Bachelor’s degree from Boston University; Master’s degree in teaching Spanish from Florida Atlantic University
A veteran educator with more than a decade of classroom experience, Ms. Palazzotto taught at the Pine School, North Broward Prep, and Quality Schools International in Košice, Slovakia before joining Oxbridge in 2013. At Oxbridge, she has initiated study-abroad programs in Canada, Spain, and France.
Oxbridge Academy’s World Language courses promote the development of the four basic skills of language acquisition: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Strengthening these skills fosters active, student-centered communication in the target language by emphasizing what students can *do* with their chosen language of study in a variety of situations. We emphasize and value any and all skills related to effective communication in the target language, from the most mundane conversational exchanges to deep philosophical inquiries. By the end of their time at Oxbridge, students will have a strong linguistic foundation upon which to draw when continuing the study of their target language in college or when traveling to a country where the language is spoken.
MARISA PALAZZOTTO, WORLD LANGUAGES DEPT. CHAIR
Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and French from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; Master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix; Master’s degree in Latin American and Spanish literature from San Francisco State University
Before joining Oxbridge in 2017, Ms. Dona-Morice taught Spanish at the San Francisco School, San Francisco State University, Montverde Academy, a private, college-preparatory school in Florida, and Pine Crest School.
Bachelor’s degree in linguistics and Spanish and Master’s degree in Latin American and Spanish peninsular literature from Florida Atlantic University
A certified IB and AP Spanish teacher, Ms. Jonas has been teaching since 2002 at institutions in the U.S., Europe, and South America before coming to Oxbridge in 2017. She also chaired a world language department for 15 years. A hiking enthusiast and CrossFit athlete, she is known for bringing her personal experiences with life and nature into the classroom to inspire students and bring new perspectives to learning.
Bachelor’s degree in special studies from St. Francis College; Bachelor’s degree in languages and linguistics from Universidad Industrial de Santander (UIS) in Colombia; Master’s degree in reading from Nova Southeastern University
Mrs. Lamus joined Oxbridge in 2018 after teaching for 11 years in Palm Beach County high schools. Prior to her Florida career, she taught in Brooklyn, New York. She is the co-chair of the Palm Beach County World Language Fair.
Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Florida State University
Born in Toronto of Italian parents, Mr. Putigna spent three years in Spain studying Spanish and classical/flamenco guitar. He also worked in Spain for the American Institute for Foreign Studies; has traveled to 40 countries and has a passion for teaching and sharing his experiences with his students. A member of the Oxbridge faculty since 2012, he wants to invest in the future through education.
Dr. Sheilagh Riordan
Bachelor’s degree from Occidental College; Master’s degree from University of Michigan; Doctorate from University of Maryland
A member of the Oxbridge faculty since the school opened, Dr. Riordan was a Fulbright Fellow at Uppsala University, Sweden, and spent 14 years living and teaching in France, Sweden, Ireland, and Australia. She managed the study abroad program at the University of Melbourne in Australia and was director of the study-abroad program, IES Australia. She taught at Florida Atlantic University’s Honors College in Jupiter for six years, where she won an outstanding faculty award.
Bachelor’s degree in early childhood and elementary education, and Master’s degree in deaf education from New York University
An educator for more than 30 years, Ms. DiGiovanni, who joined Oxbridge in 2016, has extensive experience teaching sign language at the preschool, elementary, middle school, high school, and college levels. She is endorsed in American Sign Language, and has won a variety of awards, including the Berger Scholarship from New York University, National Fraternal Society Outstanding Student, Alexander Graham Bell Meritorious Award, New York City Leadership Recognition Award in the Deaf Community, Adjunct Faculty Award, and New York University Outstanding Student Teaching Award.
This course will introduce students to the Spanish language and the culture of the Spanish speaking world. This class will emphasize the spoken language and verbal communication, by teaching words, phrases and idioms that one will need to communicate in a Spanish-speaking country. Students are expected to reach novice-low to novice-mid levels of proficiency.
