Language and communication are at the heart of the human experience. The United States must educate students who are linguistically and culturally equipped to communicate successfully in a pluralistic American society and abroad.
This imperative envisions a future in which ALL students will develop and maintain proficiency in English and at least one other language, modern or classical. Children who come to school from non-English backgrounds should also have opportunities to develop further proficiencies in their first language.
[Statement of Philosophy from The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages]
The World Language Program supports the mission statement of the Greenwich Public Schools by striving to educate our students to their highest level of linguistic potential so that they may become capable, creative and responsible members of the global society.
World Language study in the Greenwich Public Schools works to equip students linguistically and culturally to communicate and function in a "flat world" both as individuals and within a group. World Language study develops an awareness of other people's views, an understanding of their unique ways of life and a recognition and respect for their diversity and contributions to the world at large. Linguistic proficiency combined with cultural knowledge will enable students to interact in a variety of real-life situations. Effective communication based on knowledge of language and cultures will be a key to success and prosperity in the 21st century.
To set the standard of excellence in foreign language education, we believe:
- a K-12 articulated foreign language program should be available to all students.
- foreign language is a skill that must be developed over time ("come early, stay late").
- the acquisition of more than one foreign language is to be encouraged and is best supported by a K-12 sequence.
- all students, given the proper learning environment, can learn and experience success in a foreign language class.
- the primary goal of a modern language program is communicative proficiency.
- the primary goal of a classical language program is reading proficiency.
- foreign language study expands the educational experience of students by connecting with other disciplines through the study of geography, history, literature, art and music.
- foreign language education develops critical-thinking skills
- second language acquisition trains the mind in orderly thinking.
- foreign language study encourages students to develop a greater understanding of their own language.
- the integration of technology as an instructional tool allows students to access information and to communicate with their counterparts across the world.
- foreign language assessment should reflect student proficiency and should be tightly linked to curriculum and instruction.
World Language Learner Goal
All students will develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills which will allow them to communicate in languages other than English and to appreciate and understand other cultures.
In order to learn about the National Standards for World Language Education, "The Five C's" (Communication, Cultures, Comparisons, Communities, Connections), click on the link below:
National Standards for World Language Education
The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL) revised its proficiency guidelines for speaking, listening, reading, and writing in 2012. The guidelines describe the tasks that students can accomplish at each of the 5 major levels of proficiency. The five levels are: Distinguished, Superior, Advanced, Intermediate, and Novice. For more information, click on the link below:
ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012
Following a two year program review, the Greenwich Board of Education approved the revised K-12 World Language curriculum documents in the spring of 2010. The curriculum is designed around a set of Essential Questions and Enduring Understandings that permeate all World Language units of study, grades K-12. To learn more, click on the link below:
Marcia Schenker, K-12 Program Coordinator
10 Hillside Road
Greenwich, CT 06830
Tel: (203) 625-8061
Revised January 2012