Courses Offering

English Courses

The English program at Sofos Preparatory Academy concentrates on the development of four integral skills, which are essential for succeeding across the curriculum: reading, written communication, oral communication, and critical thinking. Students are required to actively participate in lessons through discussions, writing in and out of class, note taking during lectures, and group projects. At the start of each semester, teachers provide a syllabus with guidelines regarding homework, quizzes and tests, paper formatting, deadlines and other information for each class.

The English program at Sofos Preparatory Academy concentrates on the development of four integral skills, which are key to succeeding across the curriculum: reading, written communication, oral communication, and critical thinking. In this class students will be introduced to literary movements and how they are characterized (typically we begin with the Gothic, reading poems, short stories, and a novel). This year we will read We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. We also cover Greek mythology and drama, which introduces students to key concepts in western culture and literature.

The English program at Sofos Preparatory Academy concentrates on the development of four integral skills, which are key to succeeding across the curriculum: reading, written communication, oral communication, and critical thinking. In this class, students will read a variety of literary genres with a focus on the theme of Imperialism. We read a variety of short texts, poems, nonfiction, and a novel, typically Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe.

The goal of this class is to read fiction, poetry, and essays that will be challenging but not overwhelming to the average high school junior. These works will come from a range of countries and cultures and will be very different in style and content. In addition to a literary approach, some works will be examined in a historical and social context to shed light on the author’s ideas. Students will also write several papers, each completed only after it has gone through multiple drafts. Students will be expected to participate in discussions regardless of their level of spoken English.

The goal of this class is to read fiction, poetry, and essays that will be challenging but not overwhelming to the average high school senior. These works will come from a range of countries and will be very different in style and content. In addition to a literary approach, some works will be examined in a historical and social context to shed light on the author’s ideas. Students will also write several papers, each completed only after it has gone through multiple drafts. Students will be expected to participate in discussions regardless of their level of spoken English.

This course is designed to reinforce cross-­‐disciplinary standards and to provide the tools necessary for student success through a well-­‐developed curriculum. The focus will be on key cognitive skills, foundational skills, organizational skills, and time-­‐management. Students will   learn several strategies to improve reading, writing, mathematics, test-­‐taking, note-­‐making, research, computer, and study skills

This class is by invitation of the teacher. Students who take this class must be willing to work hard, keep to deadlines, and be open to difficult texts that even college students would find challenging. Students who do not meet the requirements will be swiftly transferred to English IV.

The purpose of this course is to teach students how they can use literature to think about ethics, justice, morality, and mortality. We will look at literary characters and societies as they make moral and ethical choices. The job of the student will be to understand the philosophical and religious basis of morality and use that as a tool to evaluate the literature they read, their own actions and ideas, and the make-­‐up of Western society in which they live.  In this course, we will examine the worldviews of various authors to begin to comprehend the choices and dialogue of their characters. We will also study how the characters’ actions affect family and society at large.

History Courses

History is a crucial subject necessary for all students’ understanding of the basic knowledge, skills, and positive attitudes needed to become responsible citizens and contributing members of society. History draws upon geography, economics, the social sciences, behavioral sciences and humanities, while attempting to teach a wide range of critical and creative thinking skills.

This is a yearlong course designed to introduce students to the physical and cultural geography of our world. The course will explore the following essential question to understand the differences that pervade the modern world: How does geography affect the development of civilizations? In addition, students will examine the unique elements of culture that create a civilization’s history. Students will be encouraged to engage in discussions of religion, diversity, environmental concerns, and to think critically about conflicts, political and economic systems, and the impact of geography on the development of cultural beliefs, differences, and diffusion. The students will be dealing with maps daily, and will leave class with a sense of where they are in the world and why it looks the way it does.