Students will continue to develop their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills from a novice low to a novice mid proficiency level. Students will exchange information on a variety of topics, including Latinos in the world, pastimes, technology, holidays, the arts, sports, transportation, and health. Cultural aspects of the contemporary Spanish-speaking world will be studied through communicative activities and projects.
Students will expand their Spanish proficiency through communicative activities with an emphasis on speaking and auditory comprehension. Students will be able to express events in present and future tense, with the use of new and previously acquired grammatical structures. Students will apply their knowledge and understanding of grammatical structures and vocabulary to the production of projects, presentations, and short writing assignments. Students are expected to reach novice-high to intermediate-mid levels of communication.
Students will be able to exchange biographical information and life experiences, write their résumé, and prepare for a job interview in Spanish. Grammar will be learned contextually through hands-on activities such as: design an ideal city, plan a dream vacation to a Spanish country, create an advertising campaign for an original invention, etc. Students will also deepen their cultural appreciation through an exploration of art, history, and cultural traditions across the Spanish-speaking world. Students are expected to master the intermediate-mid levels of proficiency.
Spanish 5 is an advanced-level course designed to expand students’ communication skills in Spanish through a modern and diversified approach to topics and cultural practices. Students will improve their competence skills and build their ability to interact in Spanish-speaking environments. Students will be exposed to all areas of linguistic competence, including listening, writing, reading, and socio-cultural awareness.
Honors Seminar in Spanish Language and Culture=
This course develops language mastery with a focus on interpretive, interpersonal, and presentation skills. Students sharpen their communication skills through advanced study and rigorous grammar, literature, and culture. Students learn about culture through the use of authentic materials that are representative of the Spanish-speaking world. Honors Seminar Spanish Language and Culture is a language acquisition course designed to provide students with the necessary skills and intercultural understanding to enable them to communicate successfully in an environment where Spanish is spoken. This class is conducted completely in Spanish.
Spanish for Heritage Speakers
This elective course provides students with real-life communicative situations and settings, with opportunities to reflect and gain a deeper understanding of their own culture. Students synthesize and negotiate linguistic and cultural meaning in order to explore problems and issues from their own and different perspectives. Students also gain practice in three modes of communication in pair and group activities by reading authentic texts, listening to authentic audios recorded by native speakers, and engaging in conversation in the heritage language. This course allows students to take what they have learned in each unit and apply it to situations beyond the classroom. This course is conducted in Spanish.
Honors Courses are offered to students who show substantial motivation and previous experience in Spanish and who wish to advance at a faster yet also more in-depth pace. Department Approval is required.
Students learn to introduce themselves and speak about their hobbies and interests. They focus on home, school, family, and daily lives using the present and the near future tense. Students learn phrases and idioms necessary for friendly social exchanges and learn to ask for information used in shops and cafés. Dialogue, role play, and pronunciation are important components of our communicative approach to French. Students are expected to reach novice-low to novice-mid levels of proficiency.
Students build on their vocabulary and understanding of how the French language is similar to English and other languages. Students will learn to discuss activities that have occurred in the past. As students discover the different countries of the French-speaking world, they will learn phrases and idioms vital for travel. Projects allow students an in-depth investigation of the countries of their choice and allow them to plan a virtual vacation. Students begin to focus on reading and writing French and become familiar with famous poems by Vigneault, Gautier, LaFontaine, and stories of France and Québec. Students are expected to master novice-mid levels of proficiency.
Students review different ways of discussing the past and learn to recognize still other past tense forms used in poetry and literature, particularly the tales of Charles Perrault. New emphasis is placed on written expression as students rewrite endings to classic French stories. Students learn to talk about what is going to happen in the future and learn to speak about hypothetical events. They delve deep into French gastronomy and learn to make suggestions and give orders with varying degrees of politeness. Emphasis is placed on both understanding and using different ways of asking questions. Students are expected to reach novice-high to intermediate-low levels of proficiency.
Students synthesize their knowledge of ways of discussing the past and the future as they learn idiomatic expressions of time. They discuss topical issues using expressions for hypothetical situations in the past, present, and future. Students study the building blocks of French, Québec, and North African society, with particular attention to festivals, traditions, and legends. Students read the poetry and prose of Saint-Exupéry, Laye, Camus, and Molière. Students are expected to develop their intermediate-low to intermediate-mid levels of proficiency.
