Goals of FR Language Courses

 
  Program Rationale:

At the Franklin Regional School District, we believe that students who study a second language should be able to communicate effectively in that language by reaching an attainable level of proficiency as determined by ACTFL’s Proficiency Guidelines.  These guidelines are a description of what individuals can do with language in terms of speaking, writing, listening, and reading in real-world situations in a spontaneous and non-rehearsed context. For each skill, these guidelines identify five major levels of proficiency: Distinguished, Superior, Advanced, Intermediate, and Novice. 

 

The major levels Advanced, Intermediate, and Novice are subdivided into High, Mid, and Low sublevels. The levels of the ACTFL Guidelines describe the continuum of proficiency from that of the highly articulate, well-educated language user to a level of little or no functional ability.  At Franklin Regional School District, students who successfully take all five levels of language study will be able to communicate at a minimum level of intermediate-mid.  This benchmark was chosen based on the amount of time that students will be exposed to the language.  

 

In addition to one’s communicative ability in the language, we strongly believe that culture is an integral component to language study and must not be taught in isolation of the language.  For this reason, students acquire the language and the culture simultaneously as they engage in meaningful curricular units designed to enhance their language proficiency while learning about the target culture and their own culture.  In other words, the importance of the students’ native culture will be connected to our curriculum so that students can compare, contrast, evaluate, and develop cultural competence

 

We must educate students who are linguistically and culturally equipped to communicate successfully in a pluralistic United States society and abroad.  This means that grammar takes a back seat to communication in the classroom, whereas grammar used to be the dominant factor driving a curriculum and a language course.  In the 21st century language classroom, grammar is acquired when it is needed to achieve a communicative goal.  That is, students acquire the grammar in communicative situations related to the curricular unit.  We understand that this shift toward communicative language teaching is new; however, we maintain that students will be able to function meaningfully in conversations with native speakers of Spanish or French.