This is a year long course, designed to begin with the Renaissance in Western Europe and proceed through the Cold War. Given the current revolutionary atmosphere pervading the world, this class will view its topics through the lens of revolution. Students will begin the year by creating their own definition of what a revolution is, and end the year reflecting on whether they need to change their initial belief. The design emphasizes the relationship between global events as well as the interconnectedness of belief, political, social and economic systems, as well as other elements of culture including technology, conflict, environment, and modes of expression. The course will approach topics from a global perspective and will devote some time to both current events and geography.

This is a yearlong course designed primarily to present students with historical information that will allow them to form their own judgments, opinions, and perspectives of the history of the United States. This course will look through the lens of how the United States has become a deeply politicized nation. The course material asks students to examine the present by looking at the political, social, and economic forces that have shaped the past. The course will begin with the exploration of the continent and go on through the nation’s involvement in World War II, with a constant awareness of connections to current events.

The AP U.S. History course focuses on developing students understanding of American history from approximately 1491 to the present. The course has students investigate the content of U.S. history for significant events, individuals, developments, and processes in nine historical periods, and develop and use the same thinking skills and methods (analyzing primary and secondary sources, making historical comparisons, chronological reasoning, and argumentation) employed by historians when they study the past. The course also provides seven themes (American and national identity; migration and settlement; politics and power; work, exchange, and technology; America in the world; geography and the environment; culture and society) that students explore throughout the course to make connections among historical developments in different times and places.

This is a one semester course for seniors.  The course will discuss basic political theory, review the United States Constitution, and examine current political systems in our country and throughout the world. In addition to studying the three branches of government, specific topics of study may include US citizenship policy, civil liberties, public interest and opinion, and mass media. The course also focuses heavily on political ethics and policy.

This is a one ‐semester course for seniors. The course begins with basic political theory and study of the founding of the nation and the corresponding documents, but incorporates the themes of freedom, order, and equality into the curriculum. The course continues with an in-­‐depth study of federalism, in America. In addition to studying the make-­‐up of the government, students will learn about electoral politics, lobbying, interest groups and the mass media. They will finish with an     incredible understanding of lawmaking and Congress, as well as the Presidency and the Supreme      Court. This course will assist the student in preparing for the American Government AP exam, though he/she should complete additional outside study to cover all topics on the test.

This is a required one-semester course.  In it we will study basic types of economic systems, how they intersect with government, and how they affect the people who live under them. Specifically, we will focus on the U.S. economy by looking at the two main branches: macroeconomics and microeconomics. This course should also provide a framework to understand news reports and politicians when they speak about inflation, the GNP, trusts, globalization, investments, balance of trade, taxes, etc.

This is a required one semester course.  In it we will study basic types of economic systems, how they intersect with government, and how they affect the people who live under them. Specifically, we will focus on the U.S. economy by looking at the two main branches: macroeconomics and microeconomics.

This is a one semester course designed to present students with an in-­‐depth look at the origins, notable events and results of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States that affected the entire world, in one way or another, between 1945 and 1991. The course will help students to better understand the world today by looking at the events of the recent past that helped shape it.   We will also have a weekly discussion of current events that affect the globe.

 

This course is designed to continue where your World and US History classes left off in the modern era. We will focus specifically on American domestic policies and international relations from the New Deal to the present, from a political/historical perspective. The following is a list to give you a sense of the topics/issues we may address:

•  What did the end of WWII signify for the US and the other involved nations?

  How has the development of international organizations, such as the United Nations, affected global politics over the last half-­century?

  Analysis of the Cold War and anti-­Communist climate of the 1950’s.

  Analysis of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian struggle.

  Analysis of the evolution of the Presidency from Eisenhower to W. Bush

  How has pop culture been affected by various eras in United States history? What effects has pop culture had on our youth?

  How did the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Woman’s Movement shape US politics from the 1950’s to the 1970’s?

Analysis of current topics throughout the 1990’s into the 21st century, including the AIDS epidemic, the Clinton scandal, the ongoing war on terrorism, and the fate of Iraq.

