Foreign Languages

Chase Krebs
M.A.,University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Research Interests: Electrophysiology and Language Processing
Office: H204

The Alabama School of Mathematics and Science is actively engaged in a German and Spanish cultural short-stay abroad program. Students have the opportunity to indicate their interest in such an experience by submitting an application. Students generally score very well on the respective AP language exams after such an experience abroad. Students who comply with the full exchange rules will be able to earn up to 1.5 CU as general elective credit for the entire term spent in the foreign environment of our programs.

Click here for more information about the German Exchange Program.
Click here for more information about the Spanish Exchange Program.

The language laboratory is equipped with current and interactive language-specific software, some of which is tailor-made for particular classes; others are for general and independent use. The language lab is a valuable tool for each world language learner for it bolsters individualized repetition and enrichment and guarantees oral and aural input even without immediate teacher supervision. Students at ASMS have access to technologically-advanced and regularly-updated materials, regardless of whether or not they are enrolled in any particular class, and with the understanding that the lab is intended for language work only. Availability of such resources encourages differentiated student progress and maximum creativity. Guidance in independent use of language materials is available from respective teachers at any given time. The use of personal headphones including a microphone is the rule; some headsets can be provided upon request.

French Honor Society (SHF), German Honor Society (DEP) and Spanish Honor Society

Extra-curricular enrichment in Spanish

Café ASMS: The Spanish National Honor Society (SHH) “hosts” a lunch table one day per week, in which all students of Spanish (or those interested in pursuing the language) are invited to sit at a designated lunch table in the cafeteria and speak only in Spanish during their lunch-break. The upper-level students may help facilitate the conversation but all levels are encouraged to participate for such a context tremendously fosters greater ease in conversation and allows students to have a mini-immersion in a comfortable setting.

La abeja (The “Bee”): Organized and hosted by the Spanish National Honor Society (SHH), quarterly vocabulary competitions are held on campus in an effort to promote the National Spanish Exam. These fun and challenging competitions test students’ knowledge and recall of specific vocabulary from an extensive list of categories delineated by the National Spanish Exam (NSE) Board. Results have shown that these competitions set the stage for greater success among our Spanish students, as evidenced by the large number of state and national honors and awards granted to ASMS Spanish students.

Proyecto ¡Viva el español! In an effort to promote the language and to build strong bonds in the larger community of Mobile and surrounding areas, each year, Spanish National Society (SHH) members plan and develop weekly after-school Spanish lessons for underprivileged elementary students in Prichard, Alabama. Accompanied by a teacher who serves only as an observer, ASMS students teach these young and motivated elementary students, who wait in great anticipation each week for the arrival of their teachers, to count, recite the alphabet, recognize colors, make simple greetings and farewells, and, their favorite, to SING!

adventures culturales: Students are encouraged to participate in many of the Spanish language and cultural events organized throughout the year—from the vocabulary “bees” to teaching Spanish to underprivileged elementary-school children to celebration of national holidays in Spanish-speaking countries to explorations of authentic cuisine. These activities either take place on campus, at a local restaurant or in the teacher’s home. All students are welcome to all events for the Foreign Language Department at ASMS strives to foster not only multi-cultural sensitivity but also global consciousness in each of our students. We are committed to such ideals and also realize that experiential learning outside of the classroom is often just as valuable as that which takes place in the classroom.

Extra-curricular enrichment in French and German

Weekly Stammtisch and Café Français in the cafeteria allow students to casually converse over lunch. Native speaker exchange-students, French and German National Honor Society Members and upper level students help all interested students listen in on and engage in the spoken language and converse.

Game Nights for both languages, hosted at the teachers’ house, offer another opportunity to ‘learn by doing’ in a relaxing atmosphere. The entire evening is conducted in the respective language playing board games that are authentic to the culture. Visiting native speakers of all ages in Mobile and Baldwin County are always invited. Students have the opportunity to forge meaningful relationships in small groups and realize that their learning does not have to be limited to the classroom.

Raising money for charities ( Haiti earthquake and Alabama tornado disasters) and giving their time weekly to help teach English for Refugee Resettlement Services in Mobile exemplify some of the community involvement of the National French Honor Society at ASMS. Students in the National German Honor Society have helped organize school-wide plant visits at local employers such as Airbus, Evonics and Thyssen Krupp.

Regular seasonal events are marked by both National Honor Societies and active French and German Clubs, such as St. Nicolas/Nikolaustag, advent and Mardi Gras/Karneval. Spelling bees, Easter egg hunts, crafts meetings, egg decorating and cooking sessions, gingerbread baking, foreign music dance parties etc. take place throughout the year and are supported by very active French and German Clubs.

All French and German students attend cultural events in and around Mobile as they present themselves over time, such as the international celebration to pass the Olympic torch in Bienville Square, helping build a Berlin Wall replica in Cathedral Square, attending a lecture on Austrian composers and poetry readings from the University of South Alabama at the Mobile library, social meetings with other exchange students from Theodore High School and other students from Bayside Academy (Daphne) and participating in the University of South Alabama’s Foreign Film Series and the Library of Mobile International Film Series, among others.

Graduation Requirements

2.0 CU graduation requirement Continuous enrollment until graduation requirement is completed is the preferred sequence. All students minimally must complete the intermediate level of a language with 1.0 CU of credit completed at ASMS. For all entering students wishing to pursue a language for which they already have some credit, a language placement exam will be used to evaluate the appropriate starting level in the ASMS language sequence.

Concentration/Distinction Requirements:

Possible Areas of Concentration in Foreign Languages: Spanish, French, German, Latin, Modern Languages (any combination of French, German, and Spanish and Language Electives), Foreign Languages (any combination of German, French, Spanish, Latin and Language Electives), Classics – This concentration consists of a combination of electives in history, classics, and Latin, approved by faculty.

Concentration: 3 courses beyond the foreign language requirement.

Concentration with Distinction: 6 courses beyond the foreign language requirement.

SINGLE LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT Students must complete the intermediate sequence in one language and complete at least 1.5 CU beyond the intermediate level at ASMS.

MODERN LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT Students must complete the intermediate sequence in one modern language and have at least 1.5 CU in one or two other modern languages at ASMS.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT Students must complete the intermediate sequence in one foreign language and have at least 1.5 CU of one or two other languages at ASMS. All applications are subject to approval by Ms. Hoequist or Ms. O’Farrill.