CURRICULUM

It's not just about the classes here at FSHA. In addition to a full slate of class offerings, including 24 Advanced Placement classes and electives that cover all disciplines, learning extends throughout and beyond the classroom.

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World Languages Program Overview

Proficiency in communication in all of its forms — speaking, writing, reading and listening — is the major objective of the World Languages program. In each class, instructors seek an appropriate balance among these skills. The target language is used as much as possible, and almost entirely for the third- and fourth-year classes. Because language has built-in cultural aspects, a theme-based, context-rich approach in the target language broadens ways of looking at the world (both local and global) and expands exposure to and understanding of people of different ethnic, racial, religious and social backgrounds. 

World Languages Courses

List of 20 frequently asked questions.

  • AP French Language

    Prerequisite: B+ in French III Honors and department approval; A- and instructor recommendation from French III and department approval.

    Advanced Placement French IV is designed to prepare the student for the Advanced Placement exam through constant work on oral fluency, vocabulary building, written composition and listening comprehension. The curriculum set for this class is the same as that of French IV with additional work in listening, speaking, reading and writing, AP practice exercises and AP exam practices. Some aspects of the French culture are also presented. The course is taught entirely in French.
  • AP Latin (Online Independent School, co-ed)

    Prerequisite: A in Latin III/IV or instructor approval.  This co-ed course is offered through the Online Independent School.

    AP® Latin students are challenged to read and analyze passages of Caesar's Gallic Wars and Vergil's Aeneid. The emphasis of the course is on reading and understanding the works of these two authors, as well as diving into the historical context of both works. We also look at literary devices and discuss how each author uses Latin and to what effect. Students practice these analytical skills not only on the proscribed passages, but also on sight passages from various authors with weekly assignments. We compare the writings of Vergil and Caesar to modern authors and explore the effect these authors have on our world today in class discussions. Students prepare translations and essays under time constraints similar to those on the AP® exam. Additionally, students peer edit essays to help strengthen their writing and analysis skills. All students enrolled in this course are thoroughly prepared to take the Advanced Placement exam in the spring.
  • AP Spanish Language

    Prerequisite: B+ in Spanish III Honors and department approval; A- and instructor recommendation from Spanish III and department approval.

    Advanced Placement Spanish Language and Culture is a rigorous, college-level course designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Exam while improving their communicative and comprehension skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing.  Emphasis is placed on cultural competency of the Spanish-speaking world and the linguistic skills necessary to communicate about these topics. The course is developed around AP themes and authentic materials from the Spanish-speaking world. Students should acquire advanced levels of proficiency while taking this course and be able to perform a variety of advanced tasks such as spontaneous conversation, oral presentations and cultural comparisons, persuasive essay writing, and reading/listening to a variety of texts (literary, expository, informative, historical, etc.). The course is taug
  • AP Spanish Literature and Culture (Online Independent School, co-ed)

    Prerequisite: A- or higher in AP Spanish Language and instructor recommendation

    The AP® Spanish Literature and Culture and Spanish V: Literature and Culture course provides a college level survey of texts from Peninsular, Latin American and U.S. Hispanic authors. Students complete readings from the College Board required reading list for the AP® Spanish Literature and Culture course and learn to analyze the works within their social and historical context and as expressions of major literary movements. Students build an understanding of form, structure, theme and literary devices and how each of these enhances the understanding of a text, as well as an understanding and appreciation of the rich variety of literature in Spanish, of the value of literature as an expression of Hispanic cultures and of the universal purpose of literature in general. The course is organized around the six themes designated by the AP® curriculum framework and conducted entirely in Spanish. In this multi-track course, students may select the AP® or Spanish V track, depending on whether they plan to take the AP® exam in May. AP® students are expected to delve deeper into the topics, take AP®-style assessments, and prepare for the AP® exam. Spanish V is recommended for students who want to read literature in Spanish but do not want to prepare for the AP® exam.  Meets UC “E” language requirement, College Board approved.
  • French I

