Upper School

World Languages

    • banner

      upper-school-world-languages-page-photo (1)

World Language Overview

As society becomes more interconnected, the need for proficiency in more than one language and culture will only continue to grow. One of the first choices a Burke's student makes about her academic path is her decision to pursue one of the languages in Upper School.

Language instruction begins in fourth grade where students are exposed to  Spanish, French, and Mandarin. Students and parent/guardians are invited to an informational session about the World Language program prior to selecting a language to pursue in fifth grade. 

In all language courses, students are assessed on the mastery of the five language skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking, and cultural competency) through quizzes and tests as well as homework, class participation, projects, and presentations.

Language Class Offerings

List of 3 items.

  • Spanish

    Students are assessed on the mastery of the five language skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking and cultural competency) and build skills through games and activities. Students also participate in cultural studies that examine traditions from Latin America and Spain through multidisciplinary assignments and projects.
    Upper School Spanish students research the lives of famous and influential Latinas, and have taken that information and created stop-motion videos using figurines and other props and the camera function on iPads. They splice their movies together with voiceovers recorded in Spanish.

    Other projects may include reading a novel or watching Spanish language films with an analysis of the plot, the various characters, and their motives, or a study of poetry. 
    Read More
  • Mandarin

    Students learn via a variety of topics related to daily life and cultural activities such as hobbies, visiting friends, holiday celebrations, making plans and appointments, and dining out. Students develop and strengthen their language skills through games, songs,  role-plays, skits, projects, conversations, and dialogues.

    Last year, students in the Mandarin classes drew on their language skills and creativity to put together a special Lunar New Year presentation for the Upper School Assembly.
  • French

    Students learn through classroom conversation, games and songs. Linguistic skills are cultivated to be comprehensive, and include speaking, writing and listening. Frequent and lengthy writing assignments help develop effective writing skills. In addition, students create various projects that they present to the class in French, including poetry and popular culture analysis. To create an environment especially conducive to realistic interactions between individuals, student engage in "global simulations"which allows a group of learners to create a universe of reference.

World Language Faculty

List of 4 members.

  • Photo of Emily Otero

    Emily Otero 

    Upper School Spanish Teacher
    415-751-0187, ext. 355
  • Photo of Anthony Sabedra

    Anthony Sabedra 

    Spanish Teacher, Eighth-Grade Lead Advisor
    415.751.0187, ext. 342
  • Photo of Xuemei Li

    Xuemei Li 

    Mandarin Chinese; Grade 6 Advisor
    415.751.0187, ext. 365
  • Photo of Dawn Kleint

    Dawn Kleint 

    Upper School French Teacher
    415-751-0187, ext. 335
Burke's mission is to educate, encourage and empower girls. Our school combines academic excellence with an appreciation for childhood so that students thrive as learners, develop a strong sense of self, contribute to community, and fulfill their potential, now and throughout life.
Burke's admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.