Honors Seminar in French Culture and Literature
Honors Seminar in French Culture and Literature is designed to advance students’ proficiency through the study and discussion of short stories, poems, plays, art, movies, and contemporary news sources. The structure of the course will be similar to a college survey course in which students engage in close readings and analyses of thematic material and make inferences about a work’s meaning. Students will study art and music and discuss how it relates to direct historical events in the French-speaking world. Students will continue to develop the four language skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking through extensive interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational tasks. Works covered will span France, Québec, Haïti, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Sénégal, and beyond. Students are expected to reach novice-high to intermediate-low levels of proficiency.
Honors Courses are offered to students who show substantial motivation and previous experience in French and who wish to advance at a faster yet also more in-depth pace. Department Approval is required.
Honors Chinese 1
This course is designed for students who have had no prior experience in Chinese language and are interested in learning basic Chinese language as well as culture. Oral communication will be stressed through listening and speaking activities. Students will be able to ask and answer questions on topics such as greetings, numbers, date and time, self-introduction, and hobbies. Students will also learn reading and writing skills in basic simplified Chinese characters.
Honors Chinese 2
Students continue their study of Chinese by further expanding their knowledge of key vocabulary topics and grammar concepts. Students will be able to handle basic conversation, such as making appointments and bargaining. Students will also be able to write about their daily routine, study habits, favorite sports.
Honors Chinese 3
At this level, students will be expected to: actively engage in their own learning, understand common vocabulary terms and phrases, use a wide range of grammar patterns in their speaking and writing, participate in conversations, respond appropriately to conversational prompts, and analyze and compare cultural practices and products. Main topic areas covered are weather, food and restaurant culture, travel, asking directions, and seeing a doctor. The reflection of students’ progress will be seen in making mini movies, presentations, and journals.
Honors Chinese 4
Students will further develop their language skills across the three communicative modes: interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational. Students will learn about various aspects of contemporary Chinese society, including Chinese geography and population, ethnic and regional diversity, travel and transportation, holidays, and current affairs.
Honors Chinese 5
Students will develop advanced proficiency in Chinese and the capacity to respond in culturally appropriate ways to questions on familiar topics, to understand conversations among native Chinese speakers, and to comprehend and compose email as part of back-and-forth communication with other Chinese speakers. They will express their personal views or exchange opinions on topics of Chinese education, jobs and interviews, gender imbalances, and environmental protection.
American Sign Language (ASL) Courses
American Sign Language 1
This introductory course will focus on developing the basic expressive and receptive skills necessary to communicate with deaf communities. Course content includes signs, fingerspelling, numbers, songs, activities, and grammatical and cultural information. Emphasis will be placed on skill development, correct usage of signs, and a general understanding of signed languages used by deaf communities.
American Sign Language 2
In ASL 2, students will continue to expand vocabulary and concepts acquired in level one.Expansion of conversational range will include talking about other people and activities, giving directions, and making requests. Students will also develop discourse skills appropriate for establishing connections with deaf acquaintances and handling a variety of interruptions. This course will expand on fingerspelling, numbers, vocabulary, sentences, and conversation, with a focus on interaction in ASL to allow them to apply what they have learned.
American Sign Language 3
Students at this level should possess the content knowledge contained in ASL 1 and 2. Instruction and student response at this level allows no vocalization by instructor or students. The course will cover rules of social interaction, including role shifting, deaf history in the United States, fingerspelling at the intermediate sign language level, money systems, time sequence, color modifiers, English translation of dialogue and storytelling, and expanded vocabulary. The course will also cover deaf education, deaf community, interpreters, audiologists, doctors, and ASL literature stories.
Honors Courses are offered to students who show substantial motivation and previous experience in American Sign Language and who wish to advance at a faster yet also more in depth pace. Department Approval is required.
PLEASE NOTE: Course availability fluctuates from year to year. Please review the 2023-2024 Course Catalog for information on course availability and enrollment requirements.