World Languages & ESL
for the Student to Consider
Do I enjoy learning about people around the world?
Do I find other cultures fascinating?
Which language am I the most interested in studying?
Am I willing to take risks in speaking the language in class, in
making presentations and demonstrations, acting out skits, etc. in
front of my peers?
What do I want to get out of this class?
What would I like to do in life with my new language?
Discussion with the Parents
Best language for them to take:
The one in which the student has an interest.
Spanish is the easiest of the languages. The closer the second
language is to the first language, the easier it is to learn. No
language is “easy” to learn but they learned a first language so
they can learn a second language.
Speaking, writing, and reading in the target language. Speaking the
target language in the classroom is not optional. Study of the
culture of the language is also an integral part of language study.
Homework: Yes, there will be homework, projects,
Organization: Help them get organized; maintaining a notebook, homework
challenges: WL teachers do not have collaborative teachers so at times it may
be necessary to meet the accommodations at a different time, i.e.
testing in small groups (before or after school or at a time
convenient for the teacher.
How parents can help:
contact with the teacher and encourage the student to work directly
with their teacher to iron out issues.
student with homework and projects especially at the beginning.
There are also online help and resources that go with the texts.
Encourage student to “press through” initially as they begin to use
the target language in class. It is a second language
communication class! By the third year of study, the class
will almost exclusively be conducted in the target language. Be
prepared for students to complain initially because they are
required to speak in the target language.
Perspective of the WL Teacher
This instructional approach to language instruction is student-centered
and requires student demonstration of what they have learned.
should be based on the student’s interest and motivation in
learning a particular language, not because of misconceptions
regarding a language. Although learning a second language should be
fun, it does involve work. Learning a language is a lifelong
Early enrollment...the earlier, the better. “Proficiency is
developed in direct relation to the length of time of study and the
level of immersion in the language.” (Sandrock and Webb, 1993)
Student Participation and Assessments:
addition to district exams and traditional paper and pencil tests,
students will be required to participate in classroom presentations,
student performance-based tasks, assessments, learning
experiences, and evaluations.