In the past three years, One Schoolhouse has seen enrollment skyrocket in our language learning courses. To meet demand, we now offer four complete sequences in Chinese, French, Latin, and Spanish, and are building a complete American Sign Language sequence as well. (We’ll offer ASL - Intermediate I in 2022-2023; the sequence will be completed when we offer ASL - Advanced in 2023-2024.) In working with dozens of schools, and hundreds of students, we’ve learned that language study in the United States varies widely–and we’ve evolved our offerings in response.
Schools and parents/guardians often have an assumption that there is a specific outcome to second language acquisition: proficiency, or “native” proficiency. Yet only 1% of Americans are proficient in the language they studied in high school. Americans who are bilingual almost always either grow up with opportunities to speak in more than one language in their homes and communities, or have immersion experiences. Language study in the typical high school schedule just can’t replicate those opportunities.
Studying a second language in high school classes, however, does offer an array of other options that are equally meaningful. Students can leverage their language study to expand their world view. They can explore cultural components of communication. High school language study can also lay the foundation for long-term proficiency in the target language. When we take a step back, we can see that these three perspectives could culminate in wildly different outcomes. With that understanding in mind, One Schoolhouse has built our course sequences with the goal of honoring each student’s objectives in studying a language.
We see our scope and sequence in language study as an expansion of our commitment to personalized pedagogy. We now offer a choice of courses at both the entry point and the culmination of language study. Students who wish to elect traditional language study with a focus on grammar and vocabulary can begin in our Beginning II course, and progress to AP coursework. Those who want to focus on applied language study with a focus on cultural competence, may start in Beginning I and culminate in Intermediate or Advanced courses. To accommodate these varied goals, each language sequence may include up to seven courses.
To learn more about our sequences in American Sign Language, Chinese, French, Latin, and Spanish, we encourage you to visit the page dedicated to our language course offerings. If you’d like more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Brad Rathgeber (he/him/his)