Mastery of a foreign language is a powerful way to explore a new culture. Through a wide range of language courses, Miss Hall’s students dive into history, geography, literature, customs, traditions, and the arts as they learn, write, and speak.

Small classes are designed to provide intensive support for international students taking English as a second language. Emphasis is placed on building comprehension and strengthening written and oral skills, which enables a successful transition to the Miss Hall’s community.

Language Courses

List of 13 items.

  • French I

    In this introductory course, students become familiar with
    basic grammatical patterns, vocabulary, and structures. They
    learn to comprehend, read, and write paragraphs in French.
    Through direct questions and answers, games, and class
    discussions, students also develop strong conversational skills.
    Throughout the year, students learn to talk about family, food,
    hobbies, clothes, school life, travel plans, and culinary tastes,
    among other things. In addition, they discover various aspects
    of French culture through discussions and articles. Overall,
    they acquire a solid foundation for any future study of French.
    (1 credit; full year)
  • French II

    This course builds upon the foundations of French I with
    further emphasis on oral work and improvement of writing
    skills. Students acquire significant vocabulary, study new
    tenses, and learn to write more complex sentences. In addition,
    they have the opportunity to enhance their conversational skills
    on a daily basis through real-life conversations, role plays, and
    games. They also start to read and analyze literary excerpts,
    newspaper articles, and short stories from Le Petit Nicolas by
    René Goscinny, through which they discover many cultural
    facts about France and the francophone world.
    (1 credit; full year)
  • French III

    The goals of this course are to develop writing, reading, and
    conversational skills while studying the refinements of
    grammar, style, and pronunciation. Throughout the year, there
    is a great emphasis on speaking and listening activities through
    everyday conversations along with thorough grammar and
    vocabulary activities. Students also continue to discover and
    discuss elements of French society and francophone cultures
    on a regular basis, and consequently, develop their logical and
    critical thinking. Finally, students progressively move from
    excerpted literature to the novel Le Petit Prince.
    (1 credit; full year)
  • Hallmark French

    Hallmark French is a cultural experience designed to increase
    oral and written proficiency and to promote the development
    of both a critical sensibility and an awareness of social and
    global matters such as current events, feminism, racism, and
    environmental issues in francophone countries. Students have
    the opportunity to engage in self-directed, independent
    research within these topics and through additional resources
    chosen by the students and teacher, which include French
    music, film, and the novel No et moi by Delphine de Vigan.
    There is still an emphasis on grammar and vocabulary
    acquisition so that students continue to improve their abilities
    and enhance their knowledge, and they have the opportunity to
    develop their conversational skills through frequent, real-life
    discussions. This course can be taken for two years.
    (1 credit; full year)
  • Latin I

    This is an introductory course designed for the beginning
    student. The syllabus is based on the Cambridge Latin Course,
    which carries two main objectives: 1. To teach comprehension
    of the Latin language through practice in reading it. 2. To
    develop students’ understanding of the social and political
    history of the Romans, particularly during the first century A.
    D. The story line begins in Pompeii and follows the life of
    Caecilius, a successful businessman. As Unit I draws to an
    end, the students learn about the fate of Pompeii with the
    eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Unit II brings us to
    Roman Britain and Alexandria, which simultaneously expands
    the students’ cultural knowledge as well as provides a platform
    for honing their translation skills. In addition to completing
    Units I & II of the Cambridge system, students will use
    additional materials to further their study of Roman culture and
    (1 credit; full year)
  • Latin II

    The students in Latin II continue with the Cambridge Latin
    series, which employs the inductive method of learning Latin.
    In this reading method, students not only gain proficiency in
    reading Latin passages but also acquire a considerable amount
    of cultural information. Unit III finds us in Roman Britain in
    the year 83 A.D., and we continue to follow Quintus, a young
    man from Pompeii, whom we first met in Unit I. The story line
    involves military exploits and political struggles, with tales of
    loyalty and treachery that tie in well with background readings
    on myriad cultural topics and historical events. More complex
    grammatical constructions are also introduced in Unit III, and
    students are well on their way to making the transition from
    reading stories to unaltered Latin texts. The study of
    mythology in Latin II focuses on the hero paradigm. After
    studying the major Greek heroes, students present, in the
    second semester, a modern reincarnation of the hero from a
    movie, television series, or book of their choice.
    (1 credit; full year)
  • Latin III

