Mission Statement

World Language students at CSArts-SGV acquire language by actively participating in a literacy-based curriculum.  This curriculum incorporates a holistic approach to language learning and encourages the development of critical thinking skills in a supportive and culturally aware communicative environment.

Teaching Methodology and Rationale

The CSArts World Language Department has adopted a teaching methodology based on Comprehensible Input (CI). It was found that in using a more traditional textbook-based teaching methodology, students were learning long lists of vocabulary words and verb conjugations rather than being provided with the vast amounts of comprehensible messages (CI) needed for them to get a feel for the language and communicate effectively.  They were being required to produce language before they were ready to do so.  Moreover, the focus on constant error correction was hindering students’ attempts to use the language. CSArts embraces a language-acquisition based approach to teaching world languages which emphasizes providing students with understandable and contextualized language and encourages understanding and risk taking.  

Language Learning (Traditional Method)

Language Acquisition (CI)





Formal Situations

Informal Situations

Focuses on Grammatical Rules

Uses Grammatical Feel

Depends on Aptitude

Depends on Attitude

Simple to Complex

Stable Order Acquisition

Teaching with Comprehensible Input involves high-frequency, sheltered vocabulary with lots of repetition in reading and listening in order to improve fluency and competency in the language.  In order for this to be an effective teaching tool, students have to understand the teaching process and they need to participate actively.  

What you would see if you came into a CSArts lower level language classroom

All lower level language classes at CSArts are conducted 90% in the target language.  If you were to pop into a lower level language classroom at CSArts, you would see teachers delivering comprehensible input through storytelling, class conversations, reading, singing and other interactive activities.  Students show comprehension through drawing, choral responses, acting and meaningful interaction in the target language with the teacher and their peers.  Students in the lower levels are taught grammar and vocabulary implicitly by being exposed to its use and using it to communicate and they are not explicitly taught the language, e.g., verb charts, grammar drills, etc. until they have developed an ear for the language first.  This is of utmost importance in the first two years.

What you would see if you came into an upper level language classroom

In the upper levels, instruction continues to be 90% in the target language and input, while at a higher level, continues to be comprehensible. However, more explicit instruction of grammar can occur. Students, having spent the previous years being exposed to grammar in various contexts are now engaged in language manipulation, i.e., using various linguistic structures to create original output. While communication is still the main focus, communicating with greater accuracy becomes a focus. Additionally, the curriculum is developed and delivered under the umbrella of the College Board’s thematic AP framework in order to continue to prepare students for success at the college level and beyond. Some of the tasks you might see performed in the upper levels are literature circles, daily news story presentations from the countries studied, students teaching culture through class presentations, film studies, song analysis, deepening reading comprehension of authentic texts through enactment strategies and many collaborative and whole class exchanges of ideas.

Patricia Cardenas

Patricia Cardenas

Instructor - Curriculum Lead


Patricia Cardenas graduated cum laude from Amherst College with a double major in Spanish and Theater & Dance, and a Five College Certificate in Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies. After graduation, she taught English abroad at an elementary school in Salamanca, Spain. Upon her return the United States, she received her Master’s in Education and a teaching credential from Claremont Graduate University. 

Liping Liang

Liping Liang



Ms. Liang earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education with a major in Chinese Linguistics and Literature from Hanshan Normal University in Guangdong, China, which is a center for creativity. She received her high school teaching credential and after having success in teaching for six years in China, Ms. Liang moved to the United States where she has taught and tutored students of all ages. She is teaching Chinese 3,4 and  AP Chinese for advanced students at CSArts-SGV. She believes teaching is not only about knowledge but also about an attitude of how learning is the basis for wisdom in life.

Andrea Nelson

Andrea Nelson



Andrea Nelson holds a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Literature from Argentina, where she taught in high school for ten years. Upon moving to the United States, Mrs. Nelson obtained a Master’s degree in Education, and a California Clear Credential (Single Subject in Foreign Language) from Azusa Pacific University. For the past 13 years, Mrs. Nelson has taught all levels of high school Spanish, including AP Spanish Language and Culture as well as AP Spanish Literature. Additionally, she sponsored chapters of the Hispanic Honors Society at two different high schools.

Yadria Rivera

Yadria Rivera



Yadira I. Rivera-Alameda earned a BBA in Human Resources and Education from the University of Puerto Rico, where she taught in middle/high school for eight years. Upon moving to the United States, Maestra Yadira, that’s how her students know her,  obtained a Texas and California Clear Credential (Single Subject in Foreign Language). Maestra Yadira has had a variety of experience teaching different levels of Spanish in middle school and high school, both in Texas and California. She believes that her passion for the Spanish language and its culture will  inspire students to not just learn new words in a different language but to see the world in a broader perspective.

Fatima Ruiz

Fatima Ruiz



Ms. Ruiz comes to us with 7 years of teaching Spanish experience. She has taught Spanish 1, Spanish 2, Spanish 3, and Spanish AP Language and Culture. In the past, she was also an ASB coordinator, ELD coordinator and teacher, and teacher advisor for Latino Union. Ms. Ruiz has received awards for involvement in promoting higher education (university, college, or trade school) via the UC Riverside Campus/Community Service Recognition in 2010 and the Estudiante de Corazon (community service award) at UC Riverside in 2007, 2009, and again in 2010. Ms. Ruiz have been involved in educating since she was in 5th grade, tutoring younger children in her community. As she got older, she enjoyed helping others learn and was involved in educational clubs. Her passion for education grew stronger as the years went by. In college, she received various recognitions for organizing conferences that promoted higher education for elementary, middle school, high school, and community college students. After graduating from college, Ms. Ruiz continued to be involved in community outreach for higher education.

Her hobbies include traveling, hiking, training her dogs, cooking, attending concerts, and watching movies.

"Students will rise to the level of expectation" - Jaime "Kimo" Escalente

Nana Yang

Nana Yang



Nana Yang, a spirited language and cultural explorer and a former ballet dancer received her Bachelor's degree from UCLA, with a major in Linguistics and Asian language and minor in Japanese and TESOL. She also earned her Teaching Credential and Master's degree in Bilingual Education from Loyola Marymount University with an emphases in bilingualism and biliteracy, second language acquisition, and methodology for Chinese language instruction.

She worked as a long-term substitute Chinese teacher and special educational aide. She has taught Chinese I through Chinese AP, and she designed her classes with comprehensible and communicative activities. Also, she assisted teachers in different classrooms to help students with special needs to fulfill their academic goals.

Ms. Yang believes every student can learn and succeed. Failure is always temporary but motivation is what will allow one to overcome the obstacles and endure to the end. Ms. Yang is very excited to join CSArts this year since she is devoted to work with other teachers to create a nurturing environment for bright and talented students. Ms. Yang also believes that her mission is to teach and motivate students to become a great citizen of the world who are not only talented in arts, but also strong in academics with globalized visions.

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