Language is central to our experience of being human, and the languages we speak profoundly shape the way we think, the way we see the world, and the way we live our lives.
We believe all students can be successful language and culture learners, and they learn in a variety of ways and settings and acquire proficiency at varied rates. Connelly School of the Holy Child offers four years of study in French and Spanish, including honors and AP-level courses. Students should take the course at the level where they can do well and build competence. New students take a placement exam to help determine where to begin their program of study. Students are required to study three years of the same language to fulfill graduation requirements.
Classes are taught through principles of differentiated, student-centered learning with a communicative approach. The AP themes and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) World-Readiness Standards, known as the 5 C’s, inform the desired outcomes of all world languages courses.
This goal emphasizes what students can do with language while they are interacting with others in a variety of settings. It is the core of the language program and begins in level one. In middle school French and Spanish classes, for example, students use class time to develop their interpersonal speaking skills to be able to meet someone new and exchange basic information about themselves. In higher levels, students will be able to interpret audio and written information in the target language, and use it as evidence to support a thesis.
Cultures and Comparisons
Cultural understanding is an essential part of the world languages education. Experiencing other cultures develops a better understanding and appreciation of the relationship between languages and other cultures, as well as the student’s own culture. Students become better able to understand other people’s points of view, ways of life, and contributions to the world. Connelly School of the Holy Child offers global exchanges with schools in Costa Rica, Spain, and France.
Content from other subject areas, such as history, geography, religion, and science, is integrated with world language instruction through lessons that are developed around common themes. We use essential questions to inspire students’ interests and to deepen their study of the language, literature, and culture of diverse communities, while relating important issues to their own lived experience.
This standard promotes the use of language and an appreciation of the language community beyond the classroom setting. From our cultural heritage celebrations on campus during International Week to our exchange programs, our students demonstrate their ability to interact with and develop relationships with people of diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
Throughout their study of language, we invite students to reflect on their learning. During the year, students learn how and when to use specific learning strategies for successful language learning and become more self-reliant and more confident in their own learning ability.