Middle School Foreign Language

Hebrew Language & Literature

Department Philosophy

The TVT Hebrew department is driven by the belief that mastery of Hebrew will allow students to better understand the History, culture and traditions of the Jewish people. Proficiency in Hebrew will help to foster a strong sense of belonging to the Jewish people, will help to cultivate strong ties with the State of Israel and will help to ignite student commitment to lifelong Jewish learning.

While TVT's Hebrew program emphasizes the four major language acquisition skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, priority is placed on Hebrew speaking. In order to achieve the aim of conversational mastery, TVT's Hebrew scope and sequence is based on ACTFL's (American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages) designations for speaking proficiency.

TVT Emphasis on Hebrew Speaking is most clearly shown in two ways:

  1. TVT has recently adopted the Ulpan Or curriculum to serve as the backbone of our Hebrew program. Ulpan or uses technology to focus on Rapid Language Acquisition
  2. TVT revisits the same monthly themes during each year of Hebrew learning, emphasizing new learning requirements based upon ACTFL "can do" designations. The monthly themes are as follows:
    • Sept.: Food at a food store: Requesting, Searching, Receiving, Purchasing
    • Oct: Directions, asking, offering
    • Nov. & Dec.: Eating, ordering, creating, serving food
    • Jan. & Feb.: The Doctors visit, finding an expert March/April – Airplane Security (El Al in particular)
    • May: What will I do this summer? A date to the dance

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Grades 6-8 (Hebrew level TBD by dept.)

    Hebrew 1A
    Hebrew 1A is for student with no previous experience reading, writing or speaking Hebrew. The first two months of this course are devoted solely to Hebrew reading. Students use Ulpan Or's Hebrew alphabet study kit and a book entitled "My First Hebrew Experience, units 1-10." By the end of Hebrew 1A students will have mastered the sounds of both Hebrew consonants and vowels and will be able to decode non-familiar words at a rate of 15 words per minute. Hebrew 1A strives to give students the skills and confidence to read, write and understand very basic Hebrew conversations. Communication at this level revolves around familiar topics using phrases that have been practiced and memorized. By the end of the Ulpan year, a student will successfully be able to introduce him/herself, to greet others, to answer Yes/No/Who/What/When/Where questions with one-word answers. Students will emerge from Ulpan Hebrew with the knowledge that they too can master the Hebrew language and with the desire to continue their Hebrew studies at a higher level. Students that complete Hebrew 1A will continue their Hebrew studies in either Hebrew 1B or Hebrew 2 based on teacher recommendation.
    Hebrew 1B
    Hebrew 1B is for students who have studied basic Hebrew for at least two years, have mastered the sounds of both Hebrew consonants and vowels, and are able to decode non-familiar words at a rate of 15 words per minute. The content of this class closely follows that of Hebrew 1A but the assumption of Hebrew decoding proficiency allows for deeper exploration into the area of Hebrew conversation. During this year of study, students will learn 250 high frequency Hebrew words and expressions. A major focus of this class is to give students the skills and confidence to write and understand very basic Hebrew conversations. Communication at this level revolves around familiar topics using phrases that have been practiced and memorized. By the end of the Ulpan year, a student will successfully be able to introduce him/herself, to greet others, to answer Yes/No/Who/What/When/Where questions with one-word answers. Students emerge from Ulpan Hebrew with the knowledge that they too can master the Hebrew language and with the desire to continue their Hebrew studies at a higher level. Students that complete Hebrew 1B will continue their Hebrew studies in Hebrew 2 based.
    Hebrew 2
    Hebrew 2 is for students who have previously taken Hebrew 1 (Ulpan) or for students who have been studying Hebrew in TVT's lower school for at least 3 years. During this year of study, students will increase their active vocabulary by an additional 250-300 words and expressions that are essential for everyday conversations. Communication at this Novice Low/Novice Mid. level revolves around familiar topics using phrases that have been practiced and memorized. By the end of the 2nd year, students will successfully be able to enter and exit a conversation, ask simple one-to-two word questions, answer questions with simple expressions or memorized phrases and offer basic information about themselves and others. During the year, Students will complete the workbook units 1-3 in the workbook entitled "Rama Aleph," and students will show competence in their use of the infinitive verb form (binyan paal) using an Ulpan Or workbook entitled, "Verb Infinitives".
    Hebrew 3
    Hebrew 3 is for students who have previously taken Hebrew 2 or for very advanced students who have been studying Hebrew in TVT's lower school for at least 5 years. During this year of study, students will increase their active vocabulary by an additional 400-500 words and expressions that are essential for everyday conversations. Communication at this Novice High level highlights a student's ability to exchange information about familiar topics using phrases and simple sentences. By the end of year 3, students will be able to receive and ask for simple directions, to offer and ask for personal information, to use a combination of pictures, graphs and verbal commentary to provide information and to interact in familiar everyday situations. During the year, students will complete units 4-7 in the workbook entitled "Ramah Aleph," and students will extend their knowledge of the infinitive verb form beyond binyan paal to cover all five main verb groups. Lastly, students will read and discuss Ulpan-Or's interactive Newspaper (lowest level).

