Language Other Than English | Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School

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Language Other Than English

The LOTE (Language Other Than English) Department prepares students with intercultural and language skills necessary to live in a global society. The ability to communicate effectively and understand other cultures becomes a student’s passport to global understanding and provides potential for future careers and enjoyment.

You will engage in each of the language skills — listening, speaking, signing, reading and writing — through working with others in groups, writing and making formal presentations to an audience. Your teachers bring the world to the classroom through current events, art, history, and many of the world’s great works of literature. You and your teachers will use technology to explore the virtual world, have conversations and do presentations that incorporate video and other capabilities.   

Two years (20 units) of one LOTE are required for graduation, though three years (30 units) are strongly recommended.  Unless otherwise noted, all LOTE courses are UC-approved as college-preparatory core/elective courses.

Available Courses in 2018-19

American Sign Language 4
Yearlong Course; 10 Units

In this college-­preparatory course, students will explore the cultural values of the Deaf community, as well as their viewpoints of deaf people and the Deaf community’s historical portrayal in books and movies. Students will continue to present works in ASL to audiences of their peers as well as native signers. Careers involving ASL will be further explored, with many opportunities to volunteer at events in the Deaf community with native signers.

Introduction to ASL and Deaf Culture
Semester-long Course; 5 Units

Introduction to ASL & Deaf Culture is a course that introduces students to the basic information of the American Deaf experience in the United States: Deaf community/culture and American Sign Language. This course exposes students to the history, contributions, and contemporary lives of Deaf people in America. This course will also focus on the fundamentals of American Sign Language.  Students will gain an introductory level of vocabulary to enable them to communicate with members of the deaf community. Lastly, this course will focus on the grammatical structures and patterns of the language.  

This semester-long (5 unit) course is available to any junior or senior student. There are no pre-requisites associated with this course. UC approval for this course is pending. 

 

Mandarin 1
Yearlong Course; 10 Units

In this course, students new to the study of Chinese language are introduced to Mandarin Chinese and Chinese culture.  Students also learn the habits necessary for successfully studying and mastering a foreign language.  Through various learning activities and practices, students develop basic listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills related to Mandarin Chinese with an emphasis on oral communication in Mandarin.  Hanyu Pinyin (a Mandarin phonetic transcription system) and the formation of Chinese characters are introduced in this course.  Simplified characters are used for reading and writing.  At the conclusion of each semester, students are required to recognize the meanings, pronunciations, and how to use important characters.  At this time, students will also complete a final project or presentation in which all four language skills are applied.

Mandarin 2
Yearlong Course; 10 Units

This course is a continuation of Mandarin 1 and follows a similar format.  Grammar, reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills are expanded.  More sophisticated compositions, oral presentations, skits, and projects are required.  Students will master Hanyu Pinyin (the Chinese pronunciation system) and use it for Chinese typing.

Mandarin 3
Yearlong Course; 10 Units

This course continues the progression of Mandarin Language. Students will continue to develop reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. They will learn more complex grammatical structures and sentence patterns to communicate on familiar topics through interaction and description. More sophisticated compositions, oral presentations, skits, and projects are required. Students build on informative, narrative, and compare and contrast skills to communicate orally and in writing. Students will also gain Chinese cultural knowledge and acquire preliminary cross­cultural awareness and international perspective.

Mandarin 4
Yearlong Course; 10 Units

This year-long (10 unit) course is available to qualified students. In order to take this course, students must have earned a C- or higher in Mandarin 3 or have demonstrated course eligibility on the Mandarin placement test (offered to incoming freshman students only).

This course is designed for students who successfully completed Mandarin 1, 2 and 3 courses or equivalent. Students will continue to develop reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.  They will learn more complex grammatical structures and sentence patterns to communicate on familiar topics through interaction and description. More sophisticated compositions, oral presentations, and projects are required.  These are done through the use of texts, print articles, video and audio sources, and supplementary materials. Students build on informative, narrative, and compare and contrast skills to communicate orally and in writing. Students will also gain Chinese cultural knowledge and acquire preliminary cross-cultural awareness and international perspective.

Spanish 1
Yearlong Course; 10 Units

Spanish 1 introduces and develops the four basic skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking, and also introduces students to the various cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. Students learn the basic skills through classroom activities, written compositions, oral presentations, listening exercises, readings, and a video series. Each chapter includes vocabulary, grammar, dialogue, readings, oral review, and writing exercises. Hispanic culture is explored through videos, readings, lectures, and a year-end group project on a Spanish-speaking country in which students must share a PowerPoint presentation with their classmates accompanied by a home-cooked meal and music from their country.

This course is available to all students.  There are no pre-requisites associated with this course.

Spanish 2
Yearlong Course; 10 Units

This course is a continuation of Spanish 1 (see above) and follows a similar format. Grammar, reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills continue to be developed. Short guided compositions, oral presentations, dialogs, and a major year­end project are required.

Spanish 2 (Honors)
Yearlong Course; 10 Units

This is an in-­depth and fast-­paced second-­level course that strives for a higher degree of proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students continue to study Hispanic culture and begin to analyze literature. Multi-­paragraph compositions, timed writing, culture projects, oral presentations, and group and class discussions are all integral parts of the course. Students will begin to learn skills and strategies in anticipation of AP Spanish in two years.

Spanish 3
Yearlong Course; 10 Units

This course is a continuation of Spanish 2. Grammar, reading, writing, and speaking skills are further developed. More sophisticated compositions, oral presentations, skits, and projects are required. Students continue to study Hispanic cultures.

This course is available to qualified students. In order to take this course, students must have earned a B- or higher in Spanish 2 or a C- or higher in Accelerated Spanish 2 or Spanish 2 (Honors).

