World Languages - Rationale
World language study fosters positive self-esteem, focuses on student strengths, and accommodates a variety of learning styles. It integrates basic skills with higher order thinking skills and creativity. Students, in turn, have a broader knowledge of and a greater ease in using their native language and tend to increase their verbal performance.
A primary emphasis in the teaching of world languages is proficiency, that which focuses on developing an implicit (unconscious) language system that will allow learners to have a functional ability in the language. A proficiency approach implies that teachers help students by providing comprehensible input that then becomes learner intake to be stored and used as communication. Teachers provide situations in which students communicate within a specific purpose, the lesson goal. Thus, the aim of proficiency is to develop what students can do in the language and to what degree they can do it. This is known as language acquisition.
World language study is also the study of diverse groups of people and their cultures; it is humanities in its purest form. As a result, it can foster global understanding and that within our own American society. In this way, students not only learn language for communication but become more sensitive and appreciative of different groups and their customs. It is vital in our 21st century to be able to communicate and understand others for the socioeconomic and political survival of the world.
As a result of the nature of world language study, students are able to synthesize their learning experiences. There are many connections between world language study and liberal arts, fine arts, social studies and geography, sciences, technology, and career options. The student is able to experience the relevance every day as they study a language and connect to a different culture.