Academics

World Languages

Being able to communicate in more than one language is an essential life skill. Drew’s World Languages department creates authentic language opportunities to send you into the world as a culturally competent global citizen.

Studying a world language empowers you to engage with other cultures. At Drew, you can study American Sign Language, French, Mandarin, and  Spanish.

Graduation requirement: Two consecutive years in the same language. Three or four years is recommended.

World Languages Curriculum

List of 20 items.

  • American Sign Language 1

    • Introductory level full-year course
    • Two consecutive years in the same language are required for graduation; three or four years is recommended
    You will learn the basics of American Sign Language, including how to sign each letter of the alphabet, finger-spell words, and the signs for a variety of words and expressions. You will learn to introduce yourself, greet others, express preferences, ask questions, and engage in basic conversations. English is only used to clarify; most of the class is in American Sign Language.
  • American Sign Language 2

    • Low intermediate level full-year course
    • Two consecutive years in the same language are required for graduation; three or four years is recommended
    You will expand on the skills learned in ASL 1 and add detail and nuance when expressing needs, conveying detailed information, or comparing and contrasting ideas. You will learn about register in ASL and practice shifting from a formal to more informal tone, as well as using culturally appropriate signs. No spoken language is expected in this class.
  • American Sign Language 3

    • High intermediate level full-year course
    • Two consecutive years in the same language are required for graduation; three or four years is recommended
    You’ll continue to expand on your knowledge of ASL as you demonstrate greater fluency and control of vocabulary with an emphasis on connecting ideas and creating short compositions that are presented to the class. You’ll spend more time interacting as a group and explore deaf culture. This class is conducted entirely in ASL.
  • American Sign Language 4

    • Advanced level full-year course
    • Two consecutive years in the same language are required for graduation; three or four years is recommended
    You will continue to develop your receptive and expressive skills at this advanced level. In tandem with using advanced signs, you’ll continue to deepen your knowledge of Deaf culture and start to explore other sign-based languages, for example, International Sign. ASL will be used exclusively by both the students and teacher.
  • French 1

    • Introductory level full-year course
    • Two consecutive years in the same language are required for graduation; three or four years is recommended
    You will use basic vocabulary to form elementary sentences in French as you work toward mastering the present tense. You will explore various cultural aspects of French life in France as well as Francophone countries, and will carry out an in-depth study of the French-speaking country of your choice.
  • French 2

    • Low intermediate level full-year course
    • Two consecutive years in the same language are required for graduation; three or four years is recommended
    You will continue to develop your skills and work toward mastering the primary past tenses and future tense in this lower intermediate class. You will gain a deeper understanding of the French-speaking world through the use of culturally rich materials and comparisons with your own life and experiences. The class is taught in French and English.
  • French 3

    • High intermediate level full-year course
    • Two consecutive years in the same language are required for graduation; three or four years is recommended
    You will review grammar and vocabulary previously studied and be introduced to advanced tenses such as the past perfect and subjunctive mood. Storytelling and speaking skills are embedded throughout the course so you will read and discuss a variety of literary texts, write your own stories, and perform a series of oral presentations. French is the primary language of instruction.
  • French 4

    • Advanced level full-year course
    • Two consecutive years in the same language are required for graduation; three or four years is recommended
    You will review grammatical structures and extensively practice the use of the different tenses. Activities are designed to reinforce your skills and ensure you’re ready for the AP course. You will use a variety of materials to enrich your vocabulary, deepen comprehension, and develop both written and oral expression. This course is taught exclusively in French and students are expected to only speak French in the classroom.
  • AP French Language & Culture

    • AP Language & Culture level full-year course
    • This course has one or more prerequisites
    • Two consecutive years in the same language are required for graduation; three or four years is recommended
    The AP French Language and Culture course is structured around the six College Board suggested themes: Global Challenges, Science and Technology, Contemporary Life, Personal and Public Identities, Families and Communities, and Beauty and Aesthetics. You will use authentic materials from various Francophone speaking countries to explore these themes and better understand how they impact life in French-speaking countries, as well as your home country.
  • Advanced French

    • Mastery level full-year course
    • This course has one or more prerequisites
    • Two consecutive years in the same language are required for graduation; three or four years is recommended
    This course is for those who complete the AP French Language course and wish to continue studying French. You will explore material including literature, film, newspaper articles, podcasts and other authentic source materials in French. You will be expected to work independently on a variety of papers, projects, and presentations. You will also mentor current AP students and enrich AP classroom discussions through formal presentations and student-led activities.
  • Mandarin 1

    • Introductory level full-year course
    • Two consecutive years in the same language are required for graduation; three or four years is recommended
    This introductory course is for students who have not completed one year of formal instruction and/or who are taking the language for the very first time. You will work to build a solid foundation from which to continue your study of Mandarin by focusing on fundamental elements such as tones, syllable pronunciation, character writing, and basic grammatical structures.
  • Mandarin 2

