Mission Statement

World Language students at CSArts 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)

Explicit

Implicit

Conscious

SubConscious

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.

Astrid Paraspolo

Astrid Paraspolo

Instructor

Astrid.Paraspolo@sgv.csarts.net

More forthcoming 

Yadira Rivera

Yadira Rivera

Instructor

Yadira.Rivera@sgv.csarts.net

More forthcoming

Nana Yang

Nana Yang

Instructor

Nana.Yang@sgv.csarts.net

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 biliterarcy, 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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