Tuesday, September 10, 2013

WL Dept. Highlighted in Superintendent's Newsletter

All of the exciting goings-on in our wonderful department have been highlighted in the Superintendent's most recent newsletter to the community. The full newsletter can be read here.

Academic Highlights
Mandarin Expands, Italian Returns and Creativity Shines in Language Education 
A vibrant learning environment exists at both Ottoson and AHS, as innovative and thoughtful curricula combine with our ability to offer important international and classic languages to our students. This year we have expanded our Mandarin instruction to include two classes of Mandarin 1A in the seventh grade. In addition, one of the World Language Exploratory teachers who has been studying Mandarin for a number of years has created a Mandarin unit for the sixth grade exploratory program. Supporting this growth, Na Lu-Hogan, a native of China, has joined us as a Mandarin instructor. She will split her time between Ottoson and AHS, where we are now offering four full- years of instruction. We are proud to report that we have approximately 40 seventh graders starting the language at Ottoson and about fifty students are enrolled in levels 1-4 at AHS.

We are also working on expanding our China Exchange program this year. Last February, we welcomed 30 young men and women from one of the oldest and best-known secondary schools in China to homes in Arlington. This year we will be hosting Chinese students again, but we also want to send some of our students to Beijing. We are currently recruiting for this April trip, and more information can be found by clicking here.

Italian has returned to AHS thanks to a grant from Centro Attivita Scholastiche Italiane. Tony Di Sanzo, a native Italian speaker who has taught Spanish part-time in Arlington for the past two years, will be teaching Italian 1. The enrollment of approximately 75 students has necessitated the creation of three sections. This reflects the importance of the language to members of our community. We now offer five languages at AHS and four at Ottoson. In addition, we offer Arabic, American Sign Language, German, Japanese and Russian online through the Brigham Young University Independent Study Program. You may learn more about this program by clicking here. Diverse offerings enable our students to choose a language they are excited about, enhancing their ability to reach higher levels of proficiency.

The addition of French and Spanish Cinema courses at the high school last year is an example of how creative programming can encourage conversation. The purchase of a green screen will enable our students to create their own films as well. The renovation of the AHS language lab, coupled with a mobile language lab (iPad cart) at Ottoson is enabling us to integrate technology thoughtfully to promote and expand learning.

We hope to continue growing our program in the years to come. We recognize the importance of
language to the global economy, and the fact that experiencing another culture via understanding the language is an experience that changes lives. You can read about the the mission of our dedicated language teachers by clicking here.

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