    Prerequisite: None

    French I is designed to develop a good command of simple conversational French, and to train students to comprehend simple questions, sentences, and commands. Emphasis is placed on speaking, listening, and writing skills. Reading exercises are done as well, and easy texts are read. Geography of France, along with some cultural aspects of the French-speaking world, is also covered.
  • French II

    Prerequisite: C- in French I 

    French II is designed to enhance the student's knowledge of conversational French through the review of basic grammar and vocabulary from French I, the introduction of the imperfect and conditional tenses, with continual work on pronunciation and listening comprehension. The cultural aspects of the French-speaking world will be covered in more depth.
  • French III

    Prerequisite: C- in French II and department approval

    French III is designed to build on all skills presented in French I and II through grammar and vocabulary review and more detailed presentation of certain points of grammar and idioms. Students discuss a variety of concrete topics in detail such as own background, family, interests, work, travel and current events using different time frames. Students are also exposed to various literary styles of French Literature (poems, fables, scenes from plays, extracts from novels) and write compositions regarding these passages found in the textbook. The class is taught primarily in French.
  • French III - Honors

    Prerequisite: B+ in French II and department approval

    French III Honors is an advanced course designed to build on and perfect skills presented in French I and II through grammar, vocabulary and cultural review. Students will learn about the history of France from ancient to modern times and are also exposed to various literary styles of French Literature. Further development of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills will prepare students for more advanced work. The class is taught primarily in French.
  • French IV

    Prerequisite: C- in French III and department approval

    French IV is designed to provide students with a deeper understanding of the French language. Through reading, writing, and a variety of exercises, students will acquire good comprehension and communication skills. The same curriculum as AP French IV is set for this class. However, students are required to take a French final exam or work on a final class project in lieu of the AP exam. Some aspects of the French culture are also presented. The class is conducted entirely in French.
  • French V (Online Independent School, co-ed)

    Prerequisites: B or higher in AP French or French IV and instructor approval. This co-ed course is offered through the Online Independent School.

    In this course, students will continue to refine their grammar skills, expand their vocabulary, and improve their French communication and comprehension skills, both verbal and written, while gaining as much cultural knowledge as possible about the Francophone world. The goal is for the student to be able to interpret and discuss historical, cultural, and current event topics pertaining to the various different communities that exist in the Francophone world. Students will analyze, interpret, and synthesize information from various sources such as news articles, literary works, songs, video clips, films, documentaries, advertisements, personal emails, and voice messages. Students are also encouraged to express informed personal opinions and conclusions regarding the material to which they are exposed. They will compare and contrast different cultural practices within the Francophone world as well as observe similarities to and differences between the Francophone world and their own. Students will engage with French language and culture through creative and collaborative activities. Students may select the AP® French or French V track in this course. AP® students will be expected to delve deeper into the topics, take AP®-style assessments, and prepare for the AP® French Language and Culture exam in the spring. French V is recommended for students who have completed four or more years of French but do not want to prepare for the AP® exam.
  • Latin I (Online Independent School, co-ed)

    Prerequisite: None
    May be taken as a FSHA elective only.  Does not meet FSHA 2-year language requirement.

    Latin I is intended for students who have not previously studied Latin. The course develops competencies in reading and interpreting, oral expression and aural comprehension. Students learn the basic components and structures of Latin that allow them to develop basic reading strategies, which they use to build critical-thinking skills.  Upon completion of this course, students have acquired proper pronunciation, essential grammar and vocabulary to be able to understand and read short passages; the ability to engage in simple verbal exchanges; and a greater knowledge of English vocabulary and grammar.  Learning Latin is also about discovering connections and relationships between ancient and contemporary languages, cultures, and influential ideas.  Latin I students study Roman culture and history so they can examine the indebtedness of modern society to the Roman world, from legendary heroes to myths, gods, and politics.  Students take quizzes and have tests, but they also write stories, sing songs, play games, and work together on short research projects to further understand how their developing knowledge of Roman culture applies to their own lives.  
  • Latin II (Online Independent School, co-ed)

