Welcome to the World Language Department of Homewood-Flossmoor High School. We offer three languages: French, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Although foreign language is an elective at our school, almost 60% of our student body takes at least two years of a foreign language. Many of our students continue in a foreign language beyond the high school level. Spanish and French are offered from levels one through five on both a regulars and honors level. Our fifth year honors courses are preparation for the AP Spanish and AP French Language & Culture Exams, as well as the IB level for those students involved in that program. Mandarin Chinese was just added for the 2015-16 school year, and we are planning to offer that up to the AP level, as well.
The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) states: “Language and communication are at the heart of the human experience. The United States must educate students who are linguistically and culturally equipped to communicate successfully in a pluralistic American society and abroad.”
The philosophy of the World Language Department at H-F is based upon the premise that language and communication are essential to the cultural understanding needed to function in today’s global society. Our classrooms focus on communication in another language, using the second language to learn, to communicate and to enter another culture.
PROGRAM GOALS: 5 Cs of World Language Education
- Communication is at the heart of second language study, whether the communication takes place face-to-face, in writing, or across centuries through the reading of literature.
- Cultures - Through the study of other languages, students gain knowledge and understanding of cultures that use the language. In fact, they cannot truly master the language until they have also mastered the cultural contexts in which the language occurs.
- Connections - Learning a second language provides connections to additional bodies of knowledge that may be unavailable to the monolingual English speaker.
- Comparisons - Through comparisons and contrasts with the language being studied, students develop insight into the nature of language and the concept of culture and realize that there are multiple ways of viewing the world.
- Communities - Together these elements enable the student of language to participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world in a variety of contexts and in culturally appropriate ways.
— ACTFL and National Standards in Foreign Language Learning, 1999