Mills High School

World Languages

Chinese I

Grade Level:  9-12 (Priority is given to 9th & 10th Grade; upperclassmen will be enrolled on space available basis.)

Chinese I is designed for students with no background in the language.  This course helps students develop the basic communicative skills in (Mandarin) listening, speaking, reading and writing.  Students also learn cultural knowledge such as traditional festivals, the origin of Chinese characters and etiquette of greetings. Considerable amount of time in the first semester will be spent on Pinyin learning.  Students will start to learn Chinese typing. By the end of the year, students should be able to read and write about 250 commonly used characters. They can carry on basic conversational topics including greetings, nationalities, ages, grades, family, dates and time, hobbies, making appointments, and making phone calls. This course helps students lay a solid foundation for the higher level classes.

This class meets the UC/CSU “e” requirement.

 

Chinese II 

Grade Level: 9-12

Prerequisite: Chinese I or equivalent

Chinese II is designed to continue to develop student’s ability in basic language skills. They continue to gain knowledge and understanding of Chinese culture. The amount of time devoted to reading, writing and grammar learning will increase.  By the end of the year, students should be able to read and write about 600 characters.  They will also sharpen their writing skills using computers.   The topics covered at this level include study Chinese (Mandarin), school life, shopping, transportation, weather and food.   Lots of communicative activities and short essays will be assigned throughout the year.  Non-native speakers with some basic language skills as well as native speakers of other Chinese dialects can start at this level upon passing the placement test. This class meets the UC/CSU “e” requirement.

 

Chinese III

Grade Level:  10-12

Prerequisite: Chinese II or equivalent

Chinese III is designed to further develop s­­­tudent’s four communication skills.  The emphasis will be placed on students’ speaking and writing skills.  The culture learning experience will be broadened.  Rigorous practice of spoken and written Chinese will be conducted.  By the end of the year, students should be able to read and write about 1200 high frequency characters.  Students can dialogue on topics such as dining, asking for directions, seeing a doctor, birthday party, housing/furniture, sports and travel.  The instruction will be conducted primarily in Chinese (Mandarin).  This course is intended for non-native speakers who have completed Chinese 3/4 CP.  Students with sufficient knowledge of Chinese language and pass the placement test may also start from this level.

This class meets the UC/CSU “e” requirement.

 

AP Chinese Language and Culture

Grade Level: 10-12

Prerequisite: Chinese III or equivalent

The AP Chinese Language and Culture class is taught as a fourth-year level course where students further develop their proficiency skills in the three modes of communicative competence: interacting with others in Mandarin, interpreting audio/oral and written messages, and presenting more complex oral and written form of the Chinese language.  This course provides students with the opportunity for cultural enrichment as well.  Mandarin is used almost exclusively in the class to promote students’ ability to discuss, write, organize, and create projects to demonstrate their learning.  Students are required to speak Chinese as much as possible. This course prepares students to take the Advanced Placement test in Chinese Language and Culture.

This class meets the UC/CSU “e” requirement.

 

Japanese I

Grade Level: 9-12.  Priority is given to 9th & 10th Grade; upperclassmen will be enrolled on space available basis.

Japanese I is designed for students with no background in the language*.  Considerable time in the first semester will be spent in basic communicative tasks such as introductions, discussing one’s day, telling time, making appointments and giving and receiving instruction.  The level of speech is polite/formal, appropriate for most situations.  Students learn the two phonetic alphabets and begin to write basic dialogues and short paragraphs.  Chinese characters are introduced during the winter and students learn a total of 140 within the year.  Instruction is primarily in Japanese.  The second semester builds upon the first by incorporating more explicit grammar and writing.  Students are expected to communicate with one another and the teacher in Japanese whenever possible.  A variety of technology is incorporated in the curriculum.  Students will learn to use these tools as they learn Japanese.

*Students with some background in the language are encouraged to speak with the instructor to ensure appropriate placement.

This class meets the UC/CSU “e” requirement.

 

Japanese II

Grade Level: 9-12

Prerequisite: Japanese I or equivalent

This course further develops the ability and confidence to read, write, speak and understand the Japanese language.  Emphasis remains on communicative situations, i.e. describing past actions, planning activities together.  Students begin to learn the informal speech patterns necessary to talk among friends as well as to create more sophisticated sentence structures in both formal and informal speaking situations.  Students will learn 150 more Chinese characters and short essays will be assigned throughout the course.  Instruction continues to be in Japanese.  Students are expected to communicate with one another and the teacher in Japanese whenever possible.

Some projects include giving a television weather report, learning etiquette for eating and other cultural activities.  Technology continues to be an important part of learning and producing language.

This class meets the UC/CSU “e” requirement.

 

Japanese III 

Grade Level: 10-12

Prerequisite: Japanese II or equivalent

This course will further develop the communication skills of the student.  Students will be able to express personal opinion and give reasons for it, and be able to reflect upon events.  Emphasis will be placed on the informal forms of speech needed for discussion among peers including gender specific familiar speech.  Parallel to this will be gradual introduction of more formal language structures expected of young adults in Japan.  Students will learn an additional 150 Chinese characters.  To further their ability to use the new structures, students will use role play to: demonstrate  cooking and gift giving practices.  They will be able to give directions and plan and promote a trip to Japan.  They will be able to write Haiku in Japanese, compare and choose an apartment, and successfully describe an illness or injury at a medical clinic.  Written expression will be emphasized through journals and short essays.  Students will continue to build their technology skills.

This class meets the UC/CSU “e” requirement.

 

AP Japanese Language and Culture

Grade 11-12

Prerequisite: Japanese III or equivalent

In order to support student success in the AP exam, this course will further develop the communication skills of the student.  Students will be able to express their hopes and plans for the future.  They will further strengthen their ability to use formal speech patterns with superiors as well as more informal speech with their peers.  They will also begin to make conjectures about what might happen.  To practice their new structures, students will use role play to prepare a news program, advertise for and apply for a job, and persuade others to try their favorite hobby.  Student writing will continue to be emphasized.  This course prepares students to take the Advanced Placement test in Japanese Language and Culture. 

This class meets the UC/CSU “e” requirement.

 

Spanish I 

Grade Level: 9-12 

This course is designed to teach proper pronunciation and elementary communication functions common in oral and written Spanish.  Special attention is given to vocabulary expressions, and sentence structure.  Class instruction is primarily in Spanish.

This class meets the UC/CSU “e” requirement.

 

Spanish II

Grade Level:   9-12

Prerequisite: Spanish 1 or equivalent

This course develops the level of proficiency from elementary to intermediate, with a strong emphasis on reading and writing.  The sentence structure is taught with special attention to narration in the past, the commands and the use of pronouns.  Class instruction is primarily in Spanish. 

This class meets the UC/CSU “e” requirement.

 

Spanish III  

Grade Level: 10-12

Prerequisite: Spanish II or equivalent

This course develops student proficiency at an advanced level; reading, writing, speaking, and listening are given special attention within the indicative and subjunctive modes.  The language is taught only in Spanish and the student develops a strong level of conversational Spanish.

This class meets the UC/CSU “e” requirement.

 

AP Spanish Language and Culture

Grade Level: 10-12

Prerequisite: Spanish III or equivalent

This course presents the curriculum at a university level.  The class is taught only in Spanish.  The student engages in a complete study of Spanish grammar and reads a variety of non-fiction and fiction excerpts for the purpose of developing proficiency in vocabulary, speaking ability, and writing an essay.  This course will help students prepare to take the Advanced Placement exam for Spanish Language and Culture. 

This class meets the UC/CSU “e” requirement.