2022 Students who earned DESE Seal of Biliteracy

World Languages at Somerville High School

About World Language

The World Language Department at Somerville High School offers French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Instruction in the sequential levels stresses the development of language proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking as well as acquiring an understanding and appreciation of other cultures. The curriculum is based upon the Massachusetts Foreign Language Curriculum Frameworks and the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) national standards.

Resources and links for language study:


Students en route to Cuba

International Travel

Language students from Somerville High School have taken group trips to Spain, Portugal, Cuba, and Costa Rica. There is also an established exchange trip with Somerville’s sister city, Gaeta, Italy.

SEVIS International Student Program

Somerville High School is authorized to enroll international students on an F1 Visa through The Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is the Department of Homeland Security program that administers the SEVIS program. Contact Dr. Machnik for information.


Somerville High School Language Teachers

Becca Bowen, Spanish        

Gino Colantuono, Italian            

Catherine McGuiness, French and Spanish         

David Piper, Spanish            

Diana Santiago-Acevedo, Spanish        

Naima Sait, French            

Serena Steele, Italian and Spanish            

Heloisa Taveira, Portuguese 



World Language 1

  • Spanish 1 honors or standard
  • French 1 honors or standard
  • Portuguese 1 honors or standard
  • Italian 1 honors or standard
  • Students are introduced to fundamental vocabulary through an active oral approach to provide a basis for ongoing development of communicative competency in the four language skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking). The cultural content introduces the countries and its people.


World Language 2

  • Spanish 2 honors or standard
  • French 2 honors or standard
  • Portuguese 2 honors or standard
  • Italian 2 honors or standard
  • Students continue to practice fundamental patterns of the target language as they expand vocabulary and master tenses. Students improve oral proficiency and develop accuracy in reading comprehension and writing.


World Language 3

  • Spanish 3 honors or standard
  • French 3 honors or standard
  • Portuguese 3 honors or standard
  • Italian 3 honors or standard
  • Portuguese 3 and Italian 3 may be combined into one class, depending on enrollment
  • Students review patterns of Language 1 and 2 while expanding structures and vocabulary based on topics and selected readings. These provide a foundation for more independent conversational practice. Interactive activities seek to provide a greater proficiency in aural/oral skills.


World Language 4

  • French 4 honors
  • Portuguese 4 honors
  • Italian 4 honors
  • Portuguese 4 and Italian 4 may be combined into one class, depending on enrollment
  • Language 4 students must be proactive and work in an independent manner. It is designed for the student who is seriously interested in developing facility in the use of the target language. The advanced student works to improve oral proficiency in self generated conversations and presentations based on topics as well as cultural or literary themes.