 

 

International Politics is a one-semester long course designed to research, analyze, and discuss contemporary/current global issues from a variety of perspectives. We will cover modern world history from the 1930s to the present. Topics range from life under Stalin, to the origins of Islamic Fundamentalism, from the genocide in Rwanda to China’s economic surge (or bubble). Students will be encouraged to bring up issues that they would like to discuss for the class to remain both fresh and relevant. The following is a sample guide to this course:

•  How have people fared under various government systems (Communism, Fascism, Democracy, Fundamentalism)?

•  Human rights and genocide-­‐why nations around the world have dropped the ball.

•  Economics and its impact on foreign

•  Spreading democracy-­‐to whose advantage?

•  Revolution and reconstruction-­‐which factors prevent success?

 

Technology Courses

Students develop knowledge and skills related to computers and technology so that they will be prepared to enter today’s high-tech work environment. Topics covered include attaining a working knowledge of computers for personal or business use, computer graphics, computer animation, video production, audio mixing, digital print, and web design layouts.

This is a one semester computer course that introduces students to digital image design using industry standard software.  Students will learn each tool in detail through tutorials, projects, and quizzes. Throughout this course, students will engage in several large projects that develop a general understanding of creating, manipulating, and improving digital images.  At the completion of this course, students will create media portfolio as their final project.

 

This one semester introductory computer course introduces students to Coding in the Swift language. The course will cover the basic concepts and components of writing code and from there writing and running full apps. The main applications will be Apple’s Swift Playgrounds and Johannes Berger’s app, Swifty.

 

This one semester introductory computer course introduces students to the world of App Development through the various stages of production, from layout planning and design to building.  The class will use the GameSalad software and online service. The course will focus on delivering a final app.

 

The goal of this class is to read fiction, poetry, and essays that will be challenging but not overwhelming to the average high school senior. These works will come from a range of countries and will be very different in style and content. In addition to a literary approach, some works will be examined in a historical and social context to shed light on the author’s ideas. Students will also write several papers, each completed only after it has gone through multiple drafts. Students will be expected to participate in discussions regardless of their level of spoken English.

This one semester introductory computer course introduces students to digital audio manipulation with the software program Apple GarageBand. The course will focus on tips, tricks, and techniques for producing professionally mixed audio on a digital audio workstation. We will begin by discovering how to set up an optimal listening environment and defining digital audio basics. Next you will learn how to master the intricacies of equalization; incorporate various audio effects; and generate the final mix. At the completion of this course, students will understand how to process audio, balance a mix, and build a powerful track.

This one semester introductory computer course introduces students to 3D graphics at the production level using the industry leading software program, Maya. This course will familiarize students to the main components of 3D production known as the pipeline: modeling, texturing, animation (including dynamic simulations), lighting, and rendering.  At the completion of this course, students will either create a short form video or a complex model utilizing the skills learned.

Science Courses

The science program is designed to surpass the National Science Education Standard requirement of achieving scientific literacy. While the goal is to challenge students and provide an appropriate foundation for further studies and careers in science, the content is structured to foster positive attitudes toward science and increase student understanding of scientific knowledge, processes and technology.

Biology is an exciting and rapidly growing field of study. This one year course is an introduction to the biological sciences. Students will develop a greater understanding of the fundamental principles of living organisms including cell structure and function, animal behavior, genetics and heredity, evolution and classification, diversity of living organisms, and plant and animal structure and function. Laboratory periods are used to reinforce the topic currently being considered and to develop necessary process skills and reasoning ability required in scientific inquiry and investigations.

This yearlong lab course prepares students for the AP Biology examination as well as the SAT Subject Test in biology. Included in this course are biochemistry, cytology and cellular energy transformations, taxonomy, ecology and population dynamics and molecular genetics, heredity and evolution.

