Foreign Languages at Berkeley High

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Mandarin and BIHS

March 2013

My son will be entering Berkeley High in the Fall and is trying to decide between AC and BIHS. He has taken Spanish through middle school but is thinking about switching to Mandarin or Latin for high school. At the recent open house at the high school, a student speaker mentioned she ''joined AC because she wanted to take Mandarin.'' Can my student be in BIHS and still do Mandarin? I'd also love to have some feedback on the Mandarin program at Berkeley High -- good? bad? Thanks! Can't believe my kid is going to high school

My daughter is in 9th grade BIHS and takes Mandarin. It is her favorite class (also her hardest) I think it is her favorite class because there are kids from the other schools so she has a friend in it from Jr High and because it is challenging. She must like the teacher too. I hear good things about all the language classes (she has friends in French, Spanish (continuing) and Latin who love their classes too) anon


Freshman year French curriculum?

Aug 2012

Hello all! We're so happy to actually be in Berkeley finally. My daughter is enrolling at BHS and hopes to get into either AC or IB (her top preference). I wonder if anyone has experience with the freshman year French curriculum in each school. She took a year of French in 8th grade and it's one of her best academic classes. She's really hoping to place into 3/4 at BHS. What does she need to know in order to satisfy 1/2? Many thanks!

My daughter had two years of French in middle school, so entered at 3/4 -- it has been pretty hard for her; she had all As (including in honors math) and a B that she worked hard for in French in 9th grade. French 5/6 was also her most difficult class aside from AP Chem. The main difference between 1/2 and 3/4 is that 1/2 is mostly about vocabulary and simple grammar, and 3/4 is much more about formalities -- spelling and more complex grammar. So, I would take the advice of the French teachers in terms of placement because mastery of details are so important in French. au revoir