Five modern languages are currently available to students – Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish, as well as Spanish and Mandarin Immersion.
The number of students enrolled will determine which class ultimately will be available. With a pre-enrollment of at least 24 students, beginning language courses (the 1A series) will be offered. As soon as course requests are tallied, students will be notified in the event the language they have requested will not be taught at their school of attendance. It is therefore helpful for students to list a first and second choice when selecting a language to study.
Each world language course develops self confidence through the study of a second language and fosters an appreciation for that language and culture. In selecting a language, students should be guided primarily by their own interests. Capable students who wish to study more than one language at a time may do so. Homework in world language classes may be assigned Monday-Thursday.
Seventh graders enroll in the course numbered 1A. In the eighth grade, they continue with the course numbered 1B. This two-year sequence in middle school is equivalent to the first year of high school study. In other words, one year of world language at the middle school level covers the curriculum of and is considered the equivalent to one semester of world language at the high school level.
The district guarantees a sequence of three levels in each language, but the district does not guarantee offering all languages at all middle schools or both high schools. There is a two- year graduation requirement in PAUSD high schools. However, three years are recommended to the UC system.
General Course Description
Students of Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish will develop growing proficiency in four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and gain understanding of the structure of the language appropriate to the level of instruction. They will also gain a familiarity and appreciation of the culture of the linguistic community. Students will have opportunities to participate in diverse cultural/enrichment activities including art, food and celebrating special holidays. Students that begin their language study at the middle school level have a real opportunity to develop native like pronunciation and a solid foundation in grammar. Students are able to spend time acquiring important verbal skills as they participate in a variety of activities: skits, dialogs, interviews, video clips, etc. Please note that language classes are taught in the target language. Teachers do their best to provide instruction in the target language to provide as much an immersion experience in the target language as possible.
The Japanese writing systems (Higana and Katakana) are introduced gradually during the first year course and Kanji (Chinese characters) throughout the year.
- French 1A French 1B*
- Japanese 1A Japanese 1B*
- Mandarin Chinese 1A Mandarin Chinese 1B*
- Spanish 1A Spanish 1B*
- German 1A
**Prerequisite and/or Application Required