List of 3 items.

  • Mandarin

    Fifth Grade: This is a beginning level course. The class will focus on developing a solid foundation for communicating in Chinese. Listening and speaking will be addressed as well as reading and writing. Students will learn the Chinese phonetic system of pinyin, basic knowledge about strokes, stroke order and common radicals for writing Chinese characters, and basic conversational skills for daily life, including greetings; self-introduction and introducing friends or classmates; discussing family life; telling time; using dates; and discussing countries and occupations. Students will also learn about Chinese culture through activities and projects.
    Trimester grades (beginning in the second trimester) will be based on quizzes, tests, homework, and projects.

    Sixth Grade: 
    This intermediate-beginning Mandarin course continues to build a strong foundation in the basic Chinese language skills of listening, speaking, reading, writing and critical thinking. The class will cover a variety of topics related to daily life and cultural activities including occupations, transportation, colors, clothes, the weather, hobbies, and holidays. Students will also learn how to describe simple situations, people, places and things. They will build their vocabulary and strengthen their communication in Chinese using various sentence patterns. In addition, typing on computers is introduced, and Pinyin will still be emphasized.
    Trimester grades will be based on quizzes, tests, homework and projects.

    Seventh Grade: This advanced-beginning level course emphasizes the development of communication skills in the Chinese language through applying complex structures, various tenses, and broadened vocabulary related to situations in the home, school, and other social settings. Cultural awareness will be strengthened by learning about traditional Chinese culture, Chinese customs, and Chinese idiomatic expressions (成chéngyǔ). Through this course, students will be expected to express themselves orally and in written in Chinese on familiar topics. Topics include the weather, holidays, hobbies, daily activities, and school subjects, schedules and campus. They will be also expected to enhance their Chinese typing skills.
    Trimester grades will be based on quizzes, tests, homework and projects. 

    Eighth Grade: This intermediate-level Mandarin Chinese course emphasizes expanding listening, speaking, reading and writing language skills and improving language fluency. Students will learn more advanced vocabulary and sentence patterns in different contexts and more complex grammar. This course will also emphasize the development of critical thinking through projects related to topics in traditional Chinese customs, history, and values. The class will cover a variety of topics related to food, health, nutrition, shopping, and community. Students are expected to use sentences and paragraphs to express their ideas in Chinese orally and in writing. Typing skills will continue to be addressed in this course. 
    Trimester grades will be based on quizzes, tests, homework, and projects.
  • Spanish

    Fifth Grade: In fifth-grade Spanish, students learn basic vocabulary and some basic grammar structures. We use a binder of materials especially designed for young students that provides grammar, vocabulary, songs and games to be used in class. At the end of the school year the students are able to introduce themselves and talk in a basic, descriptive way about clothes, family and friends, animals, body parts, weather and time.  We use Spanish in class for commands and short conversations, but some explanation is provided in English. We integrate cultural activities into our curriculum and use video and computers for some projects.
    Students are assessed on homework, class participation, preparation, quizzes, tests, projects and presentations.

    Sixth Grade: Work on conversational skills continues but a stronger emphasis in placed on the skills of writing, reading, accurate pronunciation, and listening comprehension. Students use the textbook En Español 1a and other supplemental online materials to guide their studies. Homework is assigned with each class to ensure that students practice newly acquired skills. Students are expected to have fully mastered the conjugation of regular and irregular verbs in the present tense by the end of the year.  Vocabulary acquisition continues to be guided by units focusing on daily life. 
    Cultural studies examine traditions from Mexico, Puerto Rico, and U.S. cities with large Latino populations through multidisciplinary assignments and projects such as a podcast on famous Latinas of history.
    Students are assessed on the mastery of the four language skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) through quizzes and tests as well as homework, class participation, projects and presentations.

    Seventh Grade: We use the book En Español as a base, introducing activities and projects appropriate to each thematic unit. We begin with a bridge unit designed to help students review and consolidate what they already know. We will study regular and irregular present tenses, the imperative and the preterit. We will also learn how to express possession and to use object and reflexive pronouns.  Activities in class are designed to help the students improve their proficiency in all aspects of the language: reading, writing, speaking and listening comprehension. Students will use their knowledge of Spanish in class in conversation about different topics, paired activities for communication, and story telling. Class is conducted mainly in Spanish, with clarification in English when needed.
    The class also has a cultural component: we explore the geography, traditions, music, food, art, and culture in general of the various Spanish-speaking countries. The librarian and teachers of art and technology work with us on collaborative units.
    Tests and projects account for the majority of the trimester grade, with the remainder based on homework preparation and participation in class.