The objective of this course is to develop a working knowledge of many fundamental aspects of modern chemistry, including: chemical symbols, nomenclature and formulas, manipulation of equations, stoichiometry, aqueous solution chemistry, acids and bases, the periodic table, theories of chemical bonding, thermochemistry, atomic theory, gas laws and the states of matter. Laboratory periods are used to reinforce the topic currently being considered and allow students to acquire reasoning skills for scientific investigations.

Pre-­‐requisite: successful completion or concurrent enrollment in Algebra II/Trigonometry.

The AP Chemistry course is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course usually taken during the first college year. For some students, this course enables them to undertake, in their first year, second-year work in the chemistry sequence at their institution or to register in courses in other fields where general Chemistry is required.

Prerequisite: Chemistry is required; completion or concurrent enrollment in IM3 STEM or Higher Math.

This course is a one year introduction to the major topics of physics.  You will learn about the dynamic relationships between matter and energy. Modern applications of the preceding principles will be emphasized. To fully understand and apply physical principles, you should have a thorough grasp of algebra-­‐based problem solving skills.

Physics I, Advanced Placement is part of the college board’s redesign of Physics B, Advanced Placement, currently an approved AP course in our district. The Physics I, Advanced Placement course is equivalent to a first-semester college course in algebra-based physics. The course covers Newtonian mechanics (including rotational dynamics and angular momentum), work, energy, power and mechanical waves and sound. It will also introduce electric circuits.

Prerequisite: Completion of Integrated Math 2 or higher math with a grade B or better. Enrollment in Integrated Math 3 STEM or higher.

Physics 2, Advanced Placement is the second course in the College Board’s redesigned algebra based introductory college level physics course. It follows the currently approved AP Physics 1 course. Students explore the principles of fluids, thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, advanced electrical circuits, physical and geometric optics, and a variety of modern physics topics such as quantum mechanics, atomic physics and nuclear physics. Continuing the focus on inquiry-based learning fostered in AP Physics 1 students will continue to develop their scientific critical thinking and reasoning skills.

Prerequisite: AP Physics 1 or Physics/Physics Honors Co-Requisites: Completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, Integrated Math 3 STEM or higher math

This one semester elective is designed to introduce students to the environmental science aspect of ecology. A basic understanding of general biological processes such as photosynthesis and nutrient cycling is helpful, but not required. Topics covered throughout the semester include: analysis of biotic and abiotic factors in ecosystems; nutrient and energy cycling; food chains and food webs; the atmosphere; the greenhouse effect and global warming; water and air pollution; land use; food; waste; biodiversity and sustainability. Through participation in labs performed in class, students will acquire reasoning skills necessary in understanding and conducting scientific investigations, reinforce the topic currently being studied and develop skills in organizing information, making observations, recording scientific data and preparing lab reports.

Mathematics Courses

Knowledge of mathematics and a familiarity with its applications are essential in today’s changing world. Selection of the correct course sequence is the single most important factor for success in mathematics at the high school level. The courses offered are designed to serve students with differing abilities, interests, and career aspirations and to enable students to experience success in mathematics.

Algebra I introduces various topics that comprise elementary algebra. Students not only acquire important algebraic skills to simplify problems and solve equations, but they also gain an understanding of the concepts that lie at the heart of algebraic manipulations. In so doing, this course directly prepares the student for the questions concerning algebra on the mathematics sections of the SAT and ACT exams, as well as providing a solid foundation on which to build in subsequent mathematics courses such as Geometry, Algebra II and Trigonometry. Major topics include the algebraic modeling of real life problems, solving and graphing equations and inequalities; systems of equations; ratios and proportions; properties and use of exponents; mathematical modeling using functions, tables and graphs; number patterns, counting methods and permutations; polynomials and factoring; radical expressions and equations

This is a one-year college prep course that meets state graduation requirements. This course includes the following topics: An overview of functions (linear, quadratic and exponential) in function form, graphs, and tables; Linear equations and inequalities in one and two variables; Geometric constructions; Congruence and rigid motions; Geometric relationships and properties of triangles, parallel lines, quadrilaterals and circles; Analyzing and interpreting data in one and two variables.

