Seattle’s College Preparatory School Since 1891

World Languages

Department Overview

We believe that learning and acquisition of world languages provides opportunities for students to make connections with, participate in, learn from, and become part of both local and international communities. Seattle Prep offers four languages: French, German, Mandarin and Spanish.

Our courses are designed to develop cultural awareness, understanding and appreciation of respective communities by helping students develop proficiency in listening, reading, speaking and writing using authentic materials and real-life situations.

Language Offerings and Placement

In-coming students of French, German or Mandarin who have completed an in-depth middle school language program may be placed into an upper level class. German and Mandarin students interested in placing into a higher level are to request an assessment. Final placement for these languages is determined by both level of proficiency as well as course scheduling.

In-coming Spanish students who have completed an in-depth middle school Spanish language program have the opportunity for placement into the Spanish Honors program. This program follows the regular Spanish 1 curriculum, but at an accelerated pace.

During the last two years of the Spanish program, students - by teacher recommendation - can place into the University of Washington in the High School Spanish 103 and 201 respectively. Students enrolled in these courses may choose the option to earn 5 credits (for each class) through the University of Washington for an additional fee.

World Language Course Flowchart

Click here to see a flowchart of Prep's world language courses.



Meet the department chair


Darik Olson
has been at Seattle Prep since 2011. Received B.A. in Philosophy and Spanish; M.A. in Linguistics with a focus on Second Language Acquisition and Sociolinguistics. University of Washington, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Lead T.A.; taught at Nuestra Señora del Pilar high school in Madrid, Spain and at various high schools in Western Washington. Has studied and travelled in Mexico, Spain, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Recent professional development has focused on the use of formative assessment and the blended learning model to increase student confidence, independence and collaboration while developing language skills and encouraging a deeper understanding of concepts.