    Eighth Grade: The primary goal of eighth grade Spanish is the continued development and refinement of vocabulary and grammar.  Consistent review is crucial and reinforces the foundation for more advanced concepts and grammar topics.  Upon their arrival in eighth grade, the students will have studied the present and preterit tenses, including the irregular and stem-changing forms.  Other tenses for the eighth grade year include the imperfect past, the future, the conditional, the compound tenses of the past, and the formal/informal commands.  In addition, vocabulary will be studied via cultural projects and special assignments.  
    The class is taught in Spanish.  The textbook, En Español 2, the accompanying workbook, and two short novels are the required texts for the course.  Cultural components of the Spanish-speaking world make up a large part of the curriculum.  Culture will be explored through hands-on, interdisciplinary projects that include music, art, dance, history and literature. 
    Students are assessed on the mastery of the language four skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) through quizzes and tests as well as homework, class participation, projects and presentations.
  • French

    Fifth Grade: In the fifth grade, French is a beginning course. Students first become comfortable with French sounds and then begin to acquire basic vocabulary and grammatical structures. Students develop their listening and speaking skills as they learn through classroom conversation and classroom games and songs. Dictations, listening comprehension, and classroom interaction are used to develop effective communication in French. Reading and writing are taught after the new structures are introduced orally.
    Assessment is based on homework, written class work, quizzes, classroom participation, and pronunciation.

    Sixth Grade: In the sixth grade, the primary emphasis of the French curriculum is on making the transition from speaking to writing the language. Students use a textbook and a workbook. They are presented with the fundamentals of French grammar and their vocabulary becomes more complex.
    Students continue to cultivate their listening and speaking skills. Dictations, listening comprehension, oral compositions, and classroom conversation are used to develop effective communication in French. After new structures are introduced orally, reading and writing are taught and serve as reinforcement.
    Assessment is based on homework, written class work, quizzes, classroom participation, and pronunciation.

    Seventh Grade: The seventh-grade French curriculum introduces students to more advanced grammar and vocabulary. In this class, conducted primarily in French, the girls master the present tense of all regular and many irregular verbs, and they begin using the past tense. Although all four language skills—listening, speaking, reading, and writing—are emphasized, particular attention is paid to communication. In addition to daily conversations, activities such as listening comprehension exercises, class presentations, and dictations enhance effective communication in French. Reading and writing projects reinforce the language learned orally.
    Grading is based on accumulated points from tests and quizzes. 

    Eighth Grade: The French curriculum at the eighth-grade level prepares students to enter the more intense courses of high school and aims to strengthen all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.  To achieve that goal, this course, conducted primarily in French, covers more advanced structures such as the passé composé and the imperfect tense. Daily conversations and original skits and dialogues give students the opportunity to use French discussing real life situations.  Frequent and lengthier writing assignments help develop effective writing skills. In addition, students create various projects that they present to the class in French, including poetry analysis and music videos. 
    Grading is based on accumulated points from tests and quizzes. 

List of 1 news stories.

  • Burke's Students Place in Mandarin Speech Contest

    Eight Mandarin students from Burke's participated in three different categories in this year's CLTAC Mandarin Speech Contest, and three of them came home with awards.
    Read More

Language Teachers

List of 5 members.

  • Mika Court 

    Seventh- & Eighth-Grade French Teacher
    Amherst College - B.A.
    University of California, Santa Cruz - M.A.
  • Emily Otero 

    Upper School Spanish Teacher
    415.751.0177, ext. 355
  • Anthony Sabedra 

    Sixth- & Eighth-Grade Spanish, Sixth-Grade Lead Advisor, Youth Voice Advisor
    415.751.0187, ext. 342
    University of Santa Clara - B.A.
    Cornell University - M.A.
    Universita di Siena - Cert., Certificato degli studi italiani
  • Toni Wagner 

    Fifth- & Sixth-Grade French
    415.751.0187, ext. 335
  • Mei Xue 

    Fifth- to Eighth-Grade Mandarin
    415.751.0187, ext. 365
    Belgrade University - M.A.
    Jinan University - B.A.
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.

Katherine Delmar Burke School

An independent K–8 school for girls
7070 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94121
Phone: 415.751.0177 Fax: 415.666.0535
Directions | Employment | Contact Us