    Unit IV of the Cambridge Latin Course brings us back to
    Rome in the year 83 A.D., and we see the continuous storyline,
    which began in Unit I, come to a dramatic close. Students are
    now poised to make the transition from stories to literature and
    do so by reading and analyzing selections from various
    authors, including Pliny, Catullus, Vergil, Ovid, Tacitus,
    Martial, and Cicero. The study of mythology in Latin III
    focuses on Greek drama. Students read five of the most
    important and influential dramas of classical Athens, including
    Oedipus Rex, Medea, and the Oresteia.
    (1 credit; full year)
  • Hallmark Latin

    Hallmark Latin is an advanced language course in which
    students will explore deeply and through independent work
    various topics about the ancient Roman world. Hallmark Latin
    will draw upon a wide variety of primary sources,
    supplementing literature and historical accounts with material
    culture, including inscriptions, coins, and archaeological
    evidence. This breadth will enable students to hear from the
    more marginalized voices that open up the ethnic, religious,
    and socioeconomic diversity of the Roman world. This year's
    topics of investigation,friendship and race and ethnicity,
    will allow students to engage with the Roman world through
    themes that are relevant to their world today, facilitating
    exploration on a more personal level. Student-directed
    research will engage with both primary and secondary sources.
    This course can be taken for two years.
    (1 credit; full year)
  • Spanish I

    The objectives of this course are to introduce students to the
    Spanish language, literature, and culture, and to acquaint them
    with extensive, practical vocabulary and the present, simple
    past, and near future verb tenses. Students learn to carry on
    simple conversations, to answer questions, to read short poems
    and stories, and to write and understand basic conversational
    Spanish. Students listen to recorded materials and watch short
    videos related to class themes. At the end of the year, each
    student writes and presents a story book for children.
    (1 credit; full year)
  • Spanish II

    In this course, students continue to develop and improve
    listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Emphasis is
    placed on the comprehension of spoken Spanish; a variety of
    activities incorporate vocabulary and grammar structures.
    Students are introduced to culture and literature through the
    use of media and adapted readings. Each student improves her
    conversational skills through class conversations, oral
    presentations, film, and listening comprehension exercises with
    audio recordings. Emphasis is placed on increasing a student’s
    knowledge of vocabulary and on enhancing her speaking
    skills. Another important aspect of this course is to develop
    intermediate-level reading and writing skills. The students
    study verb tenses such as the imperfect, the future, and
    conditional. Frequent, daily class participation is expected to
    build confidence in speaking and comprehension.
    (1 credit; full year)
  • Spanish III

    The objectives of this course are to develop and improve four
    important skills of a language: speaking, writing, listening, and
    reading. Advanced grammar concepts are taught, reinforcing
    the skills developed in Spanish I and II. Students make oral
    presentations on world news, Spanish culture, geography and
    history, and topics which they choose to research. Written
    exercises and short essays help them to improve their writing.
    Students listen to CDs and watch selected films about Spanish
    culture. Literature is introduced; students read and discuss
    short pieces and memorize poems.
    (1 credit; full year)
  • Hallmark Spanish

    Hallmark Spanish course will contain a compilation of texts
    chosen by the students and teacher. We will include: short
    stories, poems, play scripts, magazines, newspapers, movies,
    music, and games. The students will be doing presentations
    based on their own independent, self-directed research and will
    make frequent self and peer presentation evaluations. In
    addition, we will have the opportunity to discuss cultural
    differences both evident within the readings and from the
    diverse personal backgrounds of the individuals in the class.
    Exploring these cultural differences within societies around the
    world, but in particular, the role of the women within these
    societies, will help enhance our understanding of the MHS
    core values. This course can be taken for two years.
    (1 credit; full year)
  • Chinese Language and Culture

