Yucca Valley High School Home

 Foreign Language department Chair

John Frakes

Frakes, John
Teacher
Jungwirth, Jennifer
Teacher
Pfingsten, Marcia
Teacher
Riggs-Cuyno, Mary
Teacher
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Thank you for the dedication of the teachers in our department and our hard working students.

 

“Languages open doors to opportunities” -Monsieur Frakes

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Photos and Interview by:

Sadie Mecham

Stacy Liechti

Sean Grissom

Languages

Welcome to World Languages

Bonjour! Salve! Ciao! Hola! こんにちは (Kon'nichiwa)! مرحبا

Ni hao! Zdravstvuite! Hallo! Nривет! Hello!

 

Welcome to The Foreign Language Department’s page. On this page you can learn about our department, the work we do, and our hard working teachers.

 

The goal of our department is to ultimately get students to speak more, in both their native tongue and the new one they are learning. We not only want to teach students a new language but also open their minds to other cultures. As teachers we do our best to teach all students, no matter their learning style. In their classes students participate in many engaging projects and exciting experiences. The students in Monsieur Frakes’s French ¾ classes make a commercial each year. For this project students design and write their own commercial. They have complete creative freedom over the project. Señorita Jungwirth has students create stories in Spanish and draw pictures to go along with what is happening. Señora Riggs-Cuyno asks students to sing in class to improve grammar.

Outside the Classroom

We continue our work outside our own classrooms. While we have tried to form clubs in the past none have worked out. Our students get to learn about and celebrate holidays from the countries whose languages they are learning. To fit with the policies the state our teachers have begun to bring common core into the classrooms. Our students use their new found language skills outside the classroom to speak. The work we do in our classrooms continues to other classrooms as well: In our courses goes over history, English, and even mathematics. We teach students about history and how it has affected both the country the students live in and the ones they are learning about. In the classes the students learn much about the past of the countries they are studying. We help students in their English by going back the fundamentals such as grammar, nouns, verbs, and other basic language skills. Students are required to spell out words using letters in the tongue they are learning. We teach them rudimentary math when we go over the numbers in the target languages. Students must say the numbers in the language they are learning and then the answer of these numbers added, subtracted, multiplied, or divided.

 

Helping Students After High School

Taking a language course in high school will help students after graduation. Many prospective employers are impressed when they know you have taken a language. It will come in handy if they ever have to communicate with someone who speaks the language they are studying. Colleges also look for at least two years of a foreign language when students are applying. Learning a language can help a student in their future.

Email Contacts

Our Teachers

The teachers of our department all work extremely hard to teach their students. Each one is trained in TPR, Total Physical Response. This is a method of teaching students by using their whole body to speak and learn the language. They are also trained in comprehensible input, storytelling, and speaking in nothing but the language they are teaching. Our Spanish and French teachers have all studied in their target language countries. This has improved their fluency and ability to speak these languages. The teachers are working on bringing common core into their classrooms.

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Challenges for Our Department

Each year the foreign language classes start off with a high student population; luckily, as the year has continued, our numbers have begun to level off. Another issue is that our textbooks are around 15 years old. They are out of date, which forces the teachers to fill in many of the gaps. As our department is an elective course our classes often get looked over.