Mills High School

World Languages

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

 

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, body parts and basic health, basic animals including 12 symbolic animals.  This course helps students lay a solid foundation for the higher level classes.

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

 

Chinese II

Grade Level: 9-12

Prerequisite: C level ability in 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” world language requirement.

 

Chinese III

Grade Level:  9 -12

Prerequisite: C level ability in 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 900 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 II.  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” world language 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.  Kanji 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.

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

 

Japanese II

Grade Level: 9-12

Prerequisite: C level ability in 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, the beginnings of opinions and explanations.  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 Kanji 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 designing and presenting an obentou lunch, giving a television weather report, learning etiquette for eating and other cultural activities.  Technology continues to be an important part of learning, producing and showcasing language.

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

 

 

Japanese III

Grade Level: 10-12

Prerequisite: C level ability in 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 Kanji 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” world language requirement.

 

AP Japanese Language and Culture

Grade 11-12

Prerequisite: C level ability in 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” world language requirement.

 

Spanish I

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

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.  Students participate in a variety of activities designed to learn about the Spanish culture. Students practice having simple conversations, write about common daily activities and describing people. By the end of the year, students will be able to describe themselves and others. They will be able to carry conversational topics such as their hobbies, how they spend their free time, what they learn in school, and family life. Thought is put into the lessons and projects to incorporate the various learning modalities, such as song and artwork. Class instruction is primarily in Spanish.

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

 

Spanish II

Grade Level:   9-12

Prerequisite: C level ability in Spanish I or equivalent.

This course develops the level of proficiency from elementary to intermediate, with a strong emphasis on speaking and writing. The sentence structure is taught with special attention to narration in the past, the commands and the use of pronouns.  Students will give several presentations which may include talking about their childhood, a show and tell presentation, and/or an imaginary trip which they took. Cultural topics are added in the form of readings and class discussions.  Topics covered tend to be school life, travel, daily routines, shopping, followed by understand and giving directions in a town. Class instruction is primarily in Spanish.

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

 

Spanish III  

Grade Level: 10-12

Prerequisite: C level ability in 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 first semester tends to be a very deep review of previous year, allowing the student to fully express themselves in the above mentioned modalities. Students will be writing bi-monthly at two paragraphs, followed by 5 paragraphs in the spring.  Students will listening to authentic sources from various internet sites and be able to record their voice as in a simulated conversation. Reading and making cultural connections is more in-depth than in Spanish II.  Topics covered are travel, the arts, health, and personal relationships.  The language is taught only in Spanish and the student develops a strong level of conversational Spanish.

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

 

AP Spanish Language and Culture

Grade Level: 10-12

Prerequisite: C level ability in Spanish III or equivalent.

This course presents the curriculum at a university level.  The class is taught only in Spanish.  The students engage in a complete study of Spanish grammar, reviewing what they have learned in Spanish 1-6 in depth. Students read and listen to a variety of non-fiction and fiction sources for the purpose of developing proficiency in vocabulary, speaking ability, and writing an essay.  Students are required to participate fully through group discussions, collaboration and oral presentations. This course will help students prepare to take the Advanced Placement Exam for Spanish Language and Culture.

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

 

Placement into upper levels of language procedures are as follows:

 

Spanish-Individual interviews with teacher and a writing sample to demonstrate proficiency.

 

Japanese-Student may be required to take the prior year final exam. Spend time over summer to review concepts that are weak as appropriate.

 

Chinese-Spring placement exam offered. There will be both a written exam (including listening, reading and writing) and an oral exam. Letters will be sent to potential new students who registered for Chinese class at Mills to invite them to come take the placement test. Teacher based placement on the result of the placement exam. The date usually falls on the first or second week of May.