THE STRATFORD PUBLIC SCHOOLS WORLD LANGUAGE/ESOL DEPARTMENT
Welcomes you to our K-12 District Programs and Classes!
We are very pleased to offer the rewards of foreign language study as part of each child's comprehensive education. Every student has the opportunity to benefit from a wide variety of individual study areas, which combine to contribute to a lifetime of intellectual growth, productivity, satisfaction, prosperity, and well-being.
Why study foreign and classical languages?
"Foreign language instruction should be a part of every child’s education…it is a culture, a way of thinking…a perspective on the world… a language opens the mind to new possibilities...language is the study of life, literature, history, and thought…it is nothing less than the study of our world and ourselves."
Former Secretary of Education, Ron Paige
Research has shown that foreign language study:
• Enhances cognitive development, creativity, higher order thinking skills and academic achievement.
• Strengthens first language proficiency and improves memory, listening, and all communicative skills.
• Engenders positive attitudes toward linguistic and cultural diversity.
• Improves standardized test scores and casts favorable light on college admissions.
• Expands career opportunities in today's competitive, global, and increasingly technological society.
• Prepares students for success in our ever-evolving workplace where 21st Century skills are essential.
How do we accomplish all of this?
By combining the 5 C's of World Language study:
• Communication - Culture - Connections - Comparisons - Communities
with the 7 Cs of 21st Century Learning:
• Collection of Information - Collaboration - Communication - Creativity - Critical Thinking - Character - College and Career Preparation
And aligning to Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts, which focus upon:
• The four modalities of reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
• The three modes of communication – interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational.
• A balanced use of literary and informational texts.
• Writing to explain, persuade, and convey.
• Ensuring that all students are college-, career-, and world-ready.
How can we accomplish all this? By being adventurous, attentive, communicative, cooperative, creative, expressive, industrious, inquisitive, meticulous, perceptive, reflective, respectful, sensitive, technological, tolerant, welcoming…
Foreign language study challenges the mind, spirit, and body simultaneously as it reveals new worlds!
Our secondary curriculum offers sequential courses in Spanish, French, and Latin.
French and Spanish represent the 2nd and 3rd most influential modern languages in the world after English.
Latin is their ever-present foundation stone and source of abundant cognates and linguistic treasure.
• Course levels typically run 1-5 AP/ECE with Honors credit in Spanish 2-3-4, French 2-3-4, & Latin 2-3-4.
• Middle school French or Spanish students may register for level 2 courses in 9th grade or elect Latin 1.
• Students wishing to learn a language not available here may apply to a program affiliated with Yale University.
• All courses feature modern texts with ample supporting instructional and technological resources.
English Language Learners (ELLs) receive specialized English literacy instructional support from ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) teachers/tutors in mainstream and resource classes where they receive individual/small group assistance and guidance. At SHS, sheltered English & Am. History courses are taught.
For a complete description of course offerings, please access our district's web site.
"Because the study of language and culture is inextricably intertwined, students of language and culture are better equipped to communicate with people in other cultures in a variety of settings, to look beyond their customary borders, and to act with greater awareness of self, of other cultures, and their own relationship to those cultures."
National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project
5 Cs of World Language Instruction Overlap the 7 Cs of 21st Century Learning
Communication – Learn to:
• Use language to communicate in “real life” situations
• Interpret oral and written messages
• Demonstrate cultural understanding
• Present oral and written information to various audiences for a variety of purposes.
Culture – Learn to:
• Understand and appreciate the relationship among languages and cultures
• Understand and respect other people's points of view, ways of life, and contributions to the world.
Connections – Learn to:
• Access information from worlds of knowledge to which a monolingual speaker may only partially enter, if at all.
• Connect with other subject areas, which share many common themes, topics, and content.
Comparisons - Learn to:
• Compare, contrast, and comprehend the nature of language and culture
• Discover patterns, make predictions, and analyze similarities and differences
• Strengthen one's knowledge of one's own language and culture.
Communities - Learn to:
• Interrelate appropriately in multilingual and multicultural communities at home and around the world.
• Live, work, and prosper in a global society.
7 Cs of 21st Century Learning Expectations
Collection of Information – Learn to:
• Access, organize, and use information
• Evaluate and cite sources
• Align solutions with tasks
Collaboration – Learn to:
• Initiate independently
• Share responsibilities
• Assist others
• Take a variety of roles
• Contribute ideas
• Apply strategies
• Keep an open mind
• Tolerate different viewpoints
Communication – Learn to:
• Listen actively
• Express ideas
• Use multiple, appropriate forms of media and a variety of techniques.
Creativity – Learn to:
• Generate ideas, be original, and maximize creative efforts.
• Know your personal creative process
• Profit from your mistakes
Critical thinking – Learn to:
• Ask clarifying questions and analyze complex systems
• Evaluate evidence and justify arguments
• Reflect on learning and transfer problem-solving skills
Character – Learn to:
• Show consideration, respect, and concern for others
• Embrace diversity and maintain positive values
College /Career – Language study casts very favorable light on college admissions.