World Languages

The World Languages program at College Prep is immersion based, interactive, and collaborative. The department’s primary goal is to inspire students to pursue language beyond the classroom. Lively classes infuse students with a passion for languages and cultures as they learn to communicate with confidence.
Students talk, sing, discuss, and sometimes dance their way to a greater understanding of one of four languages: Chinese, French, Latin, or Spanish. Every student is expected to read, write, and demonstrate comprehension in a language and, in the case of Chinese, French, and Spanish, to speak that language with reasonable fluency. Advanced level courses prepare students for AP exams. Although studying through level III of one language satisfies the requirement for graduation, studying through the AP level is undertaken by most students. Placement tests are used to determine the appropriate level language class for each student.

List of 4 items.

  • Chinese

    In business, economics, politics, culture, and literature, China has taken an increasingly important role on the world stage. More people speak Chinese than any other language. College Prep’s Mandarin Chinese program encourages students to participate in this global conversation by providing a strong foundation in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students begin by learning the simplified characters that are used primarily in mainland China. Those who study Chinese leave College Prep prepared for advanced language study in college and are well equipped to interact—both in writing and in conversation—with native speakers of Chinese throughout the world.

    Chinese I, II, and III
    Beginning and intermediate Chinese courses focus on developing listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in modern standard Chinese, using pinyin and simplified characters. Emphasis is placed on establishing a solid foundation in speaking, tones, and general pronunciation. As students progress through the program, they deepen their understanding of Chinese language and culture with the help of multimedia materials and acquire the ability to thrive in a real-world Chinese-speaking environment.
    AP Chinese
    The culminating course in the Chinese program seeks to spark discussion and answer questions through readings, films, and presentations. Who was Confucius and how has his philosophy influenced how Chinese people think and live? What are the major traditional Chinese holidays and how do people celebrate them? What is a typical day for a high school student in China? Students compare various norms and practices that distinguish and connect the Chinese and American cultures, all while continuing to build their vocabulary and understanding of grammar. All students in this class are prepared for and practice the material found on the AP Chinese Language and Culture Exam.
  • French

    The College Prep French program teaches students to listen, speak, read, and then write, in a way similar to how they learned their native language: total immersion. During the first two years, students acquire the fundamentals of grammar, essential vocabulary for conversation, and familiarity with French culture. After students complete the second year, authentic literature is introduced as France and the francophone world are studied in greater depth. After the third year, students are eligible to enroll in a French seminar. Literary analysis, sociological interpretations of French society, essay writing, idiomatic usage, conversation, and fine points of style are integral to each seminar. To supplement class work, teachers occasionally schedule trips to French plays, films, and restaurants.

    French I, II, and III
    In the introductory French courses, new material is presented orally and then studied in written form. Students practice their skills writing original compositions at the end of each lesson. Activities such as skits, fashion shows, and cooking allow students to use vocabulary in fun and exciting ways. Multimedia projects incorporating film, music, and computers enhance the learning process. Students master the basic syntax of the language and build the confidence and skills needed to hold an interesting conversation. As students progress through the program, they write more elaborate and creative essays, apply new vocabulary and structures and read their first novel, Maryse Condé’s Rêves Amers. Intermediate classes transition from language acquisition to the study of the literature and civilizations of francophone countries. Culture is explored through materials such as Anne-Laure Bondoux’s novel Le Temps des Miracles, Maryse Condé’s Le Coeur à Rire et à Pleurer, and the film Indochine. (French I and II are not offered 2021-2022).

    AP French Seminar : From Nouvelle Vague to Zombies: What Movies Tell Us about Us
    Does cinema reflect the sociopolitical context of its time? Does art mimic or amplify reality? What can we learn about French society, history, and culture through films? How does it compare to the American experience? This seminar considers French cinema as a reflection of society. The course explores the changing political and cultural landscape of France through its “7ème art” from pre-World War II to today. This class also includes periodic grammar review and prepares students for the AP French Exam.
  • Latin

    The Latin program gives students facility in reading Latin and an understanding and appreciation of Roman civilization. All Latin classes emphasize the language, literature, history, and culture of the ancient Romans. From the beginning of the program, students learn to recognize Latin idioms in poetry and prose, capture the brilliance of literary allusion, and express their opinions within the context of academic research. College Prep’s Latin Club supports students in their love of the material. All Latin students take the National Latin Exam in March, and those who choose to take AP Latin are prepared thoroughly for the examination in May. 