This one year course reinforces and extends the mathematical foundation established in an Algebra I course. It offers an in-­‐depth investigation of the topics of a yearlong course in Geometry while revisiting numerous algebraic topics from a geometric perspective.

Semester One is devoted to a study of basic principles, reasoning and proof, parallel and perpendicular lines, congruent triangle theory, and special relationships within triangles. Important theorems from semester one include the isosceles triangle theorem, and the proof that all triangles have angles whose sum is 180 degrees.

Semester Two is devoted to a study of quadrilaterals, area, perimeter, and circumference, similarity theory and right triangle trigonometry. Major objectives of this course are a thorough understanding of mathematical topics as tested in both the SAT and the ACT. By the end of this course a student will have, among other things, complete familiarity with the x-­‐y plane, facility with the Pythagorean Theorem, and the ability to find measurements indirectly using trigonometry and a calculator.

This is a one year college prep course that meets state graduation requirements. This course includes the following topics: Similarity; Coordinate geometry; Trigonometric ratios; Quadratic functions; Quadratic equations; Probability.

Prerequisite: Integrated Math 1/Algebra 1

This course reviews and extends the mathematical investigations of the previous two courses into the study of function theory, trigonometry, systems of equations and inequalities, and exponential and logarithmic functions. It constitutes the third-year course in the Mathematics Department Syllabus progression.

Prerequisite: Algebra I and Geometry.

The following units will be covered in Integrated Math 3: Statistics (Random Processes), Circles and Conics, Trigonometric Functions, Exponential Functions, Functions Capstone, Rational and Polynomial Expressions. This course will complete the 3-year Integrated Math series and includes remaining High School Common Core Math Standards that are not covered in Integrated Math 1 and Integrated Math 2.

Prerequisites: Integrated Math 2/Geometry Co-requisites: Integrated Math 2 equivalent (from middle school)

This course is designed for students who are interested in pursuing STEM fields in college. This course is an enhanced course and not an honors course and will cover topics above the Integrated Math 3 course, including vectors, complex numbers and advanced trigonometric function analysis. The following units will be covered in Integrated Math 3 STEM: Statistics (Random Processes), Circles and Conics, Trigonometric Functions, Vectors, Exponential Functions, Functions Capstone, Rational and Polynomial Expressions. This course will complete the 3-year Integrated Math series and includes the remaining High School Common Core Math Standards and a variety of the “plus” standards that are not covered in Integrated Math 1 and Integrated Math 2.

Prerequisites: Integrated Math 2/Geometry Co-requisites: Integrated Math 2 equivalent (from middle school)

This one semester elective is designed to introduce students to the environmental science aspect of ecology. A basic understanding of general biological processes such as photosynthesis and nutrient cycling is helpful, but not required. Topics covered throughout the semester include: analysis of biotic and abiotic factors in ecosystems; nutrient and energy cycling; food chains and food webs; the atmosphere; the greenhouse effect and global warming; water and air pollution; land use; food; waste; biodiversity and sustainability. Through participation in labs performed in class, students will acquire reasoning skills necessary in understanding and conducting scientific investigations, reinforce the topic currently being studied and develop skills in organizing information, making observations, recording scientific data and preparing lab reports.

This course is a rigorous one  year introduction to the major topics of Precalculus. Students will   learn about topics that are beyond the scope of both Algebra II and Trigonometry, but which are necessary to understand Calculus. This course is recommended for any student who is interested and proficient in mathematics and wishes to expand and extend his/her knowledge in this area by pursuing the subject beyond the framework of the basic algebra and geometry course offerings.

Prerequisite: Algebra II/Trigonometry (or permission of the instructor).

