Upper 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.: 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.

  • Hebrew

    Hebrew 1*
    Upper School Hebrew 1 is for students with no previous experience reading, writing or speaking Hebrew. 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 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 Hebrew 1, 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. During the year, students use Ulpan Or's Hebrew alphabet study kit and a book enti- tled "My First Hebrew Experience, units 1-10." 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.
    Hebrew 2*
    Hebrew 2 is for students who have previously taken Hebrew 1 (Ulpan) or for students who enter TVT with at least 2 years of Hebrew language learning. 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 their 2nd year of Hebrew, 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 units 1-3 in the workbook entitled "Kitah Aleph," and students will master the use of the infinitive verb form (binyan paal) using an Ulpan Or book entitled "Verb Infinitives."
    Hebrew 3*
    Hebrew 3 is for students who have previously taken Hebrew 2. 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 "Kitah 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 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. Lastly, students will read and discuss Ulpan-Or's interactive Newspaper (intermediate level).
    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 Hebrew 5, 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).
    Hebrew 6 Honors*
    Hebrew 6 is an honors class intended for students who have previously taken Hebrew 5 at TVT. During this year of study, students will gain confidence with authentic language production through repeated exposure to radio programming, short lectures and news headlines/bulletins. Communication at this Intermediate High-level highlights a student's ability to offer valid descriptions of events and the ability to begin talking about events and experiences in various time frames. This level of Hebrew learning begins exposing students to unexpected situations and asks students to use their language in order to resolve a problem that requires a multi-step solution. By the end of year 6, students can ask for and act upon changing information and can talk about others with passion and conviction. During the year, students will master their usage of the past tense verb in all 5 binyanim. Students will base their conversations and discussions around an Ulpan Or workbook entitled, "That's Life". These dialogues will be supplemented by 1-2 Hebrew novellas produced by the company "Gesher." Lastly, students will read and discuss Ulpan-Or's interactive Newspaper (intermediate level).
    Hebrew 7 Honors*
    Hebrew 7 is an honors class intended for students who have previously taken Hebrew 6 at TVT. During this year of study, students will gain confidence with higher level authentic media production through repeated exposure to radio, film and TV programming. Communication at this Advanced Low-level highlights a student's ability to participate in conversations that go beyond their own everyday life and experience, using hypothesis, supposition and other strategies of empathy to express their emotions. By the end of Hebrew 7, students will be able to compare and contrast, and organize how they talk about and describe others so that there is an internal logic to the sentences they string together. Additionally, advanced low students can verbally negotiate a familiar situation with an unexpected complication and use their language skills to resolve conflict.

    During the year, students will master their usage of the future tense verb in all 5 binyanim. Students will base their conversations and discussions around the 2nd part of an Ulpan Or workbook entitled, "That's Life". These dialogues will be supplemented by 1 "Gesher" book and one short Hebrew novel. Lastly, students will read and discuss Ulpan-Or's inter- active Newspaper (Advanced level).
    Hebrew 8 Honors*
    Hebrew 8 is a 100% immersion- based honors class intended for students who have previously taken Hebrew 7 at TVT. Communication at this Advanced Mid-level highlights a student's ability to effectively persuade and convince others by expressing opinions and beliefs with supporting evidence. Students at this level are also able to express them- selves in various times frames about subjects beyond their area of expertise, sharing a conceptual knowledge of cause and effect. During the year, students will master their usage of the passive tense verb in all 5 binyanims. Students will base their conversations and discussions around an Ulpan Or workbook entitled, "Advanced Stories. These dialogues will be supplemented by several short Hebrew stories, one Hebrew novel and the advanced Ulpan Or Newspaper. Students at TVT's highest Hebrew level with also take part in a culminating "Lost in Israel" project. With only $350, a High school student lost in Israel must find food, a place to live, a job and maybe even a few friends. These projects will be filmed and shown to TVT towards the end of the year.
    Hebrew 9 Honors
    Hebrew 9 is currently the highest level of Hebrew at TVT. This 100% immersion course covers 10 units in the Advanced-Mid Ulpan Or workbook. This class will also be tasked with creating Hebrew introductions to each holiday that can be used in the Lower School Hebrew program. Ulpan Or materials, such as the high-level Hebrew newsletter, will be supplemented by one gesher-style book, ten short stories and one original Hebrew novel.

