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Joan in GE

When does your school district start offering foreign languages? & a second?

When and how many foreign languages are offered in your school district?  

31 members have voted

  1. 1. When and how many foreign languages are offered in your school district?

    • foreign language offered in Primary school, Jr Hi, and Sr. Hi
      38
    • foreign language offered in Jr. Hi. and Sr. Hi.
      56
    • foreign languages ONLY offered in Sr. Hi.
      45
    • more than one foreign language offered in Primary school
      8
    • more than one foreign language offered in Jr. Hi...
      31


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Hi All, due to discussions with the local admin, I've started wondering the current state of affairs in the US in relation to foreign language study....

 

When is the first foreign language offered? and a second (meaning when would the student have the option of studying TWO foreign languages at once)?

 

I know some districts have immersion programs starting even in kindergarten...but others don't seem to start til high school (Sr. Hi)....

 

If you have anecdotes about your district I'm interested too....eg how many different languages are offered and when...

 

and which languages? I'm sure Spanish...I know Mandarin has gained ground...

 

ETA I just found out this was a completely false assumption that I had before starting this poll.. "I'm putting this on the High School board because I'm sure that every district offers (I thought mandatory for graduation as well) foreign languages at the high school level...." Please post if your district does not have any FL requirement for General Graduation...

 

Thanks for your input!

Joan

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In our area Spanish is offered at the middle school, although at what level I don't know. French and Spanish I-IV are offered at the high school. There is no requirement that foreign language be studied, although 2 years in high school is "strongly recommended" for college prep certificate. For general graduation none is required. Also agree, no proficiency requirement is made for either, simply the study.

 

It would be unusual for a student to take both French and Spanish in high school at the same time. It would require giving up many other elective options.

 

When I was in high school, eons ago, you general took an introductory class in middle school which was optional. Many kids took two years of one language and quit. I took 4 years of Spanish and our Spanish IV class was small.

 

I'm in the midwestern area of the US.

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oh dear, this means I should have had the option of 'No foreign language requirement for graduation!!!'

 

Please chime in anyone who knows that to be the case for their district!

 

Now you both have me wondering how many districts that would apply to??? how many states?

 

Thanks for voting and the other info!

Joan

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Not required for graduation.... but definitely encouraged for the college-bound. No foreign language in our local elementary school although they might learn a song in Spanish or something - not formal instruction... and although there are two languages offered in junior high and four in high school, it would be uncommon for anyone to take more than one.

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K - 8th: Dual Immersion program offered. Spanish/English. HOWEVER, it is only for up to 50 students per grade. Our district has over 1,200 per grade, which leaves 1,150 kids per grade without this option.

 

8th: High School level, Year 1 Spanish is offered to those students with above average English reading scores

 

9th - 12th: There is supposed to be 5 years of Spanish, 4 years of German, and 4 years of French. HOWEVER, in my ds's high school (there are 3 in the district) we just learned that Spanish has been severely cut back this year. The highest level offered this year is just Year 3, and there is only 1 class of it, for a high school with total enrollment of 1,600 kids. I do not know if the German and French programs have been slashed, also.

 

While it is technically possible to take more than one foreign language in high school, it is darn near impossible to fit them in your schedule due to all the other state/school district mandated requirements.

 

Foreign Language is not required for a public school diploma.

 

I'm guessing our district is around 30% hispanic.

 

FWIW, one of the neighboring school districts offers Russian for 4 years. That school district also offers up to 3 choices (Spanish, French, German) for 8th graders. None offer Mandarin, but my dd13 is in her 4th year of studying it with a group of 3 homeschooled students and a native speaker who is originally from Taiwan.

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First - I agree that for the college-bound it is useful. I think it is useful even if not college-bound - but there are certainly places in the world where it is not as useful to have more than one language, and places in the world where people cannot survive with only one.....

 

The problem we're confronted with here, is the expectation that Americans who are in Geneva for just a few years at the Jr. Hi level, will be expected to study two foreign languages, and even be tested with the tests for maternal tongue students if doing homeschool.

 

So today I realized that what they are asking is possibly really out of the bounds of some people who are just arriving....Now this is making me curious about the international schools here...I'm pretty sure they are studying two at Jr. Hi level, but they wouldn't be grading the students at a level of maternal tongue....Oh good, that gives me an idea for this problem...get kids tested at the international school instead of with the public school, so the level wouldn't be so hard...