This course is designed for students who have a strong background in Precalculus, including equation theory and trigonometry, and wish to continue their study of higher-­‐level mathematics as well as take the AP Calculus AB exam in May. As such, this course is aimed at students who are hard workers and are looking for a challenge. Topics covered in past years include: functions, limits, differentiation, logarithmic & exponential functions, applications of differentiation, integration, applications of integration, and further techniques of integration.  There is a heavy emphasis on problem-­‐solving, particularly in the form of word problems.

Prerequisite: Precalculus (or permission of the instructor).

Calculus BC is an extension of Calculus AB rather than an enhancement; common topics require a similar depth of understanding. Both courses are intended to be challenging and demanding. Broad concepts and widely applicable methods are emphasized. The focus of the courses is neither manipulation nor memorization of an extensive taxonomy of functions, curves, theorems or problem types. Thus, although facility with manipulation and computational competence are important outcomes, they are not the core of these courses. Using the unifying themes of derivatives, integrals, limits, approximation, and applications and modeling, the course becomes a cohesive whole rather than a collection of unrelated topics. These themes are developed using all the functions listed in the Prerequisite.

Prerequisite: Calculus AB, Advanced Placement

The AP Statistics course lends itself naturally to a mode of teaching that engages students in constructing their own knowledge. For example, students working individually or in small groups can plan and perform data collection and analyses where the teacher serves in the role of a consultant, rather than a director. This approach gives students ample opportunity to think through problems, make decisions and share questions and conclusions with other students as well as with the teacher. Important components of the course should include the use of technology, projects and laboratories, cooperative group problem- solving, and writing, as a part of concept-oriented instruction and assessment. This approach to teaching AP Statistics will allow students to build interdisciplinary connections with other subjects and with their world outside school.

Prerequisite: Integrated Math 3, Integrated Math 3 STEM

This elective in Mathematics reinforces and extends the mathematical foundation comes from a year’s study of both Algebra and Geometry. One aim of Finite Mathematics is to strengthen a student’s basic mathematical skills in accordance with the standards of the NYS Mathematics Regents. A second basic aim is to enrich the student’s mathematical foundation with explorations of topics such as prime number theory, set theory, abstract group theory, and number theory which are not generally taught within the confines of syllabus math courses. Finite Mathematics is both practical in its emphasis on review, and interesting in its varied selection of intriguing mathematical topics.

Foreign Language Courses

At the end of this course, students will be able to hold a basic conversation and make simple requests similar to the ones found in a traveler’s language guide. They will be able to introduce themselves, give information about themselves, order a meal in a restaurant, shop, count money, ask for directions, and seek medical care. And last but not least, make friends.

The objective of Spanish II is to obtain proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in the target language. In addition, students will acquire a firm linguistic base, which is the foundation of effective communication and meaningful language proficiency. To develop a more concise world-­‐view, students will learn to situate the language within the context of the contemporary Spanish–speaking world and its cultures. The emphasis in this course sequence is to actively apply the fundamentals that were introduced in the preliminary Spanish course (Spanish I). Students will develop their communication skills by learning to express complex thoughts and ideas. Among the verb forms studied are the present, the imperfect, the subjunctive, the reflexive, the imperative, the future, the future perfect, and the conditional. To facilitate thinking in the target language in an abstract manner, a variety of literary texts are read and discussed. In addition, specific attention will be paid to correct pronunciation and diction.

Prerequisite: Spanish I.

The objective of Spanish III is to refine listening, speaking, reading, and writing in the target language. In addition, students will strengthen and expand their linguistic base, thus enhancing the foundation of effective communication and meaningful language proficiency. Students will continue to learn to situate the language within the context of the contemporary Spanish–speaking world and its cultures. The emphasis in this course sequence is to actively apply the fundamentals that were introduced in the primary and secondary Spanish courses (Spanish I and Spanish II). Students will develop their communication skills by learning to express complex thoughts and ideas. Written assignments of a more substantial length will afford students the opportunity to write in a more academic manner. Among the verb forms reviewed are the present, the imperfect, the preterit, the reflexive, the imperative, the future, the future perfect, the conditional, the present perfect, and the subjunctive and imperfect subjunctive. Students will learn grammar within the context of various authors, such as Ana María Matute, Horacio Quiroga, and Luis C. Infante. The literary context in which students encounter the language will allow them to think critically about the ideas and situations presented by the authors. In addition, specific attention will be paid to correct pronunciation and diction, and the subtle nuances of spoken language.

