyone engaged.

We have a lot of fun sharing the creativity that comes out from that. So it's a great opportunity to express yourself. In other artistic areas, learning the classical music, the pop music, all of those things, it all seems to come together when we study a foreign language. So French II is just a lot of fun as well.

And taking all of those things from French one and just going taking it to the next level and feeling more confident, just really feeling ourselves start to grow and feel like, “Oh, I know how to say that.” Things start popping into your head in French II. You start thinking, “Oh, I didn't even have to think about that. That just popped right into my head.”

And that's really fun when you can start to see that switch even more. So I'll pass it over to Cheryl in III and IV. I'm sure she's going to tell you about that as well.

Cheryl Powell:

French III & IV

Three leaves the program that we've had for French one and two, and the text that we are using is actually an intermediate college text. But it's it's really fun. It's an ongoing saga drama story throughout the entire book, and throughout the entire year. A young French Québécois is looking for a missing manuscript. And this young French gentleman seems to show up wherever she is.

And the search for this takes her from chapter to chapter to other French speaking countries starting out in New Orleans. Then we're ending up everywhere, from France to Switzerland to, Senegal and other places. Again, we always have to review and solidify our grammar foundation, but, we're adding vocabulary that's a little varied. For instance, in this chapter, we're focusing a little bit on business and words and things like strike and, stock market and, and, and those types of things, as well, we're using our language to do some fun little impromptu skits, vocabulary about, normal real-life situations, which you would use if you'd get in a discussion about something, if you’d be upset with somebody or, you want to soothe somebody down.

So, there's a lot of interaction there, and that's fun. French IV, this is the first year that we've had it. I've been just thrilled that we had ten students who were able to do it. And the classes conducted, for all almost 99% in the language, in French. These by this point, they're beginning to be able to speak without thinking and translating. It's a wonderful experience.

Each quarter we have been reading a different novel, written by a French author, different scenarios, different periods of history and time as well. We do a lot of other, fun things. We have a Monday action picture. Each person has a time to share an action picture from their life and take questions from the class.

We also do a cultural presentation each quarter. The first quarter, it was on places outside of Paris because we spent a lot of time focusing on monuments and so on inthird year. Second quarter, it was on famous people in French history and current events. So and they get to choose then and present third quarter was food and usually dinner and everybody was starving by the end of those presentations.

And this quarter was to be, holidays and so on. But we had the excellent opportunity to focus on the Olympic Games that are going to be in Paris in July. So each student is choosing a specific Olympic sport, and there are some guidelines with that. So I would say by French IV, I'm really impressed with their ability to discuss, to answer, to respond, to read in the language, in the target language. And it's been a great first year having French IV.

Norma Tochijara:

How to Prepare Your Student For Language Study (43:08)

So how do you prepare for next year if you want to study a language? And again, this is not just for one specific, it's for whatever language you choose. One of the wonderful teachers that we, have here at Veritas. So how do you prepare? I'm going to take a language. Well, go to the Lord in prayer. It is He who can teach your mouth whatever it needs to do. It is He who will enable you, who keep you, who will give you abilities and skills so that you can learn and do the work that He called you to do. So he's the one that you go to. He made your mouth. He can help you. So go to him in prayer.

Number two is, instead of saying I am mistake-prone or incompetent, we need to say, “Lord, teach my mouth to speak my brain to retain information, grant me perseverance to try again.” Often we want to give up, right? “Oh, I'm going to make a mistake. I'm not going to be able to do that.”

And we use that as an excuse of not trying, but go to the Lord and say, God, equip me. You can do it. I can't on my own strength. I'm going to try to quit. I'm going to try to, not persevere. But if you teach me, I will learn. If you equip me, if you give me the abilities, if you help my brain to retain the information, he will do it because he is faithful.

So go to the Lord in prayer. That is the first thing we do. And yeah, it's like, be prepared to start watching. Like, it says here, start watching videos and songs in the language that you like, find those words that sound similar to English so you don't have to learn every language like, wrought with the saying that, you hear others.

So that's that's a similarity. This must be that language. Be adventurous. Try that. Especially watch movies that you know really well that you can almost, say the lines by memory because you don't have to think, you know what they're saying. So all you have to do is watch the movie and listen so that your ear will be trained, so you can say, “I know what they're saying. I'm just trying to listen and pick up words.”

So, start listening to that, start to train your ear, start to be aware that there's a world out there, and jump in it like you have nothing to lose other than all winning. Just learn you're going to be smarter and know something more that you did not the day you started. As little as you learn, as much as you do, at the end of the day, you're going to be like, I know something today that I did not know an hour ago, right?

And you can say, “I know how to say hello, at least in Spanish or in German or in Mandarin. I can write whatever it is”. You know something now that you did not know an hour ago. So that is a mindset that you have to set yourself, not a mindset of “I can’t do it. I know I'm going to fail. It's too much work.” But “Well, that sounds exciting.” Change your thinking.

Rebecca Tunstall:

Outro (46:53)

Thank you so much. I don't know about all of you here today, but I want to sign up for this. If only I can register. I'll have to join the school and teach here too. I have had the unique opportunity to see each of these language courses, including Mandarin Chinese. I know we didn't have that represented today, but I've been able to see each of these courses in action and they are incredible.

The students are constantly talking, constantly practicing. I know that they've said it, but as an outsider who's observed the classes that I've seen, what an incredible experience it is. If you're on the fence about taking a modern foreign language, don't be on the fence. Do it. Pick one. Go forward please. I highly suggest it. And if you're struggling, you're sitting there going, “This was all really helpful, but I'm a little overwhelmed. I don't know which course to register or even how to do it. I don't know how to pick the right books or the right language.”

Please, please, please schedule free consultation with our our family consultants, and they will help you figure that out. I'm putting a link down here. You can go ahead and do so.

