World Languages

High School

High School Graduation Requirements

Two credits in a world language or 2 credits in American Sign Language may be used to complete Option 1 of elective credits required for graduation.

Goal of World Languages

The goal of the world languages program is to prepare students to be linguistically and culturally competent in languages other than English. The ability to communicate in a culturally appropriate manner with speakers of other languages is the key to success in the increasingly diverse global community of the 21st century. As students develop proficiency in world languages and an understanding of the underlying values and beliefs of other cultures, they gain the skills that are essential to meaningful communication. World languages courses must betaken in sequential order. The prerequisite for all courses, except 1 A, is either successful completion of the preceding course or a local placement test.


MARYLAND SEAL OF BILITERACY

High school graduates who can function in two or more languages are equipped with the knowledge and skills to participate successfully in college, careers, and a diverse 21st century society. The Maryland Seal of Biliteracy is a diploma endorsement, authorized by Maryland law, that recognizes a student’s high-level of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages other than English. To receive a Maryland Seal of Biliteracy, a student must do the following:

  • Pass the Maryland High School Assessment in English 10; AND
  • Demonstrate Intermediate high proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in a language other than English, as measured by assessments that are aligned to ACTFL(The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) proficiency guidelines.

For more information about the approved assessments, please visit the website


Graduation Requirements for Class of 2025 and beyond

  • Two credits in the same world languages or two credits in American Sign Language

Graduation Requirements for Class of 2021-2024

  • Two credits in a world language, which may include American Sign Language, may be used to complete Option 1 of elective credits required for graduation. (If students select a world language to fulfill the Maryland diploma requirements, it is recommended that the two world language credits be in the same language.)

Level 1

Students begin to learn to communicate orally and in writing in a culturally appropriate manner about topics related to daily life. They interpret basic information when listening and reading. Vocabulary and basic grammatical structures are taught within the context of these familiar topics. Culture is embedded throughout the course.

Level 2

Students expand their ability to communicate orally and in writing in a culturally appropriate manner about topics related to daily life. They interpret information when listening and reading. Vocabulary and grammatical structures are taught within the context of these topics. Culture is embedded throughout the course.

Level 3

Students continue to expand their ability to communicate orally and in writing in a culturally appropriate manner about a variety of familiar topics. They interpret detailed information when listening and reading. Vocabulary and more complex grammatical structures are taught within the context of these topics. Culture is embedded throughout the course.

Level 4

Students communicate orally and in writing with increased proficiency in a culturally appropriate manner about a range of topics. They interpret detailed and extended information when listening and reading. Vocabulary and complex linguistic structures are taught within the context of these topics. Culture is embedded throughout the course.

Level 5

Students continue to increase their proficiency in communicating orally and in writing in a culturally appropriate manner about a broad range of topics. They interpret complex information when listening and reading. Vocabulary and a variety of complex linguistic structures are taught within the context of these topics. Culture is embedded throughout the course.

Level 6

Students communicate at a high level of proficiency orally and in writing in a culturally appropriate manner about a broad range of topics. They interpret complex information when listening and reading. Vocabulary and a variety of complex linguistic structures are taught within the context of these topics. Culture is embedded throughout the course.

Advanced Placement World Languages

These courses are for world languages students interested in college-level work. The courses link language and culture while developing students' proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Students read, discuss, and react to a variety of texts orally and in writing in preparation for the Advanced Placement Examination.

Spanish for Spanish Speakers

Spanish for Spanish Speakers provides language instruction for students with proficiency in Spanish, either because it is their first language or is spoken extensively in the home. Each course integrates history, culture, language, and connections related to the Spanish-speaking world.

Spanish for Spanish Speakers 3 is an advanced-level course designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Spanish Language or Advanced Placement Spanish Literature exam.

Latin

As students progress through the sequence of Latin courses, they build a foundation of Latin vocabulary and grammar. They study aspects of Roman life and history and the works of major authors such as Cicero, Pliny, Horace, Ovid, Tibullus, or Plautus. In preparation for the AP Vergil exam, students translate the Aeneid from Latin into English, analyzing Vergil's style as well as studying the cultural, social, and political context of the literature.

American Sign Language

Students use American Sign Language to communicate about daily life with basic vocabulary and simple grammatical structures. They explore the cultural and linguistic heritage of the Deaf community and its influence.


International Baccalaureate (IB) World Languages Courses

Level 2

Students receive intensive training in the basic foundations of the language to develop proficiency in both oral and written expression at the appropriate level. Students master the MCPS Level 2 modern world language curriculum and study the literature, culture, and civilization of countries where the target language is spoken.

Level 3

Students develop higher-level language skills and vocabulary needed for increased proficiency in oral and written expression, listening, and reading comprehension. Students master the MCPS Level 3 modern world language curriculum; are introduced to literary analysis; and study the literature, culture, history, and current events in countries where the target language is spoken.

Level 4

IB Level 4 world language courses comprise the first year of a two-year sequence to prepare students for the standard-level IB world language exam. Students strengthen their knowledge and fluency in oral and written language and broaden their understanding of culture and civilization. Composition objectives for specific writing assignments are correlated with literature, culture, and civilization topics.

Level 5

Students complete their preparation for the standard-level IB and the Advanced Placement world language exams. Emphasis is placed on reading comprehension, interpretation, analysis, and oral proficiency. Students analyze a wide variety of spoken and written materials and life and civilization in pertinent countries.

Level 6

Instruction in IB Level 6 world language courses emphasizes critical analysis of the structural and stylistic characteristics of works, composing well-constructed extended essays, oral proficiency at the near-native level, and continued in-depth study of the life and civilization of pertinent countries. Students are prepared for the higher-level IB exam.

Level 7

Students continue to develop their reading and writing skills in preparation for the IB higher level language examination.