Foreign Language

Graduation: 1 year OR 1 year arts; UC requirement: 2 years of the same language

Orinda Academy’s Foreign Language department offers French, Spanish, and American Sign Language

French

French 1-2

Students in French 1-2 first learn to read, comprehend, and speak words and short sentences and then progress to short paragraphs and conversations about such topics as school, family, sports, transportation, food, likes and dislikes, and clothing. The class studies the present tense and infinitive constructions as well as a little of the passé composé. We also study adjectives, articles, pronouns, and other parts of speech as time and content allow. Students read poems and short texts and conversations in French. The study of the vocabulary, verbs, interrogative forms, negations, and some idiomatic phrases allows students to express basic information, needs and desires, and to gather information from the context of basic conversations and reading materials. Students become familiar with fundamental etiquette and cultural expectations. I want students to become comfortable with speaking and writing the language and comfortable with making mistakes. Mistakes are to be expected, as they are part of the learning process. French 1-2 uses the D’accord 1 textbook and supersite from Vista Higher Learning as well as other materials including films, music, and newspapers.

French 3-4

French 3-4 reviews all the verbs, pronouns, vocabulary and grammar from French 1-2 and adds more. We will continue to study the present and passé composé, and we will add the imparfait, future, and conditional tenses. We will also work with object pronouns, relative pronouns, reflexive pronouns, demonstrative pronouns, si clauses and other grammar as appropriate. Students will be able to speak with fewer errors and with more description and emotion. Students will be able speak, write, and understand information about hobbies, home, holidays, as well as perform practical tasks like exchanging money or reserving a hotel room. French 3-4 uses the D’accord 1 textbook and supersite from Vista Higher Learning as well as other materials including films, music, and newspapers.

French 5-6

Students continue to develop and strengthen their French language speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. We review vocabulary and grammar that was presented in previous years and add more sophisticated grammar and vocabulary in order to express concepts like probability, possibility, and necessity, as well as more precise descriptions of actions and time. Students use more pronouns and idiomatic expressions in their writing and speaking. Students communicate about a variety of topics including careers, vacations, music and dance, geography, and current events with detail and emotion. We continue to explore Francophone culture through literature, music, and film. French 5-6 uses the D’accord 2 textbook and supersite from Vista Higher Learning as well as other materials including films, music, and short stories.

Learn more about travel abroad with Orinda Academy.

American Sign Language

ASL 1-2

Development of and practice in elementary American Sign Language (ASL): preparation for acquiring a visual gestural language; finger spelling; vocabulary; modeling and use of basic grammatical structure. Beginning communication skill with emphasis on comprehension. Basic cultural aspects of deafness; historical and linguistic elements of sign language. Taught primarily in American Sign Language. Students are expected to attend occasional outside events at their own expense.

Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Distinguish the basic linguistic principles that are the foundation for American Sign Language as a conventional language distinct from English.
  • Understand and apply the grammatical principles of American Sign Language structures introduced and demonstrate communicative competence in language functions through targeted social interactions
  • Demonstrate comprehension mastery and production proficiency.
  • Formulate visual-gestural accuracy and fluency.
  • Distinguish basic elements of Deaf culture and value and apply appropriate social interaction skills
  • "Yes/No" and "Wh" questions involving what, where, how, who, what-todo, how-old, how long, and when.
  • Asking for, confirming, correcting and responding to information as prescribed by Deaf culture.
  • Personal and possessive pronouns (singular).
  • Use of space for real-world orientation, role shifting, spatial referencing, contrastive structure and other aspects. Discussion of use of space as culturally dependent.
  • Use of nonmanual markers such as head tilts, raised or lowered eyebrow, nodding or shaking heads, body stances and other markers. Discussion of nonverbal communication as culturally dependent.
  • Cardinal, ordinal and age numbers, 1-99.
  • Noun-verb pairs, and inflection and spatial references of verbs.
  • Time signs and temporal sequencing.
  • Positive and negative responses to questions.
  • Colors and descriptive classifiers including abstracts, size and shape specifiers, and body classifiers.

ASL 3-4

Students will continue developing their sign skills while building on vocabulary, enhancing number skills, learning more about classifiers, increasing fluency and incorporating non-manual grammatical markers and non-manual signals with more ease. They will be introduced to basic story telling using these new skills and techniques as well as learn more about deaf culture and grammar. Students will utilize the appropriate vocabulary, grammar and social behavior by demonstrating their knowledge of the topics covered in class using specific language and grammar constructions. Students will assimilate intermediate level ASL using vocabulary, grammar, non-manual signals, fingerspelling and numbers. Students will employ the target language to execute Intermediate level ASL syntax, including non-manual signals, mouth morphemes and idioms

Vocabulary:

  • Exchanging personal information
  • Conversation strategies - opening, confirming/agreeing, correcting, seeking clarification, declining, ending conversations
  • Opinions, complaints, arguments
  • Locating things around the house
  • Describing extended family and family history
  • Fingerspelling at the low-advanced level

Grammar

  • Sentences-topical, conditional
  • Referencing
  • Time signs-recurring, continuous
  • Verbs and inflecting
  • Role shifting
  • When-clauses
  • Sequencing of events
  • Contrastive structure
  • Possessive forms
  • Classifiers at the low-advanced level
  • Loan signs at the low-advanced level

Deaf Culture

  • Storytelling-handshape stories, ASL stories, cheers, songs
  • Poetry
  • Community activities
    • educational programs
    • churches
    • retail establishments
    • community centers
    • parks
    • entertainment

ASL 5-6

Using the first two years of ASL as a base, this course expands vocabulary and grammatical skills, both receptive and expressive. It will further develop conversational skills in functional situations, and lead to an appreciation of the deaf culture and history.