    This is a beginning course in Mandarin Chinese. The students
    learn all the elements of the language, memorizing over 300
    characters and learning the pronunciation and tone for each
    word. Students participate numerous times a day as they work
    together on projects and dialogues. The class uses various
    games to empower students to speak Chinese and have fun
    communicating with each other. Students will be able to
    introduce themselves, their friends, and family members. They
    will also learn to discuss their hobbies, school, dates, time, and
    food. The class combines language learning with exploration
    of the culture. The students are exposed to music, food,
    ancient games, historical events, holidays, and traditions as
    well as current topics impacting China and Chinese speaking
    countries. The class will view several movies that depict
    females as concubines or as young girls with bound feet in the
    past, as martial artists, and as modern women in Shanghai. By
    combining the study of language and culture, the students gain
    an understanding of an important part of the global
    Grade Level: 9-12
    (1 credit; full year)

Connect with the world


Meet the Faculty

List of 7 members.

  • Photo of Sarah Nix

    Sarah Nix 

    Language Department Chair; Latin and Greek Teacher
    Brown University - Ph.D.
    St. Olaf College - B.A.
    Read Bio
  • Photo of Aurelie Cressin

    Aurelie Cressin 

    French Teacher
    University of Arkansas - M.A.
    Universite du Maine - B.A.
    Read Bio
  • Photo of Tanya Kalischer

    Tanya Kalischer 

    Director of Student Activities/Chinese Language Teacher
    Wesleyan University - B.A.
    Read Bio
  • Photo of Liz Kulze

    Liz Kulze 

    ESL Teacher
    University of Wyoming - M.F.A.
    Boston College - B.A.
  • Photo of Josephine Nicholson

    Josephine Nicholson 

    Spanish Teacher and Global Programs Liaison
    Universidad Autonoma de Bucaramanga
    Read Bio
  • Photo of Marian Rutledge

    Marian Rutledge 

    ESL Teacher; Greenhouse Manager
    Wheaton College - B.A.
    Read Bio
  • Photo of Ana Cristina Velez

    Ana Cristina Velez 

    Spanish Teacher
    Read Bio

English as a Second Language

List of 3 items.

  • English as a Second Language

    Small in size, this class is designed to provide intensive
    support for the international student whose English language
    skills need strengthening. Great emphasis is placed on building
    comprehension and on strengthening written and oral
    expression, crucial skills for all other classes and for a healthy
    adjustment to the Miss Hall's community. Grammar,
    vocabulary, reading comprehension, writing, and
    understanding elements of American culture are included in
    this year-long course. This class is usually offered to ninth or
    tenth grade students.
    (1 credit; full year)
  • Advanced English as a Second Language

    This year-long course is structured to increase international
    students' confidence in their ability to read academic material
    with solid comprehension and increasing speed. Readings
    from current events, psychology, government, the natural
    sciences and literature, as examples, are used for discussions,
    collaborative projects, and writing prompts. Advanced
    grammar studies and vocabulary exercises support the
    (1 credit; full year)
  • English Language and Culture

    English Language and Culture is the most challenging level of
    language support offered at Miss Hall's. Unless exempt by
    departmental decision, all international students are required to
    pass this course in order to graduate. Students refine their skills
    in public speaking and academic writing. College-level
    readings about American culture and other advanced materials
    are used to prompt discussions, interviews, and projects. A
    large portion of this year-long course is devoted to the
    language areas tested by the SAT and iBT: listening and
    reading comprehension, grammar, speaking, vocabulary, and
    writing. Upon completion of this course, a student should feel
    confident about her ability to negotiate life in the United
    States, having conscientiously identified and compared her
    values to those frequently presented by American culture.
    (1 credit; full year)
492 Holmes Road Pittsfield, MA 01201
Phone: (413) 443-6401

About us

Located in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, Miss Hall's School is a private, college preparatory, boarding and day high school for girls grades 9-12.
Copyright © 2020 Miss Hall’s School