World Languages

Meet the Department

Aaron Vela – Department Chair
Adriana Rios
Pascal Ledermann Castro

All transfer students must take a placement test if they wish to take a modern language. Students wishing to begin in modern languages in their junior year should have a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or better.

*Class of 2022 and later required to complete 4 semesters of world language

 

FRENCH I (P)
Year (9,10,11,12); Prerequisite: Placement exam
One year - Required or alternate
Meets UC and CSU a-g criteria (e)

French I is a course designed to expose students to the language and cultures of the French-speaking world. Students will develop basic proficiency in the four modalities of language learning: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. In highly structured and contextualized situations, students will learn to ask and answer simple questions as they learn to communicate about themselves, their families, and their friends. Students will respond to oral and written prompts about their daily lives and responsibilities. There is a strong emphasis on vocabulary acquisition and simple language structure at this level. Students will be exposed to authentic material and various media sources in the target language. French will be used as much as possible during classroom instruction. An exchange program with five French schools is available to our students.

FRENCH II (P)
Year (9,10,11,12); Prerequisite: French (P) with a grade of C- or better the second semester
One year - Required or alternate
Meets UC and CSU a-g criteria (e)

French II stresses both oral and written communication. The course continues to develop all four language skills begun in French I (listening, reading, speaking, and writing), as well as an appreciation of Francophone culture through topics in the textbook and online. Students acquire new vocabulary and grammar through readings of short audio stories on the web and books. The web application for the textbook D’Accord is used as a resource in class and at home for reinforcing grammar, vocabulary, and listening. Students listen to news and watch authentic clips. An exchange program with five French schools is available to our students.

HONORS FRENCH III (P)
Year (10,11); Prerequisites: Minimum B in French II (P) the second semester
One year - Elective
Meets UC and CSU a-g criteria (e)

Honors French III is an upper-level course designed not only to review, but also to refine and expand, the four basic language skills already acquired in French I and French II: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Speaking is stressed in the classroom, with the class being conducted in the target language the majority of the time. Grammar is challenging at this level. Students read a wide variety of topics, including francophone culture, art, history, travel, and current events in the textbook and online. Students see several short films during the year and write critical essays as follow-up. Abridged works of literature such as the “Petit Nicolas” series of short stories are read. An exchange program with five French schools is available to our students.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT FRENCH IV (P)
Year (11,12); Prerequisites: B in Honors French III (P) the second semester.
One year - Elective
Meets UC and CSU a-g criteria (e)

All students enrolled in AP classes without an equal college prep version available are strongly encourage to take the AP exam. After opting in, parents will be charged the $94 exam fee on the 1st of November or they must communicate the need for a partial waiver fee prior to that date.

AP French IV is a college level class which prepares students for the Advanced Placement Exam in May. The course is conducted entirely in French. Students use a college level textbook which incorporates short films by Francophone filmmakers that enables students to build their listening comprehension, speaking skills, writing and grammar. Students use additional sources for literature as well as frequent use of news sites, articles and podcasts on the internet for listening and discussion. Activities expose students to the French-speaking world and keep them up to date on current events and culture. An exchange program with five French schools is available to our students.

SPANISH I (P)
Year (9,10,11,12); Prerequisite: Placement Exam
One year - Required or alternate
Meets UC and CSU a-g criteria (e)

Spanish I is an introduction to the basics of the Spanish language. An emphasis is placed on four main skill areas: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Students will be introduced and expected to utilize all four of these areas on a weekly basis. They will also be tested in all four areas. This will be accomplished through the utilization of the textbook, TPRS (total physical response storytelling), short stories, verbal exercises, videos and language games. When possible, guest speakers will discuss relevant material. Spanish I aims to present the language within the context of the contemporary Spanish-speaking world which includes the multiple cultures that embrace the language. The cultural aspect of the class will be woven into each chapter as appropriate to each individual lesson.

HONORS SPANISH I (P)
Year (9,10,11,12); Prerequisite: Placement Exam
One year - Alternate to Spanish I (P)
Meets UC and CSU a-g criteria (e)

The Spanish 1 Honors class is designed to provide students with a working knowledge of speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, and an increased cross-cultural awareness. Due to the rigorous and challenging nature of the class, the basic selection criteria of students is based on students having excellent language arts skills. The teacher will conduct 80% of the class in Spanish. The Spanish 1 Honors class is the first step in the vertical progressive curriculum towards Advanced Placement.