    Hebrew 4
    Hebrew 4 is for students who have previously taken Hebrew 3 at TVT. During this year of study, students will solidify and make active the vocabulary learned during the past. Communication at this Intermediate Low-level highlights a student's ability to participate in conversations using simple sentences. By the end of Hebrew year 4, students will be able to express wants and needs when in a familiar situation. Additionally, a student will be able to offer a confident response to a query, answering factual questions based upon familiar information. During the year, students will complete their mastery of speaking in the present tense as well as how to use prepositions to create more sophisticated sentences. Students will study and strive to reproduce Hebrew dialogues and well as interact with near authentic materials (using the Ulpan Or workbook, "Juvenile Dialogues". Lastly, students will read and discuss Ulpan-Or's interactive Newspaper (intermediate level).
    (Note: Hebrew 4 is a mixed grade level Middle School/Upper School course)

    Hebrew 5 Honors
    Hebrew 5 is for students who have previously taken Hebrew 4 at TVT. This is an honors class that most likely will include a mixture of Middle and High School students. During this year of study, students will transition from past exposure to modified Hebrew materials to authentic language experiences. Communication at this Intermediate Mid-level highlights a student's ability to participate in conversations using a series of sentences, employing the necessary linking words and logical, sequential flow. By the end of year 4, students will be able to handle social interactions in everyday situations by asking and answering a variety of questions. Additionally, students will be able to guide a conversation from inception to completion, to talk about daily tasks and to express personal preference. During the year, students will begin focusing on their use of the past tense as they study and strive to reproduce authentic Israeli dialogues. These dialogues will be supplemented by short Hebrew stories produced by the company "Gesher." Lastly, students will read and discuss Ulpan-Or's interactive Newspaper (intermediate level).
    (Note: Hebrew 5 is a mixed grade level Middle School/Upper School course)

Spanish Language & Literature

Department Philosophy

Students who complete the full curriculum, Spanish 1 through 4 and AP, they will be able to write, analyze texts, and speak the language. Our overall objective in the Spanish department is to support and motivate the students to continue learning the Spanish language and culture as well as prepare them to be open and engaged to new cultures.

We use structured grammar methods, encourage critical thinking, provide sentence structure practices, include cultural research presentations, design dialogue presentations, and incorporate total physical response (TPR) so that students are able to learn in multiple modalities. Teaching our native Spanish language enables us to use firsthand experience and have students appreciate another language and culture with passionate teaching.

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Grade 8

    Spanish 1
    Spanish 1 is a comprehensive beginning course in which the student achieves facility in all aspects of listening, understanding, speaking, writing, and reading of the first-year lessons. Idiomatic expressions and verb conjugations are stressed in addition to other grammatical concepts. Hispanic history and civilization are introduced in conjunction with customs as a supplement to the text.
    Grade Level: 8
    Prerequisite: None (Note: Spanish 1 is a mixed grade level Middle School/Upper School course)
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