World languages are open to all students. The students in World Language classrooms are grouped heterogeneously. Each course follows the same syllabus appropriate to its level and is consonant with ACTFL National Standards and Maine State Learning Results. The department policy is to make whatever accommodations are deemed necessary to make the material accessible to students with special needs. The World Languages program is an elective program, as there is no graduation requirement for foreign language; approximately 70% of the student body is currently enrolled in a world language course over the last four years.
Four-year coursework is offered in French and Spanish, with the fourth year following an Advanced Placement Language syllabus, as approved by the College Board AP Audit. In Spanish, the student has the option to take the College Preparatory focus instead. Students have the option of taking the Advanced Placement Language Exam. In Spanish, there is a Regular and Honors focus at all levels. The same distinction exists for French at level III only. Students may also choose to take a one-year enrichment course in Japanese, Italian, Russian, German and Mandarin Chinese on a rotating basis. Our curriculum provides comprehensive preparation for further university studies and international experiences.
The national trend in World Languages is to emphasize language proficiency with less emphasis on traditional grammar and vocabulary acquisition. This trend is reflected in the National Standards, as delineated by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, as well as in the AP Audit required by the College Board. The most essential skill is proficiency- i.e. use of the target language at each level. We offer a proficiency-based curriculum which emphasizes maximum student use of the language in class through collaborative activities, integrated technology, and the use of varied media.
The World Languages Department organizes alternating trips to France and Spain during April vacation. You can see photos of the most recent trips on the LA International Club Facebook Page.