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

World Languages

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.


Marc Accornero, Instructor


Degree(s) / Institutions

M.A.: UC Berkeley, CA

UC Berkeley, CA, PhD Candidate


Major: Hispanic Studies

Major: Romance Languages and Literatures

Classes taught at WVC: Spanish 1A, 1B; 50A Telecourse; Italian 1A, 1B: Music 1 and 2

Experience: taught at various Universities and Colleges in California. Worked as translator and editor, as well as tour director for cultural tours.

Message to prospective students:

Personal interests: Cinema, Cuisine, Theater, Music, Tennis, Skiing

Research: Dulcinea in Don Quijote; The Songs of García Lorca

Educational Biography (new window) ( PDF 41 KB )

Musical Biography (new window) ( PDF 41 KB )

Dr. Ana María de Barling, PhD, Instructor, Department Chair


Instructor: Spanish

Department Chair of Foreign Languages

E-mail: ana_maria_de_barling@westvalley.edu

Telephone: 408 741-2489

Office: Language Arts Building #04

Courses Taught:

Beginning Spanish: Spanish 1A, Spanish 1B

Intermediate Spanish: Spanish 2B

Advanced Spanish: Spanish 3A, Spanish 3B

Directed/or Independent Studies in Spanish

Academic Background

Ed.D. University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA - Curriculum and Instruction

MA University of San Diego, University of Guadalajara, México. - Mexican Literature and Culture

MA San José State University, San José, CA - Latin American Literature

BA San José State University, San José, CA -Spanish Language

Undergraduate course work at the University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain

College Committees

Coalition for Student Success

Global Education

Minority Advocacy Committee


25 years High School

1 year Private School

11 years Community College

Personal interests or areas of research:

Language Immersion Program in Lepotzlan, Morelos, Mexico - Intermediate Spanish

Language Institute offers programs in English for Spanish Speakers, Spanish for English Speakers, French, Italian

Areas of research:

History of Mexican women

History of Pre-Hispanic Civilizations Aztecs, Mayas, Incas

InterSpan Language Immersion Program in Tepotzlán , Morelos, México.

The InterSpan Language Institute offers programs in English for Spanish speakers, Spanish for English speakers, French, and Italian.

Robert Joseph Chavez, Instructor


Highest degree/ Institutions: M.A. Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas

Major: Spanish, French, Mexican-American Studies

Classes at WVC: All levels of Spanish

Experience: International Purser for trans World Airlines, High School-College Instructor

Personal message: The importance of foreign languages becomes more apparent every day. The world is smaller and we need to understand ourselves better as well as our neighbors. Foreign languages help do this.

Personal interests or areas of research: Pre-Columbian history

Foreign languages and cultures

Cristina DeRuiter, Instructor


Highest degree /Institutions: MA San Jose State in Spanish Univesity, San Jose CA

BA UC Berkeley, Berkeley CA

Major or minors: Major in Spanish

Minor in French

Classes at WVC: Spanish 1A

Experience: 10 years Spanish at High School

1995 till present Spanish at WVC

Personal message: The most necessary tool in learning is the desire to learn. Learning a language is a life long process that requires constant practice.

Personal interests or areas of research: Spanish literature and culture

Mario Leonardo D'Onofrio, PhD, Instructor


Classes taught at WVC: Spanish 1A, 1B, 50A


PhD in Romance languages. Case Western Reserve University, 1978.

Dissertation: La constructions de la narrativa indigenista andina: Ciro Alegria indeginista.

M.A. Ohio State University Spanish Literature

B.A. Kent State University, Major: Spanish Minor: French

Major and minors: Spanish Literature - Novela Peninsular siglos XIX & XX. Novela latinoamericana siglo XX-Periodo; Modernismo - author Ciro Alegria.

Related fields: French and Italian with concentration Medieval Literature.


35 years College teaching

15 years University, Chair of Modern Language

Personal message to prospective students:

"Dreams come true through perseverance."

Anything is possible once you create the possibility. Don't let anyone steal your dream, no matter what.

"Education is essential in life."

Personal interests or areas of research:

I love to perform in opera and to read and research in my indigenous literary field.

Alpha Mu Gamma:

On April 22, 2005, after 30 some years a chapter of Alpha Mu Gamma, the national Collegiate Foreign Language Honor Society, was started. We were able to initiate 11 students into the chapter of Zeta Kappa.

Alpha Mu Gamma has as its primary purpose honoring of students for their outstanding academic achievement during their first year of foreign language study. Currently holding position as Chapter advisor.

Sandra Plyler, Instructor


Degrees / Institutions M.A. La Sorbonne, Paris, France

Majors / Minors; French Literature, French

Spanish, Drama

Classes at WVC: Spanish 1A, 1B Medical Spanish

Experience: 26 years teaching literature and advanced Spanish and French classes

Consultant for Metro University, Denver, CO

Personal message to prospective students:

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

Personal interests or areas of research:

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

Irene Upson, Instructor


Highest degree/ Institution: M.A.San Jose State University in Spanish, San Jose CA

B.A. Latin American Studies

San Jose State University, CA

Classes at WVC: Spanish 1A, 1B, 2A, 2b

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

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

Personal interest or areas of research: Reading and writing childrens books from around the world.

last published: 12/4/12 • validate xhtml css 508