The study of one or more world languages is the key to the globalized world in the 21st century. Equipped with the ability to understand and communicate in other languages, and to understand differences and commonalities among world cultures, students who study other languages are increasingly competitive in their post-secondary studies and careers. Amity High School offers students the opportunity to study Spanish, Chinese, French, and Latin. Spanish and Chinese are offered in 7th and 8th grades, while the study of Latin and French are introduced at the 9th grade level. Students who have been successful in the study of a first language are encouraged to begin the study of a second language.
The main goal of Amity’s world language program is to build students’ communication skills in the target language. To assist students in improving their language proficiency, modern language courses are taught primarily in the target language. To empower students to increase their proficiency, each sequence of courses contains content essential for communication, assesses students on their skill mastery, and is paced accordingly. Because of the content, assessments, and pacing of each sequence of courses, it is strongly suggested that students remain in the course and level for which they have been recommended.
For Chinese, French, and Spanish, students build their interpretive (reading and listening), presentational (speaking and writing), and interpersonal (unrehearsed speaking between two or more people) skills. For Latin, students will improve their interpretive and presentational skills primarily through reading and writing, and they will also focus on making connections between Latin and English through the study of cognates.
The curricula in Amity’s world language courses are aligned to state and national standards. All of these standards are related to improving communication, increasing cultural awareness, making interdisciplinary connections, making comparisons among languages and cultures, and helping students to continue on the path of being lifelong learners.