West Valley College
14000 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070 • Phone (408) 867-2200

World Languages

408.741.2016
Language Arts

Faculty

World Languages Home Page

French is a Romance language spoken in France, Belgium and Switzerland, and parts of Canada. It is an official language of 25 countries. It is also an administrative language in many international organizations. It is spoken by about 90 million people.

German (Deutsch) is a Germanic language, it is part of the Indo-European language family, and one of the world's major languages. German belongs to the 10 most spoken languages worldwide. It is spoken in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and in parts of Belgium, Italy, France, Luxembourg, and 37 other countries. There are over 110 million native speakers and over 120 million who speak it as a second language. (It was the official language of Namibia till 1990.)

Gabriele May, Instructor

Gabriele May

Education

Ph.D., UC Berkeley
Ph.D. dissertation: Tradition im Umbruch - Zur Sophokles-Rezeption im deutschen Vormärz. (Peter Lang Publisher)
M.A., UC Berkeley
B.A., UC Berkeley
Major: German literature German language
Minor: Classics (emphasis on Latin and Greek)

Classes Taught at WVC

German 1A
German 11A
German 1B
German 11B
German 50A/B
German Immersion Program
Latin 50

Experience

15 years teaching German and German literature, Latin at SJSU
1 year German at Santa Clara University
2 years of Latin at Foothill College
17 years at WVC

Personal Message to Students

Have you heard of Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud, Einstein, Wagner… just to name a few? Come and learn their language. Become multilingual! Learning German will discipline your habits, improve your reasoning and add fun to your life!

Personal Interest or Areas of Research

Writing about the two world wars and the effects on future generations.
Politics and literature of Germany, South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.
Travels to Berlin, Germany and the South of Africa. (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia etc.)

Italian Italiano

Do you like pasta, the mafia, or mandolins?
Would you like to go to Firenze, Venezia, Roma, Milano, le Cinque Terre, Napoli, or Palermo?
Have you ever heard of Leonardo, Donatello, Raffaello or Michelangelo?
What about Luciano Pavarotti or Andrea Bocelli?
Ever wonder why Clemenza says, "Leave the gun, take the cannoli" in The Godfather?

If any of the above questions interest you, you will find what you seek studying Italian at West Valley College. My name is Anthony Sargenti and I, like Virgil to Dante, will be your guide. Please feel free to email me about any questions you may have. See you in the Fall or the Spring!

Anthony Sargenti, Instructor

Anthony Sargenti

A native from San Francisco, I lived in Florence, Italy from 2007-2009. From there I have traveled to many beautiful places in Italy. I studied Italian at San Jose State and abroad in Florence, where my Italian truly began to blossom. I learned the language both in the classroom as well as at the dinner table, having met two amazingly welcoming Italian families that treated me like one of their own. I like to base my courses on real world Italian and culture, using vocabulary and grammar to complement the beautiful (and often non-verbal) forms that Italians use to communicate with each other. A presto!



Courses Taught at WVC

Italian 1A
Italian 1B
Italian 11A
Italian 11B

Education

M.A. Italian, San Francisco State University (2012)
B.A. Art History with a minor in Mathematics, San Jose State University (2010)

Teaching experience

West Valley College - 2010 to present
Napa Valley College - 2011 to present

Japanese (日本語) is spoken by about 124 million people on the islands of Japan, including Ryukyus. Japanese is composed of a large group of dialects. A large number of Japanese words derive from Chinese loan elements. The present writing is in kanji and hiragana, with katakana being used chiefly for foreign loan words.

Latin Lingua Latina is an Indo-European language belonging to the Italic group, it is the ancestral language to the modern Romance languages. Originally spoken by small groups of people living along the lower Tiber River, Latin spread with the increase of Roman political power. The Latin alphabet remains the most widely used alphabet in the world. Latin was the language of the Catholic church and is still the official language of the Vatican.

Gabriele May, Instructor

Gabriele May

Education

Ph.D., UC Berkeley
Ph.D. dissertation: Tradition im Umbruch - Zur Sophokles-Rezeption im deutschen Vormärz. (Peter Lang Publisher)
M.A., UC Berkeley
B.A., UC Berkeley
Major: German literature German language
Minor: Classics (emphasis on Latin and Greek)

Classes Taught at WVC

German 1A
German 11A
German 1B
German 11B
German 50A/B
German Immersion Program
Latin 50

Experience

15 years teaching German and German literature, Latin at SJSU
1 year German at Santa Clara University
2 years of Latin at Foothill College
17 years at WVC

Personal Message to Students

Have you heard of Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud, Einstein, Wagner… just to name a few? Come and learn their language. Become multilingual! Learning German will discipline your habits, improve your reasoning and add fun to your life!

Personal Interest or Areas of Research

Writing about the two world wars and the effects on future generations
Politics and literature of Germany, South Africa, Namibia and Botswana
Travels to Berlin, Germany and the South of Africa (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia etc.)

Portuguese content

Russian russkiy yazyk is the principal state and cultural language of Russia. Russian belongs to the family of the Indo-European languages. Together with Ukrainian and Belarusian, the Russian language makes up the eastern branch of the Slavic family of languages. Russian uses the Cyrillic alphabet, it is one of the official languages of the United Nations, and it is spoken by about 167 million people.

"Россию можно понять с разумом… Необходимо просто верить в России."
"Russia cannot be understood with the mind... One must simply believe in Russia." -Fyodor Tyutchev

Galina Chyorny, Instructor

Galina Chyorny

Degree(s) / Institutions

M.A. degree Odessa University, Ukraine
Major: Philology, French Language and Literature

Classes Taught at WVC

Russian 1A
Russian 11A
Russian 1B
Russian 11B

Experience

17 years teaching in Odessa, Ukraine
15 years teaching at West Valley College

Personal Message to Students

Our Russian class is a bridge that unites two great countries and cultures. Despite of what you might have heard, Russian is fun, interesting and very learnable.

Personal Interest or Areas of Research

Fine Arts, Russian Poetry, Gardening

Erin O'Donnell

Spanish español or Castillian castellano is a Romance language spoken by more than 250 million people in Spain, the Americas, and Africa. Outside the Iberian Peninsula, Spanish is spoken in all of Central and South America except Brazil, as well as in the Canary Islands, parts of Morocco, and the Philippines. Latin-American Spanish has a number of regional dialects; all are derived from Castilian but differ in several points of phonology from European Spanish.

Sandra Plyler

Education

M.A. La Sorbonne, Paris, France
Majors / Minors: French Literature, French, Spanish, Drama

Classes Taught at WVC

Spanish 1A
Spanish 1B Medical Spanish

Experience

26 years teaching literature and advanced Spanish and French classes
Consultant for Metro University, Denver, CO

Personal Message to Students

Learning a foreign language is a great tool to allow you to communicate and understand people from other cultures.

Personal Interest or Areas of Research

Reading, rock climbing, hiking, tennis, spending time with family

Irene Upson

Irene Upson

Education

M.A. Spanish, San Jose State University
B.A. Latin American Studies, San Jose State University

Classes Taught at WVC

Spanish 1A
Spanish 1B
Spanish 2A
Spanish 2B

Experience

27 years teaching a variety of classes in Spanish at the College level

Personal Message to Students

Take foreign languages and you will develop different perspectives and enjoy life!

Personal Interest or Areas of Research

Reading and writing children's books from around the world

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