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 become global citizens through the study of languages and cultures. Lively classes invite self-expression and infuse students with a passion for inquiry, comprehension, and communication.
The study of languages fosters appreciation for different perspectives, builds empathy, and increases awareness of historical and social issues. Students practice language through activities designed to promote cultural competence, improve collaboration, and build interpersonal, interpretive, and presentation skills. 

Students talk, sing, discuss, and at times dance their way to a greater understanding of one of three languages: Chinese, Latin, and Spanish. Classes encourage students to share their authentic voices and embrace making mistakes as a natural part of learning a language. Every student is expected to read, write, and demonstrate comprehension and, in the case of Chinese and Spanish, to speak that language with reasonable fluency. Language classes incorporate conversations and content about social justice, colonialism, and equity.
The process of learning a new language is humbling. Everybody knows that you don’t learn a language without making mistakes. Those mistakes are stepping stones on the way to greater understanding: to connection with other people and to a more enriching life; to travel the world; to experience art, music, and culture; and to broaden your understanding of identity.”

List of 3 items.

  • Chinese

    China has taken an increasingly important role on the world stage in business, economics, politics, culture, and literature. 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 real-world Chinese-speaking environments. The class provides opportunities for students to practice their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills daily, and prepares students to use Chinese in authentic real-life settings.

    Chinese IV: Language & Culture
    This seminar explores the richness of the Chinese language and culture through family and community, personal and public identity, beauty and aesthetics, science and technology, contemporary life, and global challenges. The course advances language development through readings, films, and presentations as students cultivate their understanding of the Chinese language across the full range of language skills within a cultural frame of reference.

    Chinese V-VI: Advanced Conversational Chinese
    In this course, advanced-level language students maintain and continue to build Mandarin Chinese proficiency through immersive lessons on contemporary culture, history, literature, arts, and film. Daily conversation and inquiry is spurred through course materials such as novels, poems, short stories, podcasts, movies, and documentaries. Students are expected to interact, inquire, think, and communicate in Mandarin
    as they find their voices and take risks.
  • 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 has an active and vibrant Latin Club. All Latin students take the National Latin Exam in March.
    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. The primary textbook is Wheelock’s Latin, with supplemental stories and fables from Thirty-Eight Latin Stories. Intermediate courses mark the first foray into sustained Roman literature, focusing on translation, interpretation, and context. Students read both poetry and prose and learn to recognize idiomatic expressions within specific periods of history. Students explore the period from the Late Republic to the Julio-Claudian Dynasty; this span incorporates the traditional periods of Classical and Golden Latin, including works from Catullus, Cicero, Horace, and Ovid.

    Latin IV: Vergil’s Aeneid
    This course is a deep dive into The Aeneid, Vergil’s epic poem about the founding of Rome and the search for a meaningful life. Conversations center on fate vs. free will, duty vs. desire, love as a destructive force, and the justification of violence. Students think critically about how Roman culture and politics intersect with the literature, especially how Emperor Augustus’ intention for the epic to glorify Rome’s origins conflicts with the text’s ambivalent messages about the consequences of war and empire. While most of the course focuses on reading, analyzing, and reveling in the beauty of Latin poetry and prose, students also spend time conducting historical research, reading and writing literary analysis, and collaborating on creative projects.
  • 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 advanced 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, Diverso I, II, and B 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 based on Sandra Cisneros’s La Casa en Mango Street. Course topics include professions, relationships, food, science, technology, the environment, and human rights. Beyond the textbook, course materials include films, articles, music, podcasts, and local cultural events.
    Spanish IV-V: Culture, History, and Life in the Hispanic World
    This seminar focuses on the history, society, and traditions of places in the Hispanic world, such as Peru’s Machu Picchu, México’s Tenochtitlán, Spain’s Camino de Santiago, and Havana’s seafront. Class discussions, papers, and oral presentations are based on Spanish and Latin American television, films, radio programs, daily news, literature, and music. By examining how a people’s history, identity, and sense of place is expressed through art, music, and celebrations, students gain a deeper understanding of indigenous, Caribbean, and Spanish communities. Students build skills in comprehension, oral and written communication, and critical thinking while deepening their understanding of the Hispanic world. 

    Spanish IV-V: Black & Indigenous Identities in Latin America
    This seminar considers Latin American identity from the perspective of Afrodescendent and indigenous people through the ages, beginning with the creation story of the Maya people. Students explore indigenous worldviews, compare indigenous accounts of the arrival of Europeans to Columbus’ diary, and interrogate how indigenous people resist colonization today. Students learn how Afro-Latine identity has been shaped by the legacy of enslavement and abolition and study Afrodescendent leaders and artists working in multiple genres. The course looks at historical and contemporary facets of “Hispanic” identity and transculturation in the Spanish-speaking world of the Americas. A final project examines how identity is constructed in bilingual children’s books.

List of 6 members.

  • Photo of Tania Triana

    Tania Triana 

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

    Liset Cruz Garcia 

    Spanish Teacher
    510-652-0111 x 233
  • Photo of Lana  Robinson-Sum

    Lana  Robinson-Sum 

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

    Rong Zhang 

    Mandarin Teacher
    510-652-0111 x233
  • Michael Guzman 

    Spanish Teacher
    510-652-0111 x233
  • Tom Winterbottom 

    Spanish Teacher
    510-652-0111 x233

The College Preparatory School

mens conscia recti

a mind aware of what is right