In teaching languages, the World Languages faculty aims to develop those qualities that lie at the heart of all good education: an inquiring mind, a broad-minded attitude toward other cultures, and an interest in the world. To ensure a solid language education, the World Languages Department adheres closely to the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) standards, and ensures the development of 21st century skills.
The World Languages Department offers a variety of courses in French, Latin, and Spanish. The Department strongly encourages students to take a language all four years and supports students who want to take more than one world language. Moreover, the Department nominates students each year to the Virginia Department of Education sponsored Governor’s Foreign Language Academies and offers several language immersion and exchange programs on campus and abroad. You may find details under the Global Travel and Exchange Programs page. New student placement includes completion of a placement test and is done by the Academic dean the Chair of the Language Department.
1-block course; Open to grades 9 and 10
This course is designed for students who have not studied French previously. The course introduces them to the language in a welcoming environment and at a pace appropriate to a first exposure of the language. Students are introduced to greetings and salutations, classroom expressions, nouns and articles, simple adjectives, numbers, colors, time and days of the week. The course begins to familiarize the student with conjugations of regular verbs and formation of simple sentences. Prerequisite: None.
This course is for students with limited knowledge of French. It reinforces the acquisition of basic grammatical structures and vocabulary in culturally authentic contexts through speaking, reading, writing, and listening comprehension. The students are introduced to the most important rules of French grammar as well as cultural aspects of France and the Francophone world. Additionally, the students are required to use the textbook’s Internet resources to supplement their language skills. Prerequisite: Some French exposure, students who have finished Bridge to French I with a B or better, or by placement test.
This course is designed for the new student who has taken first year French at her previous school and who needs to review the material from level I prior to enrolling in the rigorous Madeira French II course. Mandatory for any student who completed French I at Madeira with a B- or below or for the student who would benefit from a thorough review. Prerequisite: Returning students - French I with a B- or below. New Students - by placement test.
Students continue to build vocabulary and grammar skills started in level I. Most verb tenses and moods are covered such as: passé composé, imperfect, present conditional, future simple, subjunctive. The course is taught in French through a series of thematic units such as getting by at the doctor’s office and hospital, running errands, using technology, and protecting the environment. Students are expected to participate fully in class discussions and projects. Prerequisite: Returning students - French I with a B or better. New students - by placement test.
3-block course; Open to grades 10, 11, 12
This course reviews all of the grammar of the first two years, supplements it and provides ample writing, reading, listening and speaking opportunities. Students read a variety of short stories that explore the lives and culture of people in different Francophone countries. By the end of her course, the student is able to engage in a conversation about daily life and current events, to narrate events in the past, present and future, express feelings, opinions and doubts with the subjunctive mood, and be understood by a native speaker. This course creates a path for students to continue to French IV or AP French. Prerequisite: Returning students - French II with a C+ or better. New students - by placement test.
3-block course; Open to grades 11 and 12
This course introduces students to classic and contemporary French and Francophone theatre. Selected classic and contemporary texts will be used in the class to help students gain a basic understanding of the historical evolution of French and Francophone theatre. Throughout the course, students will create a glossary of both technical and literary terms to utilize when analyzing the works of great playwrights. They will then apply basic techniques of pronunciation and diction to transform these written texts into a theatrical performance. Prerequisites: Returning students – French III with a B or better. New students - by placement test.
4-block course; Open to grades 11 and 12
The AP French Language and Culture course takes a holistic approach to language proficiency and recognizes the complex interrelatedness of comprehension and comprehensibility, vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness. The AP French Language and Culture course engages students in an exploration of culture, socio-economy, and politics, in both contemporary and historical contexts. The AP French course provides students with opportunities to improve and demonstrate their proficiency in Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational communications. Prerequisites: Returning students - French III with an A- average or better and department approval. New students - by placement test and departmental approval.
Identity and Contemporary Life - Students study the social customs, values, lifestyle, and education of French speaking countries. They explore their connection with personal and public identities inherited or developed in these countries.
Science, Technology, and the Arts - Students focus on technology and scientific innovations as well as in the arts to explore themes related to STEAM.
Global Challenges - Students focus on social, economic, environmental, and political issues in Francophone countries in order to discuss human rights principles and reflect upon our responsibility as global citizens.
AP French Exam Preparation - This last block familiarizes the students with the AP examination and reviews all previous topics.
