La Cañada High School

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World Languages Department

Department Chair: Merissa Sadler
 
The primary goal of the World Languages Department is to instruct students in their learning of a language other than their own. The courses taken in the World Languages Department count as elective units and may count toward fulfilling the 90 units of electives required to graduate. Students may earn an LCHS diploma without taking a World Languages class. The University of California and California State University system requires that students take a minimum of two years of the same World Language and recommends that students take three years. All classes are year-long classes.

Preparation & Study Habits:
The World Languages Department strongly recommends that only those students who have done well in English, who memorize and read well, and who have a good knowledge of grammar, enter level 1 classes. Success in world language study depends on spending time every day outside the classroom, not only in doing homework, but also in reviewing vocabulary and grammar, and in practicing the target language. Many successful students use flashcards or podcasts and seek out native speakers, classmates, advanced students or friends to help improve their language skills. The department has conducted a thorough review of the language programs, developed a department grading policy, revised its final exams and oral and written rubrics, and has revamped the Spanish program to foster better language acquisition.

Advancement to the Next Level and Transfer Requirements:
Advancement to the next level of language study depends on the student’s performance at the previous level. Each level builds on the previous level and generally both the depth and the breadth of the content at the next level increase, therefore greater effort is required of the student to be successful. Use of the target language is emphasized in level one and required in all subsequent levels. Level 2 classes require a grade of at least “C” in level 1 (although a “B” grade or better usually leads to better success.) Levels 3 and 4 also require at least a “C” grade. AP Spanish requires at least a “B” grade in Spanish 3. Entering language study at other than level 1 requires a qualifying transfer grade from an accredited school and satisfactory performance on the appropriate placement exam.
The World Languages Department believes that a very important tool in improving reading, writing, vocabulary and grammar skills in the target language is the workbook. These workbooks are available online at no charge to the student.