    Latin l, II, and III
    Latin is a beautiful language. To access its glory, students spend the beginning courses delving into the basics, including grammar, vocabulary, culture, and history. Etymologies, legal and medical expressions, and introductory research techniques for the field of Classics are introduced. Wheelock’s Latin is the primary textbook, with supplemental stories and fables from Thirty-Eight Latin Stories. Intermediate courses mark the first foray into sustained Roman literature. Translation, interpretation, and context are emphasized. Students learn to recognize idiomatic expressions within specific periods of history. Both prose and poetry are read in preparation for AP Latin. Students explore the period from the Fall of the Republic to the Julio-Claudian Dynasty; this span incorporates the traditional periods of Classical and Golden Latin, and is a thrilling survey of the glory days of Rome.

    AP Latin: The Roman Experiment
    This course uses two main texts, Julius Caesar’s De Bello Gallico and Vergil’s Aeneid. The fall of the Res Publica, in all its drama, is contrasted with the rise of Augustus’s glorious Principate. Concepts such as pietas, leadership, the role of the gods, and love flow throughout these works, and conversations center on the narrative and its themes. Students expand their grammatical, syntactical, and analytical skills with more depth in literary interpretation. Historical context is key to comprehension, and this course explores how best to retain Roman culture while navigating these action-packed texts. This class prepares students for the AP Latin Exam.
  • Spanish

    With their conversational skills at the ready, Spanish students have a linguistic passport to explore almost two dozen countries and territories that conduct life in Spanish. All Spanish classes incorporate activities that draw on this wealth of cultural and linguistic variety. Spanish is learned via immersion through conversing, problem solving, debating, speech making, acting, and composing. After completing the third year of Spanish, students are ready to take AP seminars.

    Spanish l, II, and III                          
    In Spanish I and II, students are encouraged to communicate orally and, from the beginning, are required to use the language in class. The primary textbooks, Bitácora I and II, offer an innovative, student-centered approach that develops language skills and emphasizes cultural competency. Communication skills, grammar, and vocabulary are integrated into a variety of activities that include small-group projects, skits, presentations, videos, songs, and conversations. The text is supplemented with music, film, and internet clips. The theme of Spanish III is “creativity and imagination.” Activities include writing poems and stories, and reading, writing, and presenting a short play about La Casa de Mango Street. Students develop and deliver presentations modeled on TED talks. Course topics include professions, relationships, food, science, technology, the environment, and human rights. Beyond the textbook, the course materials include films, articles, music, podcasts, and local cultural events.
    AP Spanish Seminar
    A Study of Place: Culture, History, and Life in the Hispanic World
    How does the interplay between geography and humans shape a place’s culture and language? This seminar focuses on the history, society, and traditions of places in the Hispanic world, such as Machu Picchu, México-Tenochtitlán, and Havana’s seafront. Class discussions, papers, and oral presentations are based on films, Spanish and Latin American television and radio programs, YouTube clips, daily news, literary extracts, and music. An independent project is required at the end of each semester, and attendance at cultural events outside of class is encouraged. This class prepares students for the AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam.

    AP Spanish Seminar
    Identity in Latin American and US Latino Culture
    This seminar explores Latin-American and US Latinx identity through the ages, beginning with the creation story of the Maya people. The course explores indigenous deities and cultural icons such as La Virgen de Guadalupe, tracing their evolution and symbolism in contemporary Chicano art and murals in San Francisco’s Mission District. Excerpts from the one Latin-American slave narrative in print help students learn how Afro-Latino identity has been shaped by the legacy of enslavement and abolition. US Chicano and Latinx identity are explored: the many terms used to describe a diverse collective and how these have evolved, the relationship to Latin American identity and people of color in the US, and how “estadounidenses” articulate their experiences. Class discussions, papers, and oral presentations are based on readings, films, video clips, news articles, visual art, and music. This class prepares students for the AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam.

World Languages

List of 7 members.

  • Photo of Jilynnette Centeno-Millan

    Jilynnette Centeno-Millan 

    Spanish Teacher
    510-652-0111 x233
  • Photo of Liset Cruz Garcia

    Liset Cruz Garcia 

    Spanish Teacher
    510-652-0111 x 233
  • Photo of Tania Triana

    Tania Triana 

    Spanish Teacher
    510-652-0111 x233
  • Photo of Rong Zhang

    Rong Zhang 

    Mandarin Teacher
    510-652-0111 x233
  • Photo of Jose Guzman Dominguez

    Jose Guzman Dominguez 

    Spanish Teacher
    510-652-0111 x233
  • Photo of Lana  Robinson-Sum

    Lana  Robinson-Sum 

    Latin Teacher
    510-652-0111 x233
  • Photo of Myriam Da Silva

    Myriam Da Silva 

    French Teacher
    510-652-0111 x233

mens conscia recti

a mind aware of what is right