Pentucket Regional High School offers a five-year foreign language sequence in French, German, Latin and Spanish, introduced in an exploratory semester of the seventh grade. The second semester of the seventh grade begins the foreign language concentration that continues at the high school in two academic tracks – College Preparatory and Honors. Latin classes at the high school are conducted only at the Honors level. Advance Placement courses are offered in French, German and Spanish.
All classes are designed for students to develop the four core language skills – listening, speaking, reading and writing – emphasized in areas of communication, culture, connections, comparisons and community. As a classical language, the study of Latin encompasses reading comprehension, translation, and grammar.
PRHS requires all students to complete 5 credits in Music, Art, Theater or Foreign Language. Students are encouraged to complete three full years of one foreign language and to add a second foreign language in their sophomore or junior years. Changing language choices and levels interferes with the mastery sequencing of grammatical and morphological information. Placement exams at the end of the school year accommodate students’ abilities into appropriate courses. Students also register for the National Language Exams (conducted in all four languages) that offer additional assessment data.
The Honors classes lead to the Advance Placement course in each foreign language. The active pace of new materials requires accurate retention and mastery of previous linguistic blocks so the language acquisition is solid enough that students can combine different groups of information with newer ones. Students in these classes use more abstract thinking skills to transfer vocabulary and grammar units into their own natural conversational patterns. Student responsibilities include consistent, efficient preparation and effective time management skills. A desire to understand and use the foreign language in the classroom is essential as only that language will be spoken/read in explanations and class lessons. Reading and writing samples are authentic; they demand proficiency in expression and present cultural information. Summer reading/writing projects start the class with additional rigor.
The CP (college preparation) classes incorporate basic vocabulary and linguistic categories. Various practice opportunities at a moderate pace allow appropriate time for the students to comprehend, to review and to be comfortable with new materials. A functional approach provides clearly defined steps that mix chunks of vocabulary and grammar into communicative patterns. Student responsibility involves a commitment to being prepared and to coming to class with a desire to learn. Reading and writing samples incorporate the classroom materials in newer presentations for more comprehension. Summer reading/writing projects maintain a consistent start to the school year.
Foreign Exchange Program
Pentucket provides the foreign language student with the opportunity of a foreign exchange through the GAPP, German American Partnership Program. German students from the Landrat Lucas Gymnasium in Leverkusen, Germany come to Pentucket and spend three weeks attending school here. These students and their teachers are hosted by Pentucket students. During the summer, Pentucket students and their teachers visit the partner school for a three-week period. This exchange program, in its 19th year, provides the students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the German language and to experience German life and customs first hand by living with a German family, attending school and visiting cultural and historical sites in Germany and neighboring European countries.
Pentucket also encourages individual exchanges with many foreign countries. Pentucket students wishing to exchange with a foreign student, or simply wishing to study abroad, may receive five credits for a minimum of three months official enrollment and attendance at the foreign high school, with further credits given for longer stays, not to exceed ten credits. In addition, particularly for longer exchanges, arrangements can be made for the transferal of grades and credits from the foreign school to Pentucket with prior consultation with the program director and the approval of the proper school officials. Students who stay less than three months may be assessed at the discretion of the program director and the approval of the proper school officials. Some students may also wish simply to host a foreign student at their home here in the U.S., and this is greatly encouraged. This requires much detailed planning, the student’s desire to work at becoming fluent, co-operation among parents, teachers and administrators. All programs need approval from both sites before they can be implemented.
During February and/or April vacation weeks other foreign language immersion opportunities are available. Check with the foreign language teachers and Department