Vocabulary Development

  • The student will be exposed to a targeted set of vocabulary items.
  • Given a set of targeted vocabulary items drawn from class items and videos, the student will demonstrate comprehensive mastery of vocabulary items.
  • Students will be able to expand ASL vocabulary and the ability to utilize ASL expansion strategies when specific vocabulary is unknown

Grammatical Features

  • Grammatical features of ASL will be used in all conversational exchange and class exercises. The student is encouraged not to think in English form.
  • The student will demonstrate expressive mastery of dialogues and short sentences narratives and/or stories utilizing ASL grammatical features.

Conversational Skills

  • The student will demonstrate receptive competence for relatively short narratives, stories, and so forth in ASL that are told by the teacher and/or Deaf users of ASL and fellow classmates.
  • The student will demonstrate the ability to initiate, conduct and terminate context - specific conversations with Deaf users or ASL other than the professor.
  • The student will demonstrate the ability to express self-generated stories, narratives, and others in ASL.

Cultural Awareness

  • The student will read/see information on Deaf Americans, ASL, and its history.
  • The student will continue to be exposed to Deaf culture/Language use. The student is responsible for Culture Notes in the workbook, videotapes shown in class, and cultural information presented in class.
  • The student will attend social functions/events at which members of the Deaf community are present.

Spanish

Spanish 1-2

The goal of this course is to gain elementary communication skills in Spanish. The emphasis of this class will be on speaking, writing, and comprehension through interactive discussion and exercises, as well as written assignments. Grammar and memorization are often the focus of elementary language classes, however the goal of this course is to develop communication skills in Spanish. This course emphasizes the integration of grammar and vocabulary into written and oral communication. We will also be using the textbook reading assignments, art, and film in order to address the cultural component of language learning. In this course the student should expect to:

1. Learn basic vocabulary and grammar.

2. Explore the culture diversity in the Spanish-speaking world.

3. Communicate in Spanish in pairs and group activities.

4. Identify vocabulary elements in Spanish based on aural and visual stimuli.

5. Respond to questions and converse in Spanish using the present, past and future tenses in classroom exercises.

6. Demonstrate their Spanish through oral and written exams and projects.

Spanish 3-4

The goal of this course is to continue to develop communication skills in Spanish. The emphasis of this class will be on speaking, writing, and comprehension through interactive discussion and exercises, as well as written assignments. This course emphasizes the integration of grammar and vocabulary into written and oral communication. We will also be using the textbook reading assignments, art, and film in order to address the cultural component of language learning. In this course the student should expect to:

1. Expand vocabulary.

2. Continue to explore the culture diversity in the Spanish-speaking world.

3. Communicate in Spanish in pairs and group activities.

4. Read short articles and stories.

5. Develop a working knowledge of intermediate grammar and syntax.

6. Demonstrate their Spanish through oral and written exams and projects.

Spanish 5-6

The goal of this course is to continue to hone written and verbal skills in Spanish. The emphasis of this class will be on speaking, writing, and comprehension through interactive discussion and exercises, as well as written assignments. Students will review grammar structures covered in the first two years of Spanish.

In this course the student should expect to:

1. Demonstrate competency at the intermediate mid level (per ACTFL guidelines) in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

2. Review grammar structures and verb tenses and learn to use them in progressively complex and accurate ways.

3. Reading: Read and understand fully basic texts on a variety of social topics.

4. Speaking: Use authentic language, pronunciation and correct forms of grammar to communicate successfully in Spanish

5. Develop a more nuanced understanding of the cultural diversity in Latin America through classroom conversations, writing and oral presentations.

6. Demonstrate knowledge of the cultural, literary and linguistic structures that exist in the Spanish-speaking world and use the acquired cultural knowledge to think critically about their place in the world and how it relates to others.

7. Consider the continuation of the study of Spanish at college level, including participation in international exchange programs.

AP Spanish

The goal of the AP Spanish Language and Culture course is to prepare students for the College Board's AP Spanish Language and Culture exam. We use as its foundation the three modes of communication (Interpersonal, Interpretive and Presentational) as defined in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century. This course is an advanced language course in which students acquire proficiencies that expand their cognitive, analytical and communicative skills. The course is designed as an immersion experience and is conducted almost exclusively in Spanish. In addition, all student work, practices, projects, participation, and assessments are in Spanish.

The course is based on the six themes required by the College Board, namely,

  • Global challenges

  • Science and technology

  • Contemporary life

  • Personal and public identities

  • Families and communities

  • Beauty and aesthetics

Search Our Website
Type any topic
Contact Us