SPANISH II (P)
Year (9,10,11,12); Prerequisites: Placement Exam analysis or Spanish I (P) with a grade of C- or better the second semester
One year - Required or alternate
Meets UC and CSU a-g criteria (e)

Although the main objective of level two is to expand the student’s vocabulary and strengthen his/her grammar base, it is important that students handle the material presented in level one with confidence. To this end, level two devotes several chapters to reviewing level one. Conversational skills are expanded by more intensive drills and frequent free conversations. Reading for comprehension is stressed. The student is expected to write and use original material for conversation. By the expansion of vocabulary and grammar, the student is expected to understand, write, and speak Spanish.

HONORS SPANISH II (P)
Year (10,11,12); Prerequisites: A- or higher in Spanish 1 (P) or B or higher in Spanish 1 Honors (P) or better second semester and instructor approval
One year – Alternate to Spanish II (P)
Meets UC and CSU a-g criteria (e)

The Spanish 2 Honors class is designed to build on the foundation of Spanish 1. We will continue to work towards the improvement in speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, as well as a cross-cultural awareness. The teacher will conduct 85% of the class in Spanish. The Spanish 2 Honors class is the second step in the vertical progressive curriculum towards Advanced Placement.

SPANISH III (P)
Year (10,11); Prerequisite: Spanish II (P) with a grade of C or better second semester and instructor approval
One year - Elective
Meets UC and CSU a-g criteria (e)

Spanish III relies heavily on what was taught in Spanish I and II, since a good foundation is imperative for success in this class. Students are expected to be proficient in the present and past tenses by the time they get to Spanish III. This course uses songs, poetry, short stories, a wide series, movies, news video clips, newspaper articles, novels, skits, grammar worksheets, and conversation in class to build a vocabulary that is complex and goes beyond simple sentence formation. We learn to describe people in both the present and past in great detail. The future is introduced as well as many compound tenses. Some of the themes that are discussed in the textbook En Español include fashion, politics, and the environment. The last month of the class is dedicated to reading a novel completely in Spanish and discussing the book entirely in the target language.

HONORS SPANISH III (P)
Year (10,11); Prerequisite: Spanish II (P) with a grade of A- or better or H Spanish II (P) with a grade of B or better second semester and instructor approval
One year - Elective
Meets UC and CSU a-g criteria (e)

In this course students build upon language skills acquired in Spanish I and II. The class emphasizes a variety of focuses for second language acquisition: thematic vocabulary; development of correct enunciation, accent, and cadence; conversational skills; comprehension and response; question formation; in-depth study of multiple verb tenses and moods (simple, compound, subjunctive, imperative); increasingly advanced sentence structure (including length and syntax). Acquisition strategies include in-class listening/viewing (scripted recordings and videos; streaming news media; films; music); conjugation and pronunciation drills; group conversation exercises; language gap activities; dictation; reading aloud; translation exercises to strengthen whole sentence acquisition, retention, and production. Homework assignments are mostly handwritten in Spanish, including text copying; sentence and dialogue writing; Spanish to English translation exercises; literary reading and comprehension; guided thematic composition.

Assessment focuses on students’ ability to demonstrate comprehension of grammar and sentence structure; whole sentence production; Spanish –English translation, and speaking and listening skills. The class also includes an historical and contemporary cultural focus on Spain and Latin America, supported by readings in poetry and literature, news articles and videos, and documentary and dramatic films. Cultural focus is supported by relevant exercises and assessment.

SPANISH IV (P)
Year (11,12); Prerequisite: Spanish III (P) Grade of C+ or better or Honors Spanish III (P) grade of B- or better second semester and instructor approval
One year - Elective Meets UC and CSU a-g criteria (e)

The emphasis is on developing communication skills: writing, listening, reading, and speaking. The student’s language proficiency is an important goal. The material read will familiarize the student with the culture of the Spanish speaking world and the contributions its people have made to history, the arts, and literature.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT SPANISH IV (P)
Year (11,12); Prerequisite: Honors Spanish III (P) with a grade of B+ or better or Spanish III (P) with a grade of A- or better second semester and instructor approval
One year - Elective
Meets UC and CSU a-g criteria (e)

All students enrolled in AP classes with an equal college prep version available are required to take the AP exam. Parents will be charged the $94 exam fee on the 1st of November or they must communicate the need for a partial waiver fee prior to that date. This course uses a college textbook. Advanced placement Spanish IV is traditional in its emphasis on review of all grammar and mastery of new vocabulary. The emphasis is on developing communication sKills:  writing, listening, reading and speaking. The material read will familiarize the student with the culture of the Spanish-speaking world and literature. The student’s language proficiency and writing proficiency is an important goal. This will prepare the student for the advanced placement test in the Spanish language.