World Languages

  • Accelerated Intermediate French

    Building on the previous year’s foundation, Accelerated Intermediate French addresses more advanced grammatical structures—including new tenses, moods, and sentence patterns—that enable students to communicate more accurately and authentically in the target language. A consistent emphasis on language in context and an exclusive use of French in the classroom help students build confidence as they use these new structures in their speaking and writing. The D’accord! Level 2 program plays a central role in daily practice and assessment: its audio and video selections are invaluable resources for improving listening skills. In the second half of the year, students are introduced to French literature by explicating, memorizing, and reciting a classic French-language poem. Later, they read one or two short novels, including Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince. Near the end of the year, students explore the legacy of French colonialism in and around Missouri and apply their language skills to a research project and/or field trip.
  • Accelerated Intermediate Italian

    This is a course in Intermediate to Advanced Italian. The goal is to develop proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing the Italian language as well as to learn about Italian history and culture. We review and expand upon verb tenses, noun and adjectival constructions, and vocabulary learned in Accelerated Introductory Italian and add to them more advanced constructions including hypothetical statements and indirect discourse, all while examining authentic content in a variety of formats. Class is conducted in Italian, and students are expected to avoid speaking English. While the course textbook, Immagina: L’italiano senza confini is used throughout the year, the fourth quarter is dedicated to reading an Italian work of literary merit in its entirety. Emphasis in Accelerated Intermediate Italian is on practical use of the language, both in the context of real-world scenarios and in discussions of topics that arise in students’ daily lives.
  • Accelerated Introductory French

    This beginning course takes a scaffolded, balanced-skills approach to building proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Students learn the structures and systems of the French language: grammar, syntax, vocabulary, pronunciation, and spelling. From the outset, the course emphasizes language in context and is conducted in French. Students also begin to learn about francophone culture in various parts of the world, including our immediate area, which has a deep historical connection to France. The course is built on a multi-media language program, D’accord! Level 1. In addition to introducing grammatical structures and vocabulary, D’accord includes dramatic and authentic videos, literary and cultural texts, and embedded online tools that provide reinforcement through practice and assessment. The Accelerated Introductory French program is enhanced by expanded work during a weekly lab session, special projects, and at least one field trip.
  • Accelerated Introductory Italian

    This course provides a general introduction to the Italian language contextualized in Italian culture and heritage. Using the course textbook, Sentieri: attraverso l’Italia contemporanea, students are introduced to every Italian verb tense and some of the non-indicative moods as well as pronunciation and basic syntax. Emphasis throughout the course is on the development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. By the end of the course, students are able to understand and provide accurate responses to both written and spoken Italian. Assessments include regular quizzes as well as periodic projects such as in-class presentations, skits, posters, and brochures. In addition to using the textbook, students watch a number of Italian films while examining their cultural and historic relevance in addition to their use of language. The course is conducted primarily in Italian, though English is sometimes used for clarification or explanation.
  • Greek: Attic

    With a year of Homer’s poetry behind them, the students now dive into Attic Greek prose. They begin their study by using Greek: An Intensive Course, created by professors Hardy Hanson and Gerald M. Quinn. This textbook reinforces many of the morphology the students learned in Greek 1 and adds syntactical constructions required to read sophisticated Greek prose. Sometime around mid-year, they put aside this book and apply their skills towards a Platonic dialogue (over the years TJ students have read the Ion, the Meno, and parts of the Republic). By the end of the year, successful students have the skills in place to continue reading Greek authors for both pleasure and life-long illumination.
  • Greek: Homeric

    Greek 1 provides students a morphological and syntactical foundation of ancient Greek. Homer’s Iliad is the bridge for our study. The first half of the year focuses on memorization of both noun cases and verb conjugations; translation dominates the second half. Along the way, students learn the rules of dactylic hexameter, the meter Homer employed for both of his epics. In addition to scanning lines, students memorize and recite the initial part of the poem. Nestled into our work is the National Greek Exam, a test administered by the American Classical League: we take the test in late February. As their skills increase, students look at multiple translations to see decisions made by “professional” translators. By year’s end, the class is adept at translating about ten lines an hour and ready for the challenges of Herodotus and the Attic authors they’ll encounter in Attic Greek the following year.
  • Latin 1

    The study of Latin provides middle schoolers with a strong foundation from which to pursue all other disciplines, such as English, History, Italian, French, and yes, even Math. The goals of this first-year course are to develop reading skills in the target language through an inductive approach; to acquire an understanding and appreciation of Latin literature; to gain knowledge of Roman culture and history through readings in both Latin and English; to observe the influence of Latin on the English language; and to see English in relation to a language of very different structure. Grammar and vocabulary study also requires memorization, strategies for which are taught and reinforced in class. Latin 1 uses Latin for the New Millenium.
  • Latin 2

    Latin 2 students build upon their knowledge of the Latin language. Although constant review of all grammatical concepts occur daily, the overall goal of this class is to master all forms of Latin nouns and verbs and to become proficient in reading, understanding, and translating Latin. As we become increasingly comfortable with all aspects of the Latin language, we move on to translation of prolonged continuous passages of Latin text, using an intermediate reader of myths, as well as textbook passages from authors such as Cicero, Virgil, Ovid, and Caesar. Latin 2 quickly reviews material covered in Latin 1 before moving ahead in Latin for the New Millenium and exploring myths from an intermediate reader.


  • Photo of Benjamin Smith
    Benjamin Smith
    Instructor in English & French
    Mississippi State University - B.A.
    University of Chicago - A.M.
    Maryville University - M.A.
  • Photo of Michele Asuni
    Michele Asuni
    Instructor in World Languages
    Johns Hopkins University (Classics) - PhD
    University of Pisa (Classics and Ancient History) - MA
    American School of Classical Studies at Athens (Regular Year)
    University of Pisa (Classics - Greek and Latin) - BA
  • Photo of James Pesek
    James Pesek
    Director of Equity and Belonging; Director of Program Operations; Instructor in Italian & Math
    Wesleyan University - BA
    Webster University - M.A.
  • Photo of Boaz Roth
    Boaz Roth
    Chair, English Department; Instructor, English, Math, Greek
    (314) 843-4151
    American University - B.A.
    St. John's College, Annapolis - M.A.
  • Photo of Jane Roth
    Jane Roth
    Head of School; Instructor, English
    (314) 635-2358
    Kenyon College, University of Missouri - Columbia
    Thomas Jefferson School
    Kenyon College - BA
    University of Missouri - Columbia - M.Ed.

Thomas Jefferson School

4100 S. Lindbergh Boulevard
Saint Louis, MO 63127
P. (314) 843-4151
F. (314) 843-3527