Spanish Language & Literature

Department Philosophy

Students who complete the full curriculum, Spanish 1 through 4 and AP, 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.

List of 2 frequently asked questions.

  • Spanish

    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: 9-12
    Prerequisite: None
    Spanish 2*
    Spanish 2 begins with a general review of Spanish 1 and quickly advances to a more complex development of the four major skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. A proficiency-oriented and integrative approach to teaching permits students to progress from controlled practice to more meaningful practice, and ultimately, open-ended activities in the four major language skills. Cultural awareness is included at every learning stage by means of articles, lecture, and audio-visuals. Authenticity of expression is emphasized so that the students develop a sense of social and contextual appropriateness. High frequency and high interest vocabulary is placed in a context that is culturally realistic, as well as meaningful and interesting for students. The indicative as well as the subjunctive moods are studied and reinforced in paragraphs and oral discussion. The students are expected to speak Spanish at an appropriate level, during class.
    Grade Level: 9-12
    Prerequisite: Spanish 1
    Spanish 3*
    Spanish 3 begins with an extensive review of Spanish 2, bridging necessary gaps. Various opportunities encourage and motivate the students to develop fluency and accuracy in the four major skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Students use as much real-life and “active” vocabulary for constant reinforcement and communication, and they progress in developing functional Spanish. The approach to this course is proficiency-oriented and integrative, with the four skills and culture reinforcing one another in a spiraling fashion. Situations that are relevant to the students and high-frequency vocabulary motivate the students to initiate and participate in active communication. Short stories and poems further expand student interest and serve as stimuli for student-centered oral and written communication and critical thinking skills.
    Grade Level: 10-12
    Prerequisite: Spanish 2
    Spanish 4*
    Spanish 4 is conducted in Spanish and is an advanced level course that prepares the student for the Spanish SAT 2 and Advanced Placement Spanish. This course focuses on proficiency and active communication in Spanish through advanced grammar study, writing, lecture, and classroom discussion. The student will develop fluency in spoken and written Spanish by studying various genres of literature and poetry. Vocabulary acquisition, idiomatic fluency, and natural expression are broadened through additional outside readings, magazines, and newspapers. Classroom presentations, reporting, and writing on current events and various cultural interests provide for the development of a higher degree of competency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The course content will reflect interests that are shared by students and teacher and will include topics on film, theater, art history, and contemporary issues. Frequent compositions improve ability to compose expository passages with fluency and accuracy of expression.

    Intensive language study further expands proficiency in realistic communication, critical thinking, and interpretation.
    Grade Level: 11-12
    Prerequisite: Spanish 3
  • Advanced Placement

    AP Spanish Language*
    This course is designed to be comparable to advanced level (fifth and sixth semester or the equivalent) college/university Spanish language courses. It seeks to practice skills in listening, reading comprehension, and oral expression as well as to provide a foundation in Spanish language grammar composition. This course seeks to help students develop the following: the ability to comprehend formal and informal spoken Spanish; the acquisition of vocabulary and the mastery of structure so as to allow the easy, accurate reading of newspaper and magazine articles, as well as of modern literature in Spanish; the ability to compose expository passages; and the ability to express ideas orally with accurate fluency. The course prepares students for success on the AP Spanish Language Exam. Throughout the course, the grammatical component of the language will be reviewed and tested using different approaches.
    Grade Level: 11-12
    Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation
*This course is approved by the University of California.
Course Availability: It is important to note that a course may not be offered in a given year due to low course enrollment.
TVT Community Day School is a TK-12 Independent Community Day School in Irvine, CA
Founded in Loving Memory of Naomi Gelman Weiss