Latin I introduces students to the fundamentals of Latin grammar and vocabulary through a reading-based approach. Students learn to translate Latin through stories that follow a Roman family from Pompeii to Roman Britain and Alexandria and illustrate important aspects of Roman history, culture and daily life. Students will also examine the relationship between Latin and English and learn a number of English words derived from Latin as well as Latin phrases and abbreviations that we use to this day. Prerequisite: None
Latin II builds upon the vocabulary and grammar learned in Latin I and introduces more complicated grammatical constructions such as participles, subjunctives, indirect statement, and the passive voice. Students improve their proficiency in the language as they work toward reading authentic texts. Readings and projects continue to introduce students to Roman history and culture including the Roman military, Roman philosophy and the ins and outs of life in Rome. Prerequisite: Returning students - Latin I with a C or better. New students - by placement test.
The Latin III curriculum provides an overview of Latin grammar as students learn to translate and interpret authentic Latin texts. Students become familiar with a variety of styles and genres as they read and analyze representative selections of some of the most famous Latin authors and works. These include Pliny's Letters, the epigrams of Martial, the poems of Horace and Catullus, Ovid's Metamorphoses, Vergil's Aeneid, and Livy's history of Rome. Prerequisite: Returning students - Latin II with a C or better. New students - by placement test.
3 or 4-block course
This course introduces students to two of the best-known works of Latin literature, Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico and Vergil's Aeneid, and two of the most famous periods in Roman history, the Late Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire, and prepares them for the AP exam. It includes an accelerated review of grammar and an introduction to essential elements for the interpretation of Caesar and Vergil (or any piece of history or literature), including genre, style, themes, and characterization. Prerequisite: Returning students: For Latin IV - Latin III with a C+ or better; For AP Latin - Latin III with an A- average or better and department approval. New students: by placement test and departmental approval.
Special Note: Students who want to earn AP credit must register for the four modules and take the AP exam
This course explores the influence that Greek and Roman myths and the languages in which they were composed have exerted upon the English language and the stories we tell. Students learn to recognize the Greek and Latin roots of the English language and to break English words down for meaning. We will focus on Greek and Latin words related to Greek and Roman mythology and, in the process, students will become familiar with many of the most famous myths of the ancient world and learn to trace their continued influence over millennia. Topics include Greek and Roman gods, constellations, the Greek alphabet, basic story structure and genre, the history of the English language, and an introduction to important concepts in historical linguistics, such as homonyms, assimilation, and cognates. Prerequisite: None.
1-block course; Open to grades 9 and 10
This course is designed for students who have not studied Spanish previously. The course introduces them to the language in a welcoming environment and at a pace appropriate to a first exposure to the language. Student are introduced to greetings and salutations, classroom expressions, nouns and articles, simple adjectives, numbers, colors, time and days of the week. This course begins to familiarize the student with verb conjugations of regular verbs and formation of simple sentences. Prerequisite: None
This course introduces students to some basic communicative functions, vocabulary and structures of the Spanish language in culturally authentic contexts through speaking, reading, writing, and listening comprehension exercises. Through the use of authentic and online materials students will begin to explore Spanish traditions and culture. To supplement their learning, students are expected to use the textbook's on-line resources on a regular basis. Prerequisite: Some Spanish exposure, students who have finished Bridge to Spanish I with a B or better, or by placement test.
This course is designed for the new student who has taken first-year Spanish at her previous school and who needs to review the material from level I prior to enrolling in the rigorous Madeira Spanish II course. Mandatory for any student who completed Spanish I at Madeira with a B- average or below. The course is also designed for the student who would benefit from a thorough review of Spanish I. Prerequisite: Returning students - Spanish I with a B- or below. New students - by placement test.
This course reinforces and expand the student’s knowledge of the basic communicative functions, vocabulary and structures learned in Spanish I. Students continue to develop their linguistic skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) using authentic materials while being exposed to cultural aspects of Spanish speaking countries. Some of the topics include health and medical conditions, city life, running errands, the environment, work life, and technology. A proficiency-based approach is used in class, which provides students many opportunities including group projects to learn and use the material. Prerequisite: Returning students – Spanish I with a B or better. New students - by placement test.
This course reinforces grammatical, spoken, and analytical skills and reviews all of the grammar and vocabulary of the first two years. Ample writing, reading, listening, and speaking opportunities ensure students complete the third level of the language requirement in a thorough and meaningful way. Through a variety of authentic texts (short stories, articles, media, and film), students improve their cultural competency while enhancing their language proficiency to communicate personal background, interests, and activities; to narrate and describe in major time frames; and to participate in conversations about topics of general interest expressing opinion, reactions, and recommendations. Classes are conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: Returning students – Spanish II with a C+ or better. New students - by placement test.