 

Anyway, I realize that doesn't concern most people - but it was the problem here that got me wondering about what is actually going on in the US....and brainstorming from your answers...

 

But this is an interesting poll for other reasons too....thank you all for voting...

 

Joan

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I'll be surprised if you find any states/public school districts that require any foreign language for graduation.

 

How interesting!

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While it is technically possible to take more than one foreign language in high school, it is darn near impossible to fit them in your schedule due to all the other state/school district mandated requirements.

 

Heather, thank you for all those other details! I just left this part because it makes me wonder what other requirements there are - does your state have the typical # credits? Or is it all the extracurriculars that American students need to do like volunteering, working, sports, arts, etc that take up so much other time?

 

It looks like funding is now a problem from your post - possibly right when people are wanting more languages too? as there seems to be more interest in immersion programs at least...

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According to my state's graduation requirements, "students choosing a career that requires a college education should take 2 years of the same foreign language. Although foreign languages are not required for high school graduation, most colleges/universities do require foreign languages for admissions."

 

I know that the high school offers foreign language, but I don't know if the middle school does. (There is a middle school, but not a junior high.)

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Our school district offers foreign languages starting in 9th grade. Foreign languages is not a graduation requirement in our state.

 

It is pathetic.

 

In my home country, all kids start the first language in 3rd and the second language in 6th, and both are taken throughout high school. It is considered part of being an educated person.

 

Or is it all the extracurriculars that American students need to do like volunteering, working, sports, arts, etc that take up so much other time?
No, it can not be a question of time. In Germany, school days are much shorter than in the US, and they still get two languages done. It is, IMO, solely a question of priorities.

I do not see people here demanding more foreign language education. The expectations are highly unrealistic: kids take two years in high school and complain that they can't really speak much after that; they are completely ignorant of the fact that it takes many years to develop fluency.

People just do not consider it important to study a foreign language and culture; living in the greatest country on Earth seems to make that unnecessary.

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Hi All, due to discussions with the local admin, I've started wondering the current state of affairs in the US in relation to foreign language study....

 

When is the first foreign language offered? and a second (meaning when would the student have the option of studying TWO foreign languages at once)?

 

a. 7th b. 9th Middle school students who aren't scheduled for remedial double period ELA and remedial double period Math must take Spanish in 7th and 8th grades unless they test out.

 

I know some districts have immersion programs starting even in kindergarten...but others don't seem to start til high school (Sr. Hi)....

 

If you have anecdotes about your district I'm interested too....eg how many different languages are offered and when...

 

Spanish is a nightmare. The teachers all speak different dialects, depending on their country of origin, and the teaching method is immersion. We had French offered in the past, which was wonderful as it was direct instruction rather than immersion and we are close enough to French speaking Canada to have meaningful field trips at the FLIV and V level.

 

and which languages? I'm sure Spanish...I know Mandarin has gained ground...

 

Spanish or American Sign Language are the options here. 2000 student high school in a diverse area with many students who are the children of immigrants who speak Haitian creole, Italian, Mandarin, Russian, German, Spanish, Taiwanese, Korean, Yiddish, Hebrew, etc at home and/or church. Some go to classes on Saturday specifically to study their parents' language or the language their religion uses. Mandarin is asked for, but the admin ignores those requests. Spanish in the elementary has been requested many times as the alternative to study hall for those students who don't qualify for ESL pullouts; again the admin won't do it. This is poltical; the law here requires that there be an ESL teacher full time in each school that has need, however even before the immigration wave receded these teachers didn't have a big enough load to be full time, so parents requested that their extra time go to teaching Spanish to native English speakers rather than sitting idle or doing administrative duties.

 

ETA I just found out this was a completely false assumption that I had before starting this poll.. "I'm putting this on the High School board because I'm sure that every district offers (I thought mandatory for graduation as well) foreign languages at the high school level...." Please post if your district does not have any FL requirement for General Graduation...

 

Students here in NY need 1 credit of FL to earn a Regent's Diploma, 3 credits for a Regent's Advanced Diploma (college prep). Students with a disability that prevents them from learning a FL have alternatives. Students who speak, read, and write well enough to pass the proficiency exam in any FL can test out and earn 1 or 3 credits, depending on which test they pass, even if the school doesn't offer that particular FL.