    • Low intermediate level full-year course
    • Two consecutive years in the same language are required for graduation; three or four years is recommended
    You will continue to strengthen the four skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. You’ll make use of both a textbook and various authentic supplementary materials to explore topics such as visiting friends, making appointments, studying Chinese, and school life. As in Mandarin 1, you’ll be encouraged to examine your own learning process through reflection activities.
  • Mandarin 3

    • High intermediate level full-year course
    • Two consecutive years in the same language are required for graduation; three or four years is recommended
    You will continue to focus on four skills—reading, writing, listening, and speaking—with an added focus on typing and presentational speaking skills. Authentic sources are incorporated to help you explore what life in a Chinese-speaking country might be like. Reflection activities serve as a way for you to self-assess your work, identify areas for improvement, and strategize ways to advance your ability.
  • Mandarin 4

    • Advanced level full-year course
    • Two consecutive years in the same language are required for graduation; three or four years is recommended
    You will use a combination of textbook and authentic sources to broaden your understanding of Chinese language and culture as you cover topics such as seeing a doctor, dating, and traveling. You’ll continue reflective practices to both self-assess your work and strengthen your awareness of your identity as a speaker of Mandarin Chinese.
  • Spanish 1

    • Introductory level full-year course
    • Two consecutive years in the same language are required for graduation; three or four years is recommended
    From the first day of class, you will speak en Español, learn how to greet people, and introduce yourself and friends. You will also begin to discover the fascinating link between language and culture, especially through comparisons between English and Spanish. Lastly, a significant portion of this class will focus on language learning strategies; in other words, learning how to learn a language.
  • Spanish 2

    • Low intermediate level full-year course
    • Two consecutive years in the same language are required for graduation; three or four years is recommended
    You will develop the four skills—listening, speaking, reading, and writing—through a carefully structured communicative program that emphasizes the ability to use Spanish conversationally and academically. You will increase your understanding of the Spanish-speaking through the use of culturally rich, authentic materials. The class is taught in Spanish and English.
  • Spanish 3

    • High intermediate level full-year course
    • An honors version of this course is available
    • Two consecutive years in the same language are required for graduation; three or four years is recommended
    You will extend your skills through a curriculum designed to build your foundation in Spanish by incorporating new vocabulary and grammar while deepening your cultural and historical knowledge about the Spanish-speaking world. The class is conducted predominantly in Spanish.
  • Spanish 4

    • Advanced level full-year course
    • An honors version of this course is available
    • Two consecutive years in the same language are required for graduation; three or four years is recommended
    You will review Spanish grammar with an emphasis on improving composition and conversation skills while expanding your vocabulary and developing cooperative learning, teamwork, and individual skills through real-life task-based activities. This course is taught entirely in Spanish.
  • AP Spanish Language and Culture

    • AP Language & Culture level full-year course
    • This course has one or more prerequisites
    • Two consecutive years in the same language are required for graduation; three or four years is recommended
    The AP Spanish Language and Culture course is structured around the six College Board suggested themes: Global Challenges, Science and Technology, Contemporary Life, Personal and Public Identities, Families and Communities, and Beauty and Aesthetics. You will attain proficiency across the three modes of communication: interpersonal, or interactive communication; interpretive, or receptive communication; and presentational, or productive communication.
  • Advanced Spanish

    • Mastery level full-year course
    • This course has one or more prerequisites
    • Two consecutive years in the same language are required for graduation; three or four years is recommended
    This course is for those who complete the AP Spanish Language and Culture course and wish to continue studying Spanish. You will explore a wide variety of rich, authentic cultural material from throughout the Spanish-speaking world including short and feature-length films, short stories, poems, plays, and novels, as well as online publications, songs, and podcasts. You will also mentor current AP students and enrich AP classroom discussions through formal presentations and student-led activities.

List of 7 members.

  • Ms. Morgan Benz 

    World Languages Department Chair
    415.430.3747
    San Francisco State University - M.A.
    San Francisco State University - B.A.
    San Francisco State University - B.S.
    Year Appointed: 2012
  • Natalia Felvinczi 

    World Languages Faculty
    415.430.3769
    Instituto de Profesores Artigas - B.A.
    Year Appointed: 2018
  • Caitlin Jackson 

    World Languages Faculty
    415.409.3741
    Monterey Institute of International Studies - M.A.
    University of Michigan - B.A.
    Year Appointed: 2014
  • Maria Lopez-Larios 

    World Languages Faculty
    415.430.3746
    Universidad de Castilla La Mancha (Spain) - B.A.
    Universidad de Castilla La Mancha (Spain) - M.A.
    Year Appointed: 2014
  • Amanda Papanikolas 

    World Languages Faculty
    415.430.3742
    University of Texas - M.A.
    Vassar University - B.A.
    Year Appointed: 2003
  • Karen Sarrafzadeh 

    World Languages Faculty
    California State University Northridge - B.A.
    Year Appointed: 2008
  • Selene Zander 

    World Languages Faculty
    U.C. Berkeley - Ph.D.
    Earlham College - B.A.
    Year Appointed: 2016

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