    Prerequisite: B or higher in Latin I or instructor approval

    The Latin II course continues the study of the language, culture and history of the ancient Romans. By the end of the year students gain extensive experience in various competency areas of the language: reading and interpreting, oral expression and aural comprehension.  Students continue to learn and practice linear-reading strategies that build critical thinking skills.  At every step of the way students expand their English vocabulary through the study of Latin word roots. In addition, significant time is devoted to the study of areas of Roman culture and history as presented through the products of the Romans such as art, architecture, and engineering techniques.  Students also examine evidence of Roman daily life and compare the ancient Roman customs to those of the modern world. Every unit of Latin II incorporates linguistic and cultural/historical material. Many of the unit assessments are collaborative projects with personalized pathways requiring that students work together to create linguistic, artistic and creative materials that demonstrate their understanding of the unit content.
  • Latin III/IV (Online Independent School, co-ed)

    Prerequisite: B or higher in Latin II or instructor approval

    Latin III/IV is a rigorous class that prepares students to enroll in One Schoolhouse’s AP® Latin course, as they comprehend increasingly grammatically and culturally challenging texts. This class begins by shoring up deficiencies and honing basic skills from prior courses; as such, it is a combined class for students of varied backgrounds.  After reading stories of famous Romans at the intermediate level of Latin, students collaborate in reading authentic Latin literature from a variety of possible authors such as Livy, Martial, Catullus, Sulpicia, Ovid, Caesar, Cicero, and Vergil on such topics as love, politics, war, leadership, marriage, the family, friendship, Roman values, mythology, and religion. Students read selected English translations from Greek and Roman authors in order to gain a wider understanding of Roman culture and literature, to provide some background for the Latin readings, and to connect with our contemporary world.  Students work towards developing four basic competencies: reading and comprehending Latin poetry and prose, translating Latin as literally as possible, gaining a deeper understanding of the historical context of literary works, and analyzing Latin texts as works of literature. Students review basic grammar throughout the year and learn more complex grammatical and syntactical structures, such as indirect statement, participles, the ablative absolute, the gerund and gerundive, and various uses of the subjunctive.  Students study literary devices and meter and learn how to analyze and interpret Roman literature as a creative genre, while gaining deeper contextual knowledge of the social and political conditions of the Republic and early Empire. Finally, students write essays that are supported with evidence from a Latin text, demonstrate their knowledge of Roman perspectives in a variety of ways, as well as engage in discussions about the connections between Roman culture and modern cultures today
  • Spanish I

    Prerequisite: None

    Spanish I is an introductory course designed to develop a good command of simple conversational Spanish and to help students acquire novice-level listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills. Students will be exposed to level-appropriate texts (print, media, audio), as well as novice-level novels and authentic materials in order to increase linguistic skills and cultural understanding of the Spanish-speaking world.
  • Spanish II

    Prerequisite: C- in Spanish I

    Spanish II is designed to enhance the students’ knowledge of basic Spanish communication and build on the language skills acquired in Spanish I. Students will be exposed to level-appropriate texts (print, media, audio), as well as a level-appropriate novel and authentic materials in order to continue to increase linguistic skills and cultural understanding of the Spanish-speaking world and gain intermediate-low proficiency levels of communication. Students will be able to comprehend and communicate about past as well as the present.
  • Spanish III

    Prerequisite: C- in Spanish II and department approval.

    Spanish III is a course designed to develop students' ability to communicate in written and oral Spanish through a comprehensive review of the grammatical elements essential for a good command of the language. The class is conducted primarily in Spanish. Course emphasis is placed on mastery of verb tenses, practical and enriched vocabulary, and active use of the language. In addition, level-appropriate readings and authentic materials from the Spanish-speaking world will allow students increase their cultural and linguistic proficiency. 
  • Spanish III - Honors

    Prerequisite: B+ in Spanish II and department approval.

