AACPS Approach to Language Learning
The goal of the AACPS World Languages program is to prepare students to be linguistically and culturally competent in languages other than English. The ability to communicate in a culturally appropriate manner with speakers of other languages is the key to success in the increasingly diverse global community of the 21st century. As students develop proficiency in world languages and an understanding of the underlying values and beliefs of other cultures, they gain the skills that are essential to meaningful communication.
The AACPS world language curriculum is performance- and proficiency-based and is designed to develop learners’ communication skills (reading, listening, speaking, and writing) and intercultural competencies to engage in our local and global environments. These skills and competencies prepare students to interact with people in our nation and around the world as well as interpret and use information from global sources.
The focus in world language classes is to build literacy and cognitive skills, support academic content subjects, and prepare learners for college and career, as well as citizen diplomacy, through developing language skills and cultural competencies.
What Is an AACPS World Language Class Like?
- Language instruction is not translation or rote memorization.
- Learning builds interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communication in real-world contexts.
- Culturally relevant authentic resources provide rich language to build cultural and content knowledge.
- Classes are 90-100% language-rich learning environments.
- Students are engaged in the learning process by using gestures, visuals, color-coding, organizers, manipulatives, music, art, movement, games, and technology.
- Proficiency-based classes motivate students to work with what they know.
- Proficiency is assessed through performance tasks--that is, by how learners apply the language they are studying in meaningful, culturally authentic, real-life situations..
- Teachers use a curriculum beginning at level 1 that is organized around the six Advanced Placement Language & Culture themes (Personal Identity, Beauty & Aesthetics, Contemporary Life, Families & Communities, Science & Technology, and Global Challenges).