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The purpose of foreign language at Community High School District 128 is to equip students linguistically and culturally to communicate and function in the world neighborhood as an individual and within a group. Foreign 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 contributions to the world at large. Linguistic proficiency and cultural knowledge combined will enable students to interact in a variety of real-life situations.

Foreign language study in District 128 expands the educational experience of students by connecting with other disciplines in the school curriculum. Language study encourages students to develop a greater understanding of their own language and culture and of language and culture in the broadest sense. Foreign language study prepares competent and self-confident students for work in multilingual communities at home and around the globe. Furtherrmore, District 128 recognizes the needs of non-English speaking students and strives to provide opportunities to further develop proficiency in their first language.

In addition to linguistic and cultural competence, the study of a foreign language will challenge students to use a varieety of learning strategies and develop critical thinking skills, thereby preparing students to be successful in the workplace as well as to become life-long learners in a technological society.

 

INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGES DEPARTMENTAL GOALS

Communication

Learners acquire a language best when they are provided opportunities in a variety of contexts to use the target language to communicate. The more learners use the target language in meaningful situations, the more rapidly they achieve language competency. Active use of the language is central to the learning process. Students learn by doing.

Students will be able to:

  1. express themselves in the language by engaging in conversations, providing and obtaining information, expressing feelings and exchanging opinions.
  2. understand written and spoken language pertaining to a variety of topics.
  3. present information on a variety of topics.


Culture

A knowledge of culture drives meaningful communication. Culture provides the context in which communication takes place. The term "culture" is generally understood to include philosophical perspectives, the behavioral practices, and the products--both tangible and intangible--of a society. Perspectives include the meanings, attitudes, values and ideas of a culture. Practices are the patterns of social interactions, and products include such things as books, foods, laws, music, and games of a society.

Students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the practices in relationship to the perspectives of the cultures studied.
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the tangible and intangible products of a culture in relationship to the perspectives of the cultures studied.


Comparisons

Students benefit from language learning by discovering different patterns among language systems and cultures. Through the study of a new language system and the way such a system expresses meanings in culturally appropriate ways, students gain insights into the nature of language, linguistic and grammatical concepts, and the communicative functions of language in society, as well as the complexity of the interaction between language and culture.

Students will be able to:

  1. make comparisons of the nature of the language studied with their first language.
  2. make comparisons of the cultures studied with their own culture.


Connections

As students become more proficient users of the foreign language, they seek out materials of interest to them, analyze the content, compare it to information available in their own language, and assess the linguistic and cultural differences. As the world becomes a true neighborhood thanks to technological advances, more information is available at home and in the classroom.

Students will be able to:

  1. use the language to further knowledge of other disciplines or outside interests.
  2. acquire information available in the language studied in order to recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are communicated through the language and cultural lens.


Communities

Students realize the interdependence of people throughout the world. Through their ability to communicate in another language, they are better prepared for school and community service projects, expanded employment opportunities both at home and abroad, and for the pursuit of their own interests for personal benefit.

Students will be able to:

  1. use the language within the classroom and beyond.
  2. use the language for personal enjoyment and enrichment.