    Spanish III Honors is an advanced course designed for students who were highly successful in Spanish II and who are potential candidate for AP Spanish. This course revisits and builds on prior knowledge of grammar, oral/aural, literacy and writing skills while advancing students to a wider scope of knowledge in Spanish. This course is conducted primarily in Spanish and students complete accelerated practices in all areas of language acquisition in order to achieve high-intermediate levels of proficiency. Many activities are designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement course. 
  • Spanish IV

    Prerequisite: C- in Spanish III/Honors or Spanish III and department approval.

    Spanish IV is designed to build on all language skills acquired during previous courses in order to further develop and strength linguistic skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing and allow students to confidently communicate and understand at the intermediate-high to advanced-low levels of proficiency. Students will be exposed to a variety of authentic materials (print, media, audio) in order to increase linguistic and cultural competency of the Spanish-speaking world. Students will read level-appropriate novels to increase linguistic skills, as well as create multi-media projects, write essays, give oral presentations, and improve spontaneous speaking skills. The course is conducted primarily in Spanish. This course is recommended for students who do not plan to take the AP Spanish exam, but want to complete a fourth year in Spanish and increase their language skills.
  • Spanish V Literature and Culture (Online Independent School, co-ed)

    Prerequisites: B or higher in AP Spanish Language or Spanish IV and instructor approval.

    The AP® Spanish Literature and Culture and Spanish V: Literature and Culture course provides a college level survey of texts from Peninsular, Latin American and U.S. Hispanic authors. Students complete readings from the College Board required reading list for the AP® Spanish Literature and Culture course and learn to analyze the works within their social and historical context and as expressions of major literary movements. Students build an understanding of form, structure, theme and literary devices and how each of these enhances the understanding of a text, as well as an understanding and appreciation of the rich variety of literature in Spanish, of the value of literature as an expression of Hispanic cultures and of the universal purpose of literature in general. The course is organized around the six themes designated by the AP® curriculum framework and conducted entirely in Spanish. In this multi-track course, students may select the AP® or Spanish V track, depending on whether they plan to take the AP® exam in May. AP® students are expected to delve deeper into the topics, take AP®-style assessments, and prepare for the AP® exam. Spanish V is recommended for students who want to read literature in Spanish but do not want to prepare for the AP® exam.
  • Writing and Grammar Intensive

    This course emphasizes skills that are needed for the analytical writing required in English, history and AP classes at FSHA. Topics include essay and sentence structure, subject/verb agreement, tense usage, topic sentences and paragraph transitions, among others. The course will also include vocabulary drills along with reading and comprehension preparation for those students taking the TOEFL and/or PSAT examinations.
"FSHA always challenged me to be a better student. The classes pushed me to expand my thinking and work hard. I'm ready for college because of the education I received here." —Kayla Grahn '15

World Languages Faculty

List of 7 members.

  • Lara Walker 

    World Languages Dept. Chair / World Languages Teacher
    626-685-8384
    University of Houston - PhD
    University of Houston - Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies
    University of Pittsburgh - M.A.
    University of Utah - M.A.
    University of Utah - B.A.
  • Stefani Collier 

    World Language Teacher (French) / Associate Director of Residential Life
    626-685-8323
    California State University, Los Angeles - M.A.
    California State University, Fullerton - B.A.
  • Noemi Garcia 

    World Languages / Spanish Teacher
    626-685-8318
    Pepperdine University GSEP - M.A. Education
    University of California, Santa Cruz - B.A. Sociology
  • Klara Knypinski 

    World Languages / French Teacher
    626-685-8300
  • Mary Therese Perez , O.P. 

    Religious Studies Teacher
    626-685-8336
    Christian Brothers University - MA
    Stanford University - BA
  • Yessenia Romo 

    World Languages Teacher
    626-685-8339
  • Ezekiel  Stear , Ph.D. 

    World Languages / Spanish Teacher
    626-685-8300
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy is an all girls' Catholic, Dominican, independent, college-preparatory day and boarding high school in the hills of La Cañada Flintridge. Overlooking Pasadena, FSHA educates girls from Los Angeles, Southern California and around the world for a life of faith, integrity and truth. 

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy

440 St. Katherine Drive
La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011
Phone: 626-685-8300

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