The teaching of world languages provides a variety of benefits:
- Teaches listening, speaking, reading, writing and culture with emphasis on communication
- Exposes students to the beauty and richness of other languages and civilizations
- Strengthens cognitive thinking skills
- Supports the native language of the student and reinforces English grammar
The ultimate goal of an academic elementary program is to complete successfully the level one high school curriculum. The high schools currently require a world language placement test and/or written recommendation by the student’s world language teacher.
World Language Rationale
To support the current/existing philosophy incorporated in the Diocesan World Language Guidelines, we offer the following rationale:
Research indicates the most successful language learning takes place between birth and age ten to twelve. At this young age, the child will have an easier time of learning and retaining the language. When children study world language, they develop higher cognitive thinking skills. Foreign language study helps students gain a better understanding of the grammar/ structure of their native language. As a result they usually perform better on standardized tests (Terra Nova, HSP/AT, SAT, ACT).
Two or three years of world language study in high school do not always provide fluency in a world language. Fluency will more likely be reached if the child has started world language learning much earlier and continues to advanced levels in high school.
Study of a world language creates citizens who will learn to accept, understand and appreciate the diversity of cultures. Thinking globally will help to promote world peace. In our global society, as the world becomes more interdependent, students’ knowledge of world language is crucial for expanded career opportunities. It will also aid in developing responsible citizens of the world community and bring us closer to realizing the Kingdom of God on earth.