WORLD LANGUAGES DEPARTMENT
The knowledge of a foreign language is a universal tool that opens gateways to human understanding and presents a new approach to dealing with everyday realities of life. The study of a foreign language and of the culture for which it is the vehicle sensitizes students to the reality of cultural differences and similarities. Thus, a full and rich experience in the learning of a foreign language develops understanding of and appreciation for people of differing cultures. We believe that the study of a foreign language plays an essential role in the intellectual development and total enrichment of the individual. Furthermore, foreign language study contributes to the fulfillment of academic, vocational and/or personal goals. Consequently, students should be provided the means to pursue foreign language study to the extent that their interests and abilities permit. An effective world languages program recognizesindividual differences in learning patterns and abilities and tailors courses to students with diverse needs and interests. Thus, we endeavor to provide a comprehensive and coordinated foreign language program that is a rewarding and satisfying experience for each learner. The World Languages program in Edison Township offers students the opportunity to study French, Hindi, Italian, Latin, Mandarin, or Spanish. Each of these languages is offered in a well-articulated sequence that students can study for all four years of their high school careers. Each language is offered at accelerated and honors levels. The honors program in French and Spanish culminate in the Advanced Placement courses in these languages.
The study of another language leads to communication. Our goal is to teach all students to communicate beyond their native languages in order to participate effectively in this world. Communication involves the interpretive, presentational and interpersonal modes. The study of another languages leads to understanding other cultures. Our goal is to recognize what is common to all human experience and to accept that which is different. Students will have experiences with products and practices in order to develop an understanding of the various perspectives of the cultures of the target language. The study of another language leads to critical thinking skills. Our goal is to enhance the ability to analyze, to compare and contrast, to synthesize, to improvise, and to examine cultures through a language and a perspective other than one’s own. The study of another language leads to an interdisciplinary view of the curriculum. Our goal is to have every student begin language study as early as possible in an interdisciplinary environment.