The World Languages department at Upper St. Clair High School offers five levels of French, German and Spanish; four levels of Latin; a three-year sequence of Japanese; and two levels of Chinese. Students who complete the middle school language program are normally placed in the second-level class at the high school. Most high school students take a minimum of two years and a high percentage elect a third and fourth year as well. Approximately 80% of Upper St. Clair High School students are enrolled in World Languages classes. An increasing number of students are enrolling in two foreign languages.
The emphasis in the World Language department is on oral proficiency, which anticipates that all students will have sufficient oral practice in their classes to be able to get along in a foreign country. To this end, many activities are structured to allow oral practice. All fourth and fifth level students are given oral proficiency interviews to measure their progress, evaluate our program and prepare them for college where the course grade often depends on a certain level of oral proficiency, tested through this same interview process.
Culture is an important component in language classes. Field trips, films and videos are methods of acquainting the students with the culture of the foreign country. The department also sponsors language clubs for each foreign language. Several teachers also coordinate travel/study abroad trips in the summer. German teachers sponsor a biennial exchange with the Lise Meitner Gymnasium in Leverkusen, Germany, which combines a home-stay and school experience and travel throughout German-speaking countries. 2009 marked the 16th year for this partnership! Students from Leverkusen visit USC for three weeks in the spring. Spanish teachers accompany students to Alicante, Spain for a three week home-stay, study and travel experience. French teachers also began a successful exchange with and, travel to, their partner school in Lyons, France in 2006.
International Studies, a one-semester course, is an interdisciplinary course designed to complement the Asian Studies course (See Social Studies offerings.). Students may take either course but are encouraged to take both. This course will look at international studies from the perspective of culture and language, teaching students cross-cultural skills that they need in order to cooperate and to compete in the new world economy. Students will learn through discussions, readings, visual media, simulations, speakers, and field site visits. This course will be helpful to students interested in culture, business, history, current events, technology/media, and the exploration of careers.
World Languages Department Faculty Name Extension Language(s) Chase, Bethany 2660 French Clermont, Marc-Andre 2296 Department Chair, French Darakos, Joanna 2523 Spanish Fidler, Louise 2326 Deparment Aide Kang, Lixia 2527 Chinese Kapples, Junko 2561 Japanese Kopaz, Lynne 2671 German; Spanish Lardas, Constantina 2562 Latin Lee, Kelly 2666 Spanish Moore, Cephus 2656 French; Spanish Rennhoff, Johanna 2321 German; Spanish Sebastiao, Kate 2643 Spanish Schneider, Uwe 2664 German