Spanish I

9th Grade: Year long skills track; UC “a-g” approved course
Instructor: Señora Gatica

Spanish 1 is an introductory course for students wishing to develop basic Spanish skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The purpose of this yearlong course is to develop the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Mandarin by using a conversation-based method of instruction. The course’s skills development is designed to encourage students to communicate in Spanish about the subjects of family and friends, foods, traveling, sports, and shopping in the present tense. Students also study the cultures of the various Spanish- speaking countries.

Topic Areas:
  • Alphabet & pronunciation
  • Everyday vocabulary & phrases
  • Cognates
  • Simple conversation
  • Foundational grammar
  • Cultural studies
  • Spanish as a world language
  • Customs around the Spanish speaking world
  • Projects in physical and cultural geography, biography and food

Mandarin I

9th Grade: Year long skills track; UC “a-g” approved course
Instructor: Ms. Yang

The purpose of this entry-level course is to develop the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Mandarin using a conversation-based method of instruction. Students learn approximately 350 vocabulary words and phrases that are necessary for daily conversations. In addition, this course aims to make students aware of the geography and climate, socio-linguistic and sociological, cultural and political differences between American and Chinese cultures, a necessary awareness for success in cross-cultural communication.

Topic Areas:
  • Pinyin system with its initials, finals, and compound finals
  • The four tones and their correct pronunciation
  • Structures and meanings of some basic radicals
  • Familiarity with some Chinese customs and traditional culture
  • Ability to:
    • Read short paragraphs smoothly
    • Ask and answer basic questions
    • Read, write, and type elementary Mandarin characters and Pinyin, as well as 300 characters
    • Construct sentences using a limited vocabulary
    • Express thoughts, feelings, ideas, and opinions in short paragraphs
    • Recognize different Chinese social contexts and use Mandarin in domestic and social situations
    • Tell a simple story in Mandarin using the past and present tense.

Spanish II

10th Grade: Year long skills track; UC “a-g” approved course
Instructor: Señora Gatica

This course continues to develop the four basic skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing that encourage students to communicate in the target language about topics such as family and friends, foods, traveling, sports, and shopping, as well as grammatical work with progressive, preterit, imperfect, future, and conditional tenses. In addition to reinforcing basic language skills, the course introduces students to the subtleties and nuances of grammatical structures in the Spanish language. Activities will concentrate on developing good reading and writing skills in Spanish. Students will also study culture in Spanish-speaking countries.

Topic Areas:
  • Vocabulary development
  • Grammar Skills
  • Reading & writing Spanish
  • Culture of Spain & Latin America
  • Iberian Spanish cultural practices

Mandarin II

10th Grade: Year long skills track; UC “a-g” approved course
Instructor: Ms. Yang

This course further develops the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Mandarin through conversation-based instruction by learning the approximately 350 vocabulary words and phrases necessary for daily conversations. In addition, the course continues to develop students’ awareness of the socio-linguistic and sociological differences between Chinese and American culture that are necessary for successful cross-cultural communication. It further develops a basic understanding of general Chinese history and specific historical events and figures.

Topic Areas:
  • Asking and answering basic questions
  • Recognizing and summarizing the grammatical differences between Chinese and English
  • Making comparisons between two things/people/places
  • Writing, reading, and pronouncing approximately 300 characters
  • Summarizing readings in the form of a complete paragraph
  • Using limited vocabulary in real life situations, such as expressing cause and effect, asking directions & travel, shopping, socializing & dating

Spanish III

11th Grade: Year long skills track; UC “a-g” approved course
Instructor: Señora Gatica

This course builds upon the work of Spanish II by reviewing and building on the conversational, reading, writing, and grammatical skills developed in Spanish 2 that define various levels of language competence in accuracy of grammar and overall ease of communication. Films, songs, stories, poetry and current events are used to encourage students to communicate in Spanish. The curriculum also focuses on topics relevant to the students’ own interests.

Topic Areas:
  • Specialized vocabulary and idiomatic expressions
  • Comprehension of a wide range of grammar patterns
  • Advanced conversation
  • Writing in Spanish
  • Introduction to Spanish Literature
  • Hispanic cultural practices in the Americas
  • Projects on Hispanic culture

Mandarin III

11th Grade: Year long skills track; UC “a-g” approved course
Instructor: Ms. Yang

This course continues to develop the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing through conversation-based instruction. The approximately 350 vocabulary words and phrases necessary for daily conversations are taught. In addition, the course continues developing awareness of the socio-linguistic and sociological differences between Chinese and American culture, a necessity for successful cross-cultural communication. The course further provides a basic understanding of Chinese history, important historical events, and historical figures.

Topic Areas:
  • Grammar (building on Mandarin II’s foundations)
  • Conversation
  • Reading & writing
  • Cultural studies:
  • Confucius: stories & teachings
  • Chinese cinema
  • Research, projects & oral reports on Confucius, Lao-Tzu, Ang Lee’s “Father Trilogy” & Tales from traditional Chinese festivals

Spanish IV

11th Grade: Year long skills track; UC “a-g” approved course
Instructor: Señora Gatica

This course continues to develop mastery in listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Reading is both intensive and extensive, encompassing literature, newspaper, and magazines, with particular attention emphasis given to contemporary history and culture. The strengthening of the development of listening skills includes the use of news programs, radio broadcasts, and audio recordings. In addition, students write essays that reflect their understanding and interpretation abilities. Conversation is heavily emphasized and is based upon the students’ personal reactions to the readings, audio recordings, current events, etc. The course also includes a comprehensive review of Spanish grammar taught in the previous years.

Topic Areas:
  • Advanced vocabulary and idiomatic expressions
  • Grammatical patterns needed for fluid communication
  • Advanced conversation
  • Composition: fiction and essays
  • Spanish Literature: 20th century authors
  • Hispanic cultural practices in the Americas
  • Projects on Hispanic literature
  • AP test preparation

Mandarin IV

12th Grade: Year long skills track; UC “a-g” approved course
Instructor: Ms. Yang

This course continues to develop students’ skills in speaking, listening, reading, writing, grammatical, and cultural skills in Mandarin to a much greater depth than before, the goal being for students to be able to listen, speak, and write Mandarin at an intermediate level. A key component of the course will be the developing and presenting of research projects on classical and contemporary Chinese culture.

Topic Areas:
  • Advanced Grammar
  • Listening, speaking and reading & writing
  • Essay writing
  • Literature
  • Conversation
  • Traveling in China: how to communicate
  • Cultural studies
Photo: John Lichtwardt