“Language is a living, kicking, growing, flitting, evolving reality, and the teacher should spontaneously reflect its vibrant and protean qualities.”
– John A. Rassias
Learning a new language helps students become part of the global community by broadening their horizons and by giving them tools to communicate effectively in this rapidly changing world. The World Language curriculum in Wilton is a roadmap that will lead students to gain a greater understanding of cultural differences. World language study in Wilton will also equip the students linguistically and help them develop proficiency in at least one other language.
9-12 Instructional Leader - World Languages Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 203-762- 0381 ext. 6073
6-8 Instructional Leader - World Languages Email: email@example.com
Phone: 203-762- 8388 ext. 5109
3-5 Instructional Leader - World Languages Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 203-762- 3351 ext. 4311
Our goals are based on the Connecticut Common Core of Learning standards and the K-12 standards. The standards are communication, culture, connections, comparisons and communities. By the end of 12th grade our students will be able to;
Communicate in at least one language other than English
Students will develop all three modes of communication so they are able to engage in conversation, provide and obtain information, express feelings and exchange opinions. Students will understand and interpret spoken and written language on a variety of topics. They will also present information, concepts and ideas to listeners or readers on a variety of topics.
Gain knowledge and understanding of other cultures
Students will demonstrate an understanding of the traditions, products and perspectives of the cultures studied.
Make connections with other areas of study and acquire information
Students will reinforce and expand their knowledge of other areas of study through the world language. They will acquire and use information from a variety of sources only available in the world language, using technology, print, audiovisual, media, data and human resources.
Understand the nature of language and cultures through comparisons
Students will demonstrate an understanding of the nature of language through comparisons of that world language and their own. They will demonstrate an understanding of the concept of culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their own.
Participate in multilingual communities within a variety of contexts
Students will use the world language both within and beyond the school setting for personal enjoyment, enrichment and active participation.
The Wilton Public Schools adhere to the following core principles for world language instruction:
Principle 1: Instruction must be in the world language, providing immersion-like learning experiences. Students learn a second language through communication and use the second language for communication.
From the first day of language learning, students need to be immersed in the language. Teachers should begin with the assumption that students will not understand what they hear, read, or view, then make the language understandable by filling the content, activities, and comprehension checks with meaning. As students move from highly scaffolded activities using the language to increasingly independent application of the language, they develop strategies to understand and to be understood. This rich language-learning environment, with ongoing attention to helping students make meaning, builds their language proficiency.
Principle 2: Instruction needs to lead to movement upward on the scale of proficiency.
This means that the curriculum is not based on teaching all the grammar rules until students are “ready” to speak, nor is it based on students learning vocabulary in isolation. The language teacher helps students use the skills they already control at a given level to practice the skills they will need to control at the next level. This commitment to developing language proficiency leads to real evidence of what students can do in the language.
Principle 3: Instruction should support literacy and tap into the rich content from other subject areas.
Students need to talk, read, and write about something—to make connections. All subjects are perfect for “mining” content and topics for discussion, extending understanding, and making comparisons beyond the textbook. World language standards also align perfectly with the four strands of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy, emphasizing the purpose of communication behind each of the skills: interpersonal communication (listening and speaking), interpretive communication (listening and reading), and presentational communication (speaking and writing).
Principle 4: Through world language instruction, students should experience language, culture, and content first-hand; students should be learning about themselves and their world by examining another culture and its language.
Rather than focusing on abstract data and facts unrelated to their lives, students need to use language to explore the similarities and differences of languages, practices, products, and perspectives other than their own.
Principle 5: Effective world-language instruction provides students with the skills and knowledge to communicate in the real world.
Learning a language is about communication. Given a meaningful context, students will seek out ways to learn more in order to communicate their thoughts and ideas. If world language classrooms are engaging and applicable to the lives of students outside of the classroom, students will be far more willing to invest time and energy into learning a new language.
Principle 6: World Language programs should start in elementary school and continue uninterrupted through high school.
There is a direct correlation between the amount of time devoted to language study and the language proficiency students attain. Students should begin to learn a second language in elementary school, and should be expected to master that language. A longer sequence of instruction can lead to attainment of higher proficiency levels for more students, and support the awareness of, and respect for, cultural diversity. This expands opportunities to communicate with others, to work in an increasingly competitive worldwide economy, and to understand perspectives and diversity of cultures.
Wilton High School