Spanish 3 (Honors)
Yearlong Course; 10 Units

This course continues the teaching of grammar at higher levels, introduces the student to literature, and promotes further appreciation and understanding of Hispanic culture. The study of grammar and conversation are reinforced through regular discussions and oral presentations. Students write expository essays and creative pieces.

Spanish 4
Yearlong Course; 10 Units

This course continues to develop both written and oral skills for the Spanish student. Students will continue to refine and develop effective oral and written communication skills. This course will provide additional practice and mastery of independent oral effectiveness as well as utilize structures to develop confidence and accuracy in the spoken and written word.

This course is available to qualified students. In order to take this course, students must have earned a B- or higher in any level of Spanish 3.

Spanish 4 (Honors)
Yearlong Course; 10 Units

This year-long (10 unit) course is available to qualified students.  In order to take this course, students must have earned an A- or higher in Spanish 3 or a B- or higher in Honors Spanish 3.

Honors Spanish 4 is designed to allow the student opportunities in a small class environment of further developing their communicative abilities in the Spanish language. Students review and practice grammatical structures, learn idiomatic expressions necessary for true fluency, as well as read and discuss literary works and current events. Students build on informative, narrative, and comparison and contrast skills to communicate orally and in writing. Students also examine cultural perspectives of the Spanish-Speaking world. Student expectations for reading, writing, speaking, and listening in the Target Language are higher as compared to the on-level version of the course. Exams, oral presentations, essays, and other major projects completed during this course reflect those higher expectations in terms of rigor and student output.

French 1
Yearlong Course; 10 Units

This year-long (10 unit) course is available to all students. There are no pre-requisites associated with this course.

French 1 introduces and develops the four basic skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking, and also introduces students to the various cultures of the French-speaking world. Students are taught a foundational vocabulary as well as the most common language patterns. Students learn these basic skills through classroom activities, written compositions, oral presentations, listening exercises, readings, and videos. Each chapter includes vocabulary, grammar, dialogue, readings, oral review, and writing exercises. 

 

French 2
Yearlong Course; 10 Units

This year-long (10 unit) course is available to qualified students.  In order to take this course, students must have either earned a C- or higher in French 1 or have demonstrated course eligibility on the French Challenge Examination (offered to incoming freshman students only).

This course is a continuation of French 1 and follows a similar format. In French 2

students will continue their study of French through grammar, reading, writing, listening, and speaking practice. Students will further their study of Francophone culture by learning about a variety of French-speaking cultures both inside and outside of Europe. Written compositions, timed dictations, cultural projects, oral presentations, and group and class discussions are integral parts of the course.

French 2 (Honors)
Yearlong Course; 10 Units

This year-long (10 unit) course is available to qualified students. In order to be eligible to take this course, students must receive teacher approval (which includes a separate examination), AND have earned minimum grades in the previous year’s French course (A- or higher in each semester of French  1). Incoming freshman students who demonstrate course eligibility on the French Challenge Examination may also be approved for this course. UC approval is pending.

Honors French 2 is a faster paced option for second-level students of French. Taught as part of the on-level College Preparatory French 2 course, Honors students will be expected to demonstrate a higher level of rigor in order to attain more rapid proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking the French language. Determination, commitment, and accountability are all crucial traits for students considering the Honors option. Students will further their study of Francophone culture by learning about a variety of French-speaking cultures both inside and outside of Europe. Honors students will also begin to analyze Francophone literature and film independently. Medium-length compositions, timed dictations, cultural projects, oral presentations, and group and class discussions are integral parts of the course. Honors French 2 students meeting expectations in this class will be well-placed to enroll in AP French in two years.

French 3
Yearlong Course; 10 Units

This course is a continuation of French 2 and follows a similar, although more accelerated, format. In French 3 students will work towards fluency in French with increasingly rigorous grammar, reading, writing, listening, and speaking practice. Students will further their study of Francophone culture by learning about a variety of French-speaking cultures both inside and outside of Europe. Written compositions, timed dictations, cultural projects, oral presentations, and group and class discussions are integral parts of the course. In order to improve language acquisition, French 3 class time will also be conducted primarily in French.

This year-long (10 unit) course is available to qualified students.  In order to take this course, students must have either earned a C- or higher in French 2 or have demonstrated course eligibility on the French 3 Challenge Examination.

 

Honors French 3
Yearlong Course; 10 Units

Honors French 3 is a faster paced option for third-level students of French. Taught as part of the on-level College Preparatory French 3 course, Honors students will be expected to demonstrate a high level of rigor and accountability. Assignments will also necessitate a higher level of autonomy than before in order to work towards individual proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking the French language. In addition to furthering their linguistic acquisition, students will increase their understanding of Francophone culture through various literature and film presented in the target language. Medium-length compositions, timed dictations, cultural projects, oral presentations, and group and class discussions are integral parts of the course. French 3 Honors students meeting expectations in this class will be well-placed to enroll in AP French the following year. Honors French 3 class-time will be conducted in French.

This year-long (10 unit) course is available to qualified students. In order to be eligible to take this course, students must meet the criteria for AP/Honors course enrollment stated above. Students must have earned an A- or higher in each semester of French 2 or B- or higher in each semester of Honors French 2. 

 

Faculty and Staff

Teaches: Mandarin 1, Mandarin 2, Mandarin 3, Mandarin 4
Teaches: French 1, French 2, French 3
Teaches: Spanish 1, Spanish 2 and Spanish 3
Teaches: AP Spanish Language, Honors Spanish 2, Honors Spanish 3
Teaches: ASL 4, Choir, Ethnic Studies, Introduction to ASL and Deaf Culture, Music Appreciation