Kent Denver Curriculum Guide and Course List

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World Languages

Graduation Requirement: Three consecutive years of Upper School study in a single language (Chinese, French, or Spanish)

At Kent Denver, World Languages studies go beyond the mere teaching of language and culture. Here, we provide a vital cornerstone for key life skills, with listening, critical thinking, effective public speaking, writing and collaborative work contributing to that foundation.

Simply, proficiency in a language other than one’s native tongue is an essential skill in a constantly changing world. Such proficiency—the ability to see the world and the self through a more global prism—is also a foundational component of a liberal arts education. While never forgetting the need to help our students do well in college, we also keep our collective eye on an even more important goal—specifically, to allow our students to communicate effectively with people from other cultures.

We develop the skills of aural comprehension, reading, speaking and writing in all levels. The study of culture plays a major role as well. Through the study of literature, which begins at the intermediate level, we encourage our students to not only improve their vocabulary and analytic skills, but also to see the world from different cultural perspectives. Moreover, while we actively integrate technology into the classroom, we never lose sight of the fact that human interaction exists at the core of what we do.

Perhaps above all, we value curiosity about the world. Kent Denver offers three languages—Chinese, French and Spanish—to students in grades 6-12. Instruction spans beginner-level through AP.

Kent Denver's World Languages program offers students entry into the ever-changing, increasingly interconnected global society.

Meet Our World Languages Faculty

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Samantha Baumgarten

Samantha Baumgarten

Titles: Spanish/Latin Teacher

B.A. - Spanish

"I believe that learning another language is one of the richest learning activities we can undertake. I love helping kids "crack the code" of how to understand and communicate using Spanish."

Ms. Baumgarten enjoys working at Kent Denver not only because of her students, but also the faculty community, which she appreciates for its deep care and concern for all of our students.

Matthew Bentley

Matthew Bentley

Titles: Spanish Teacher

Jane Horn Distinguished Teaching Chair

"I help students see the world, themselves and each other from a different perspective. I love the never-ending process of figuring out what works, and the yearly cycle of re-inventing myself and my classes."

Prior to working at Kent Denver, Mr. Bentley was a professor at Wabash College. He also taught in the Humanities Department at the University of Colorado-Boulder and in the Languages and Literature Department at the University of Denver.

Allison Cain

Allison Cain

Titles: French Teacher

B.A. - French Literature
M.Ed. - Curriculum and Instruction
M.A. - French Global Studies

"Daily, I am invited to be creative and resourceful all the while working with outstanding kids. Teaching French is not purely about the language but also about music, history, art, food, religion, society and so much more. I adore seeing my students evolve into more open-minded, confident and sensitive speakers of the French language."

Prior to coming to Kent Denver, Ms. Cain taught for two years in Florida and lived in Paris while pursuing a masters in Global Studies. While in France, she had the opportunity to research rural life and the impact of tourism on the village population, identity and economy.

Annick Chen

Annick Chen

Titles: Chinese Teacher

B.A. - French
M.A. - Visual Arts

"As a teacher, I get the opportunity to make a significant difference in the world each and every day just by touching the lives of my students."

Prior to arriving at Kent Denver in 2016, Ms. Chen taught Chinese language at Denver South and Abraham Lincoln High Schools. She was named the 2015-16 Teacher of the Year by the Colorado Congress of Foreign Language Teachers and has received numerous awards for her teaching.

"Teaching my native language, Chinese, enables me to draw upon my own culture and personal experience as a foreign language learner as I teach my students to effectively communicate with me in Chinese on a daily basis,." Ms. Chen says. "In addition, it allows me to help my students gain an appreciation for another language and culture, to broaden their world view and to build essential skills for global competence."

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