World Languages

  • Department Philosophy

     

    “Monolingualism Can Be Cured.”  Through the learning of language we build on and affirm cultural, linguistic, intellectual and personal identities.  Knowledge of several languages empowers individuals by opening economic and social opportunities.  It promotes tolerance and diversity as well as solidarity within our global community.  Language learning allows us to bridge cultural barriers and promote ways of interpreting our diverse world while stimulating intellectual curiosity. 

     

      

    6-12 Curriculum Overview

     

    The primary objective of the World Language department (WL) is to ensure that students have a deep and enduring understanding of cultures and acquire a high level of proficiency in the target language. The Herricks UFSD begins language instruction in grade six and offers students the option to study Mandarin Chinese, French, Italian or Spanish. Grammar and vocabulary are taught and drilled, but they are combined to make language meaningful and authentic. Culture plays an important role; language and culture can not be separated since one influences the other. The ability to communicate in a second language bridges the gap that often separates the peoples of the world. The work of the WL teacher is to ensure that students are prepared to overcome cultural and linguistics barriers so that they can avail themselves of the social and economic opportunities that our ever shrinking world provides.

     

    The WL curriculum includes universal topics that are part of the 6th-12th grade scope and sequence.  These topics, as needed, are revisited each year because of the cumulative and spiraling nature of language acquisition.  Please note that a few of the topics are introduced at the upper levels of instruction due to their abstract nature and the linguistic demands that are needed in order to carry out high level discussions.  As a student moves through the program, the expectation is that they handle each topic with greater confidence and control over grammatical structures in order to clearly and effectively communicate in Mandarin Chinese, French, Italian and/or Spanish.  The topics are:

     


    • Personal ID
    • Meal Taking- Food/Drink
    • Public/Private Services
    • Social Relationships 

    • Family Life
    • Health & Welfare
    • Shopping
    • Cultural Diversity
    • House & Home
    • Education
    • Travel
    • Customs & Traditions
    • Community / Neighborhood
    • Earning A Living
    • Communication & Media
    • Technology

    • Physical Environment
    • Leisure
    • Global Issues

     

    Middle School 6-8: Our learners begin language instruction in grade six in Mandarin Chinese, French, Italian or Spanish. The WL teachers engage our children in age and level appropriate activities to develop Checkpoint A (novice level) fluency. Students at the Checkpoint A level can...

     

    • comprehend simple language consisting of basic vocabulary and structures in face-to-face conversation with peers and familiar adults 
    • comprehend the main idea of more extended conversations with some unfamiliar vocabulary and structures as well as cognates of English words
    • call upon repetition, rephrasing, and nonverbal cues to derive or convey meaning from a language other than English
    • use appropriate strategies to initiate and engage in simple conversations with more fluent or native speakers of the same age group, familiar adults, and providers of common public services. 

     

    Required Assessment: Students complete Checkpoint A at the end of grade eight and take a locally developed assessment to ensure that they have meet the Checkpoint A requirements. Upon successful completion of Checkpoint A, students receive one unit of credit for high school and are encouraged to continue their studies beyond Checkpoint A.

    High School 9-12: Students continue their study of Mandarin Chinese, French, Italian or Spanish. Incoming ninth grade students begin Checkpoint B to build their fluency beyond memorized responses. Students at Checkpoint B can...

    • comprehend messages and short conversations when listening to peers, familiar adults, and providers of public services either in face-to-face interactions or on the cell phone/telephone
    • understand the main idea and some discrete information in television, radio, streaming video, or live presentations
    • initiate and sustain conversations, face to face, via Skype, or on the phone, with native-speaking or more fluent individuals
    • select vocabulary appropriate to a range of topics, employ simple and complex sentences in present, past, and future time frames, and express details and nuances by using appropriate modifiers
    • exhibit spontaneity in their interactions, particularly, when the topic is familiar, but often rely on familiar utterances
    • and use repetition and circumlocution as well as gestures and other nonverbal cues to sustain conversation.

     

    Required Assessment: Checkpoint B is completed at the end of grade ten with a locally developed Checkpoint B assessment to ensure that they have the Checkpoint B requirements. Successful completion of Checkpoint B provides students with three Regents credits for graduation.

    Checkpoint C at the 11th and 12th Grade: Our rigorous WL course offerings prepare our students to enter our AP or upper level courses. Our WL programs ask students to handle, discuss and present a variety of topics and issues in the spoken and written form based upon readings, discussions and listening activities. It is our goal to provide students with the tools to think critically to compete and engage others in our global community in a language other than English.

    Required Assessment: Based on the course, students either take a locally developed assessment or the AP Exam.

    Lead With languages Campaign: Lead With Languages is the national campaign for languages sponsored by The American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). This will be a long-term effort to raise public awareness about the importance of learning languages and understanding cultures in the lives of all Americans. Click here for more information

    If you should have any questions about our programs, please contact:

     

    Francesco L. Fratto
    Director of World Languages, Language Immersion & English as a New Language
    ffratto@herricks.org
    Office: 516-305-8719

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