Prerequisite: Spanish II.

The objective of Spanish IV is to further the communication skills acquired in Spanish III, with the aim of language proficiency. The course includes extensive oral expression. Authentic audio and video recordings as well as native Spanish speakers are accessed to improve comprehension and conversation. Reading selections from authentic materials and selected Hispanic literature are read for comprehension. Discussion, debate, projects, compositions, and other directed writings demonstrate understanding of the culture and the complexities of the language and vocabulary. The majority of the course is conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: Spanish III.

French 1 students are introduced to basic structures and vocabulary dealing with everyday situations that enable them to communicate effectively in French at a basic level. Students start developing all five communication skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and cultural awareness.

French 2 students continue their study of the five communication skills: Listening, speaking, reading, writing, and cultural awareness of French. Students can understand simple questions related to personal interests and to initiate simple conversations. They develop the ability to read short texts and write short paragraphs dealing with everyday life.

Prerequisite: French 1.

French 3 students expand upon and enrich the base of knowledge acquired in French 1 and 2. As students enter the intermediate level of language proficiency, they learn to discuss and write about personal experiences and their lives at home and school. They learn to communicate their needs using more complex verb tenses and grammatical structures. Students are also introduced to short literary texts and other authentic documents.

Prerequisite: French 2.

The AP French Language and Culture course takes a holistic approach to language proficiency and recognizes the complex interrelatedness of comprehension and comprehensibility, vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness. The course strives to promote both fluency and accuracy in language use and not to overemphasize grammatical accuracy at the expense of communication. To best facilitate the study of language and culture, the course is taught in the target language. The course engages students in an exploration of culture in both contemporary and historical contexts. The course develops students’ awareness and appreciation of products, both tangible (e.g., tools, books, music) and intangible (e.g., laws, conventions, institutions); practices (patterns of social interactions within a culture); and perspectives (values, attitudes, and assumptions that underlie both practices and products).

Prerequisite: French 3.

Fine Arts Courses

This course emphasizes Art/Drawing Elements (Line, Shape, Color, Texture, Tone) and Principles (Focal Point, Balance, Leading Lines, Pattern, Perspective, Proportion and Scale). In the first part of the class, students explore drawing/printmaking exercises that help them develop technical skills with various art materials in relationship to the Elements and Principles. In the second part of the class, students choose a socially-­‐engaged theme or topic, and then use their drawing/printmaking skills to create one or more substantially sized compositions that express their chosen theme. Students then present their final composition(s) at the Student Exhibition at the end of the semester, using critique methods that have been taught throughout the entire semester.

Students are introduced to basic techniques of digital photography through a series of group discussions and photography assignments. Assignments emphasize skills related to Rule-­‐of-­‐Thirds, composition, natural and artificial light, focal point, leading lines, depth of field, and other visual aesthetics techniques. Students visit various museums and galleries, San Francisco and Bay area “iconic” locations, and a Reprographics business. Students will print out several of their digital photos and present a thematic series of prints at an Exhibition at the end of the semester, using critique methods that have been taught throughout the entire semester.

This course presents the history of cinema from its birth to today. We study films and filmmakers who are critical to the evolution of the medium in terms of technique and societal and cultural impact. We review all of cinemas’ media relatives; from radio, newsreels, music videos and commercials to YouTube and Snap Chat. We also explore the technical aspects of how films are made so that we can apply these techniques to the process of making films via project based learning. The overall goal is to illuminate students to the essential works of cinema and media and apply this knowledge to the making films.