Q & A Session (47:57)

I want to open the floor to questions. You'll see the requirements for the languages in here, I think. Correct me if I'm wrong language teachers, but every class minimum is 14, right? Okay. Awesome. And minimum is 14 years old. On day one of the class. So maybe some of you are a little young for it, but it's something to be thinking about moving forward.

Okay, so I want to open the floor to questions some of your questions were already answered in the chat. But what questions do you have? Go ahead and throw them in there and whichever teacher would like to hop in and answer that question, that would be great.

Question: How many characters are we learning, if any, for Chinese class?

I can take a stab at it. I have a daughter who's fluent in Mandarin, and she did the Middlebury Summer, intensive enrichment program. They say you need about 3,000 characters to be able to read a Chinese newspaper.

I suspect that in our Chinese I and II, you're probably not going to be learning more than, 500 to 1000, maybe each year. And that sounds like, perhaps a challenging number, but it's like everything else in language, you know? How do you eat an elephant? It's one bite at a time. You do a little by, little by little.

You make yourself some flashcards and, you drill, you do that in every language you take, whether it's French, Spanish, German, Chinese. Flashcards and your own time invested in memorization outside of class hours is absolutely vital. You can't just come to class and learn the language. You've got to do the memorization work outside of the class.

But there are lots of ways in which we can help you and encourage you, and resources we can point you to.

Question: If I'm already taking two languages next year and can't take German two, would it be too hard to come back to German two after a year of not speaking?

For German two, probably not, because we spend the first, ten weeks reviewing the grammar from German one.

Now what they spend maybe four class sessions on in German one we will review in one class session, but we will go back and review everything from the beginning of the German textbook before we slow down and take the last topics, and spend more time on the advanced grammar. But yeah, no it should not be a problem to come back, even if you took a year off.

You know, it would be good if that year off, you spend a little bit of time every now and then listening to, referring to, dipping into a little bit of German just to keep things a little fresh in your mind.

Question: How do students handle the extra years of a language on top of a heavy course load, speaking for full time Diploma Students?

I know diploma students have a heavy, heavy load, especially their senior year. They're doing their thesis and whatnot, but, I have seen every year, multiple seniors take French three or even French four. I think by the time and I think Rob would agree with this, by the time you get to the third year of a language, you have a sense of how to approach studying for it, what things are your particular, needs or your weaknesses, where you need to practice a little bit more?

We've also found that, I think it happens in French three a lot that they make little study groups and, work together, and, practice with them, going over, reviewing for a test, those type of things. So, it's, you know, I think perhaps also the workload for French is not like a workload for your thesis or your Omnibus or something like that, too. So, I think it's worth the effort.

It's also really worth talking to your academic advisor. If you are a full time student and sharing that you'd like to get to French 3 or 2, whatever level of language that you need to get to, let them know that as early as possible so they can help you kind of orient your classes accordingly.

Question: Would you recommend any online resources such as Rosetta Stone, etc.?

I think for Spanish, of course, anything like I can't, encourage anything other than come to Spanish live class. There's, really nothing better you can take but the Spanish live class. Better than another Duolingo or those kinds of things.

It's never going to be the same again because of the same things that we spoke before, which are you don't get that person to person, the explanation, the correction right away. So, I mean, all those resources are great as side helps, a lot of the students have them and they do that on their free time, almost like, just to practice or to get, a little bit of extra practice within the lesson.

But, I wouldn't just do that for sure. Like, I would definitely go to class and anything that you used, whatever you listen to outside, it's always it's never going to hurt listening and learning more. But, nothing like live classes.

Quizlet too. I have a lot of vocabulary practice on Quizlet. There's a lot of, you know, matching and game playing with that, too. So there are several apps out there that you can work with for extra practice. But as you said, it doesn't always address exactly what you're learning in class in that chapter. But any extra practice is great.

Rebecca Tunstall:

Okay. Any other questions here in the chat? I'm not sure if I've missed any. I'm trying to go back through, but we want to make sure we answer all of your questions. One other thing, as you might be thinking of some additional one that I want to mention if you are not 14 yet, but you really don't want to put off studying language, it might not be modern foreign language, but we welcome you to start taking Latin. Take Latin one. Do at least get in that act of practicing learning another language and and going through it. You do not have to be 14 to start with Latin one.

All right teachers, are there anything else in our closing moments that you'd like to say to the students as we end today?

Norma Tochijara:

You can do it. We're cheering for you! We all are cheering for you like we are your biggest fans. We're going to be, carrying you, it’s not overwhelming. We'll walk with you like it's not as overwhelming as it seems like you can do it. Trust me. If anybody you can do it.

Rebecca Tunstall:

We are so thankful that you guys all are able to come out today and to the teachers for being here today. You will not regret signing up for one of these courses. I know you won't. You will just grow and learn so much. As you can see, they are incredible. So please, if you have more questions, do not hesitate to schedule that consultation.

Look through our catalog, I have this link here in case you need it. If you want to check out the course catalog, you're welcome to click on that and look a little bit more into the details. Refresh your memory and ask any questions you have. So I would like to just take a moment to pray us out.

And I hope that you guys have a wonderful night and we'll see some of you in class tomorrow.

God, thank you for this opportunity to spend time together fellowshipping, learning more about the offerings that Veritas has.

Thank you for giving us such diversity in language and so many people. Thank you for the heart that you have for creativity and engagement and communication. And we know that you have shown us the example of what it means to be an expert communicator. And God, you have granted us wise people who have used your word and translated it into so many languages so that we can engage in it, help us to engage one another as we learn further and study the languages that you've provided us, and to just grow in our appreciation. In Jesus name we pray. Amen. All right. We hope you have a great night, guys. Thank you all for being here.