This course continues developing skills in the language acquisition at an advanced level by introducing the students to more advanced themes such as politics, social problems, psychology and gender studies. Prerequisite: Returning students – Spanish III with a B or better. New students - by placement test.
This course continues to develop all skills in their language acquisition at an advanced level by introducing the students to more advanced themes such as politics, environment, world health and war among others. Through the use of authentic written and audio-visual materials, students learn to address a myriad of topics verbally and in written form, in formal and informal contexts. Students master the material through projects in which they research the theme, write multiple-page reports, create websites and presentations at the end of each module. Prerequisites: Returning students – Spanish III with a A- average or better and department approval. New students - by placement test and departmental approval.
Identity and Contemporary Life - Students study the social customs, values, lifestyle, and education of Spanish speaking countries. They explore their connection with personal and public identities inherited or developed in these countries.
Global Challenges - Students focus on social, economic, environmental, and political issues in Spanish-speaking countries in order to discuss human rights principles and reflect upon our responsibility as global citizens.
Science, Technology, and the Arts – Students focus on technology and scientific innovation as well as in the arts to explore themes related to STEAM.
AP Spanish Exam Preparation - This last block familiarizes the students with the AP examination and reviews all previous topics.
Classes 2020 and beyond:
Classes of 2019:
New students take placement tests to determine enrollment in the appropriate language course. The Chair of the Language Department and the Academic Dean make all course placements.
Dr. Campos began teaching at Madeira in 2012. He is a native of Lima, Peru where he earned a bachelor's degree from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru in Hispanic Literatures and Linguistics. His interest in literature and creative writing brought him to the U.S. where he earned a doctorate from Boston University in Hispanic Language and Literatures. Before teaching at Madeira, he was a senior lecturer at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. He lives on campus with his wife Melissa and daughter Aurora.
Mrs. Cooley began teaching at Madeira in August 2000. She earned a juris doctorate (J.D.) from San Marcos University in Peru, and a master’s degree in Latin American Studies from the American University where she also earned a Spanish/English translation certificate. She serves as sophomore advisor and Spanish Club faculty advisor. Her two daughters are Madeira graduates, Alex ’99 and Susie ’02.
Dr. Xiaofu Ding joined the Madeira World Languages Department as a French teacher in 2014. She most recently worked at the Brearley School in New York City where she taught French and Mandarin to K-12 girls for six years. She graduated from New York University with a Ph.D. in French literature, studied at the prestigious l’École Normale Supérieure (Lyon) and acquired a diploma of advanced studies (DEA) at Paris 8. As an experienced educator with over 15 years of teaching foreign languages, literature, and western civilizations at numerous schools (which include New York University, the New School, the Brearley School), Dr. Ding believes the ultimate goal in education is to teach students how to think critically and creatively. She explained her teaching philosophy by way of a metaphoric analogy picture: she initially shows the young mind the right keys to the right doors, which would guide them to acquire the skills to find the right keys to the doors they wish to open. The ultimate achievement is that they will be able to make their own keys to unlock whatever doors they choose. In her leisure time, Dr. Ding loves outdoor activities, and is an arts, theater, and modern ballet lover. She is excited to join the Madeira community, and contribute to the enrichment of students’ lives.
Dr. Bednarowski joined the World Languages department in 2016. He teaches all levels of Latin. He earned a B.A. from The University of Chicago and an M.A. and Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin. He has taught at the college and high school levels, most recently at The Boys’ Latin School of Maryland in Baltimore.
Giulia Pagano joins Madeira’s World Language department for the 2017-2018 academic year as the French and Spanish teacher. Ms. Pagano graduated in May 2017 from Dickinson College with a B.A. in French and Spanish and earned a dual teaching certification for both languages in the state of Pennsylvania. She studied in Waterloo, Belgium in 2010 through the Rotary Youth Exchange Program. In addition, she worked as an English au pair in Málaga, Spain. Lastly, she attended the University for Foreigners of Perugia. As a bicultural and multilingual individual, Ms. Pagano is dedicated to enriching each of her classes with her passion for languages and dedication for cultural awareness. Through this, it is her hope that her students will understand the amazing struggle and incredible value of what it is to be a life-long language learner.