About Us

Jiani Liao

Modern Language Teacher

Education B.A. English, Northeastern University, China, M.A.T World Language Education, University of Georgia, Teaching Credential, University of Georgia Courses Taught Chi...

Katherine Lipps

Campus Ministry/Religious Studies Cohort, Modern Language Teacher

Education B.A. French, Santa Clara University Teaching Credential, Santa Clara University Professional Associations California Language Teachers Association Foreign Languag...

Bayard Nielsen

Department Chair, Modern Language; Modern Language Teacher

Education B.A., Psychology, UC Davis; Diploma, Escuela Oficial de Idiomas, Zamora, Spain; Single subject credential, Spanish, University of San Diego Extension; Google for Ed...

Guillermo Portillo

Modern Language Teacher

Education B.A. Spanish, Studio Art, Santa Clara University M.Ed., Teaching Credential, Stanford University Courses Taught Spanish 2H, Spanish 3 Personal Statement ...

Charlotte Raveneau

Modern Language and Physical Education Teacher

Education  Licence de droit Université Villetaneuse Paris XIII CRPE académie de Versailles Professional Association California Language Teacher Associat...

Catherine Sharer

Modern Language Teacher

Education B.A. Spanish, Bryn Mawr College  M.A. Spanish, Middlebury College  California Teaching Credential, Santa Clara University   Professional Associati...

Our goal is to make language accessible and enjoyable for all, with an emphasis on speaking. Our students go on to become global citizens in a world where cross-cultural communication and knowledge of another culture is a critical attribute.

In our department, all teachers collaborate daily. Such collaboration allows us to plan together and share experiences, successes, and challenges. We are extremely proud of the diverse activities, projects, and courses that have been created: research papers on WWII, poetry and literary analysis, anti-racism brochures, pen pal projects, debates, Socratic seminars, service projects in the Spanish speaking community, work with the “day workers”, etc.

Spanish teacher Bayard Nielsen's Spanish III Honors project, Day Worker Stories, was recognized as a globally engaged program by the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). You can read more about the project on their website here.

Fast Facts about the Notre Dame Modern Language Department

  • Travel around Bay Area, Costa Rica, France, and Spain 
  • Eat food from Spanish and French speaking countries throughout your four years!
  • Spanish I fuses an introductory language education with digital learning.
  • French I uses an unique approach to beginning French that combines fun and learning.
  • Take Mandarin I through our partnership with Middleburry Interactive Languages
  • Walk to the día de los Muertos altars at the MLK library with Spanish II and Spanish II Honors 
  • Be a pen pal with an elementary school student in Spanish II Honors
  • Take a workshop on French painters and then imitate Seurat's pointillisme, Matisse's collages, Monet's water colors in French 2
  • Create your own children's books about a French painter in French II Honors
  • Interview day workers at the Mountain View day worker center in Spanish 3 Honors
  • Create an anti-racism booklet based on Tahar Ben Jelloun's Racism Explained to My Daughter in French 3 honors
  • Visit Rodin’s sculptures at Stanford in French 4AP 
  • Learn about six different cultures through movies in Advanced Spanish through Culture and Conversation