World Language Philosophy and Placement Criteria


Proficiency in a modern world language enables direct communication with people of other cultures. Additionally, it helps students gain insight into themselves and their understanding of their own culture and English.  Through study of French, Italian or Spanish students will begin to build a foundation in another language that could influence the rest of their professional careers.  Different levels of communicative competence are gained depending on how long the sequence of study.


Communicative competence is measured in three different ways; speaking and writing as an interactive process in which students develop the skills to communicate with a native speaker of the target language; reading and listening as a receptive process in which comprehension of the target language texts is developed; and speaking and writing in a presentational context in which students are focused on the organization of thoughts and awareness of their audience in delivering information.


Success in another language is the result of a combination of innate ability, work and study habits, and personal interest in the world language.   As the student continues study in the world language placement is based on teacher recommendation.  Assessments of the student’s ability to speak, write, listen and read the target language are used to make these recommendations.  Class work and class performance are other reliable indicators that provide information used to evaluate student readiness to move on to the next course level.  Students will be expected to attain increased communicative competence as movement through each level of a language sequence occurs.  All world language teachers provide their students with a recommendation for the following year.  Questions or concerns should be discussed with the teacher, guidance counselor and/or department chairperson.


While world language courses are elective courses in high school, college bound students are strongly encouraged to complete at least three years of a study in one language.  Generally, only world language credits earned in grades 9 – 12 meet college entrance requirements.  College requirements vary greatly, so it is wise to consult with guidance counselors and refer to admissions offices for specific requirements.


Placement Criteria

Placement of Students in World Language Classes

It is important that students be properly placed when proceeding from one level to the next in a world language. The teacher recommendation is an essential part of the

process to ensure the right match for all students. The following factors are considered.

To continue to the Next Level in an Academic course:

Recommendation of the current teacher based on:

1. A “C” academic average in the current level. Students earning below the “C” average would benefit from repeating that level, especially when midterm and final

exam grades are below “C”.

2. Minimum of “C” on the midterm and final exams.

3. Acceptable class work, class participation and study habits.

4. Acceptable improvement in communicative competence.

When a student has not been able to maintain the “C” average for the course he/she will be recommended to repeat the course. Repeating a year of language study

reinforces basic skills and helps ensure success at the next level of study. An alternative to repeating a year of study is to enroll in summer school in order to continue to the next level.

To Continue to the Next Level in an Honors Class:

Recommendation of the current teacher based on:

1. Minimum of “B” academic average in the current level.

2. Acceptance of responsibility for learning.

3. Demonstration of the qualities of an independent learner with excellent work habits and organizational skills.

 4. Above average progress in communicative competence. Honors level courses are accelerated courses for students who are highly motivated to

learn a second language. Therefore the course content and proficiency expectations are different from the Academic level course.