'The limits of your language
are the limits of your world.'
Think about how many more people and places you could really get to know, newspapers and books you could read, movies and TV programs you could understand, Web sites you could visit knowing another language!
The World Language Department at Community High School considers practical language use to be its foremost goal. The ESL, French, German and Spanish classes are designed so that students can communicate in the target language from the very beginning of their studies.
Research also shows that students who study second languages perform better on standardized tests, understand their own language better and are better writers than their peers who do not.
Language study includes Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing components. Research in world language study shows that the best way to learn a language is by adding new information to concepts that the students have already mastered, which is known as scaffolding or spiraling. Student growth will be assessed in five skill areas, Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing, and Language.
In an attempt to bring the culture of the target languages closer to our students, the department has established exchange programs with Costa Rica, France, Germany and Spain. Students can travel and/or host visitors from the culture of their language study. This brings the target language and culture into focus, not just for the students involved in the exchanges, but also to the school community at large. Visitors to our school speak in many classes throughout the building and provide a glimpse of the larger world to the school as a whole.
As a department, we know that many of our students will not go on to be language majors at the University level. However, as part of the greater school goals of making our students life-long learners, we hope that the practical knowledge they gain in the foreign language classroom will open the door onto a new culture for them and allow them, should the opportunity arise, to visit nations where the languages are spoken, converse with native speakers of the languages should they encounter them and, perhaps most importantly, keep an open mind when presented with different peoples from different cultures.