The World Language Department has five curriculum standards and assessment rubrics for each of these standards. These standards are further developed in essential understandings and essential questions. The department has used these standards and rubrics in developing benchmark assessments and curriculum maps. At this time there are benchmark assessments and curriculum maps in place for the first department standard at the first two levels of instruction. Starting with the end in mind, we have also used the Advanced Placement rubrics and benchmark assessments as models for the development of department assessments. The common assessments and curriculum maps of the communication standard were designed to enhance articulation from the middle school to the high school.
The department has implemented technology standards in the curriculum and instruction, limited only by availability. Research projects have been developed in collaboration with the school library media specialists.
The “Pillars of Character” are displayed in the World Language classrooms and are reinforced through the posting of classroom rules/expectations, which support character development. The student of the month program and the honor society recognition offer students an opportunity to be singled out for demonstrations of good character. Community service project opportunities are offered within the Department at most schools to give students experience in community service. Character education is also highlighted.
Communication is one of the five World Language standards and speaking, listening, reading, and writing are skills which are emphasized on a daily basis in all World Language classes. In order to assess student’s performance and to inform instruction, common benchmark assessments and rubrics for oral proficiency and writing skills have been developed and implemented in French and Spanish at the first two levels of instruction.
Students are encouraged to examine their own work and to critique their performance. Self-assessment components are utilized for a variety of assignments in order to guide students in refining their work.
All World Language courses include short term and long term projects. Students use print and technology resources to gather information about language, culture and literature. Through the Problem Based Learning lens, staff emphasizes the authenticity and importance of language study.
The Culture and Communities standards of the World Language department infuse the curriculum with experiences that enhance the students’ understanding of their role as global citizens. The exploration of other ways of life, values and beliefs is often a springboard for comparison with our own democratic society.
World Language teachers, as all other teachers in the district, promote a safe, clean, drug free, smoke free, and secure environment, free of harassment and bullying, and conducive to learning.
The World Language department has developed strategies to assist students in forming good work habits and a work ethic. The department supports the building homework policies, holds students responsible for their work through assessment lists and rubrics, posts classroom rules/expectations and consequences for failure to comply and develops behavior contracts. In addition, the department continues to develop and promote World Language study and organizational skills at all levels.
Students of World Language classes are engaged in independent and collaborative work settings. Cooperative learning groups are often employed.
Creative expression is evidenced in all World Language courses as students develop and present projects (auditory and visual) designed to demonstrate knowledge of the language, culture and literature as well as speaking and writing skills. Original dialogs and dramatizations of linguistic and cultural concepts are part of the curriculum and used at all levels of instruction.
The development of World Language skills inherently challenges students to solve the “real world” problems of effective communication. Students build skills and knowledge through a scope and sequence of linguistic constructs that lead to fluency. Problem based learning activities are employed at all levels.