Wachusett Regional School District
Wachusett Mountain
World Language
Curriculum Frameworks K-12
Approved by School Committee 02/09/98

 MISSION STATEMENT


The World Language Curriculum Framework of the Wachusett Regional School District supports communicative proficiency, based on the development of the four language skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking as well as cultural awareness.

GOALS


  • Students pursue proficiency in another language so that they may achieve purposeful and meaningful communication.
  • Students develop an understanding of another culture that supports their positive interaction with diverse people
  • Students understand the commonalties of language learning.
  • Students experience language learning that encourages spontaneity, risk-taking and personal growth.
  • Students develop the language skills essential to understanding authentic materials such as newspapers, TV, magazines, etc.
INTRODUCTION


The Wachusett Regional School District recognizes that it is preferable to begin World Language learning at the earliest possible age. To this end, the District supports opportunities that expose elementary students to the richness and diversity of World Languages and cultures by means of speakers, immersion strategies, video tapes, songs and interactive technology (CD-ROM's, Internet or laser disks). The following Wachusett Regional School District Curriculum Framework applies to the current program offered in grades 6-12.

The Wachusett Regional School District recognizes that language learning has commonalties at any grade. Language learning is a spiraling process in which the knowledge and skill the learner gains and practices at one stage is met again with increasingly sophisticated structures and vocabulary. Language learners strive to gain communicative proficiency while making connections to their own experiences. Proficiency -based programs allow for varying rates of individual learning with age-appropriate topics and activities. Students learn the language as they use the language. Recognizing that languages are learned rather than taught, the Wachusett Regional School District's World Language Curriculum describes stages of language development rather than grade levels.

STAGES OF LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT

Stage 1

Students use selected words, phrases and expressions with no major repeated patterns of error.

Stage 2

Students use sentences, strings of sentences, and combinations of learned words, phrases, and expressions with a frequency of error proportionate to the complexity of the communicative task.

Stage 3

Students use sentences and strings of sentences, fluid sentence-length and paragraph-length messages with a frequency of error proportionate to the complexity of the communicative task.

Stage 4

Students use sentences, strings of sentences, fluid sentence-length, paragraph-length, and essay-length messages with some patterns of errors which don't interfere with meaning.

STRANDS

Through conversing, reading, writing, listening, viewing, and presenting, students will...

  • COMMUNICATION:  Lifelong learners communicate in at least one language in addition to English.
    • Engage in conversation
    • Provide and obtain information
    • Express feelings and desires
    • Exchange opinions
  • CULTURE:  Lifelong learners use language to gain understanding of peoples and cultures.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practice and beliefs of a culture
    • Compare and contrast another culture with their own
    • Develop insights into the nature of language culture
  • CONNECTION:  Lifelong learners use language to acquire new information and knowledge in other disciplines.
    • Reinforce and extend their knowledge of other disciplines through the study of world languages 
    • Acquire information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through the study    of world languages and their cultures
  • PARTICIPATION:  Lifelong learners use language to participate in local and international communities.
    • Use the language both within and beyond the school setting
    • Use the language for personal enjoyment and enrichment

In conclusion, the Wachusett Regional School District recommends that World Language instruction take place in student-centered classrooms that make effective use of exemplary instructional practices and reflect an appreciation of the diversity of languages. The diverse needs of all learners should be met through instruction which includes but is not limited to: open-ended and creative use of language, higher order thinking skills, Total Physical Response, interdisciplinary units and the utilization of the latest technology.