 

Thanks for your input!

Joan

..

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Heather in PNW viewpost.gif

While it is technically possible to take more than one foreign language in high school, it is darn near impossible to fit them in your schedule due to all the other state/school district mandated requirements.

 

Heather, thank you for all those other details! I just left this part because it makes me wonder what other requirements there are - does your state have the typical # credits? Or is it all the extracurriculars that American students need to do like volunteering, working, sports, arts, etc that take up so much other time?

 

It looks like funding is now a problem from your post - possibly right when people are wanting more languages too? as there seems to be more interest in immersion programs at least...

 

Back in the day, I was allowed five courses per semester. So if you took 4 years of English, math, science, a foreign language, and a fifth class of either US history, government, or gym (whichever was required that year) that was it. If you wanted to be in the band or orchestra, work on the school newspaper, takes vocational (shop) classes, etc, you did not get a foreign language. You'll notice that a second foreign language, world or European history, art, computers, etc was all out of the question.

 

This has nothing at all to do with what students do outside of the school and everything to do with the contract the MEA negotiated.

 

Funding is part of the problem, and can only have gotten worse. The school district fired my German teacher my senior year and told the French teacher to teach German. He had had one year of German in college twenty years earlier!

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Funding is part of the problem, and can only have gotten worse. The school district fired my German teacher my senior year and told the French teacher to teach German. He had had one year of German in college twenty years earlier!

 

I hear similar things. German teachers being hired to teach Spanish from the textbook. But then, since many math teachers are not proficient in math either, that seems to be nothing to wonder about.

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At the Montessori school my kids attended, Spanish was part of the curriculum beginning in pre-school; French was added in lower-elementary; Latin was taught twice a week beginning in 6th grade.

 

Our public school offers Spanish and Chinese in 8th grade. Spanish, Chinese, French and Russian are offered at the high school level.

 

As others have mentioned, due to scheduling conflicts and graduation requirements, it is difficult to study more than one language in high school.

 

Foreign language credit is not required for high school graduation.

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I still have family and friends working in the district I attended, and to my knowledge not much has changed since then. In middle school (7th and 8th grade) you can choose between French and Spanish. Those two years cover a single high school level credit. When you enter the high school in 9th grade, you take the second credit for that language. In 10th grade you take the third credit, after which the majority of the students drop the class. The only students who didn't at least begin this path in my district had very severe learning disabilities. You needed 5 credits in Art or vocational classes to graduate if you didn't complete your foreign language sequence.

 

That all may be changing soon because the state has stopped offering Regents exams for foreign language, which were previously required for certain designations of degree from the state. That particular school district still requires foreign language or a different sequence as a substitute, although the state has dropped the requirement.

 

This was a decade ago, but as far as I know I was the only student to take French and Spanish simultaneously during the 4 years I was in high school (average class size of 125-150?). I know of two other students who began a second foreign language but dropped the class in the first 5 week period. One of the major obstacles for picking up a second foreign language class was that you needed to study the first level class for that language on your own. Although the school said that they offered French I and Spanish I, everyone who was going to take a language had already taken that level prior to high school.

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This has nothing at all to do with what students do outside of the school and everything to do with the contract the MEA negotiated.

 

Funding is part of the problem, and can only have gotten worse. The school district fired my German teacher my senior year and told the French teacher to teach German. He had had one year of German in college twenty years earlier!

 

Exactly. In a recession, the foreign langauge and music teachers are let go in order to give everyone else their raise. When times are good again, they will be hired back.

 

The other problem is that the offering multiple languages means there has to be enough sections that someone who only speaks one language has enough hours to agree to take the job. Teaching isn't set up so that the teacher can teach a half day at one district and a half day at another and still get the bennies of a full time teacher at one district. If that political decision changed, we would have many more schools that could offer a few sections of more foreign languages, or the AP science courses, or advanced math as they would be able to hire teachers who travel between districts. Right now several do travel between schools within a district here, which works out to be as much mileage or more than going between two high schools in adjacent districts.

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Heather, thank you for all those other details! I just left this part because it makes me wonder what other requirements there are - does your state have the typical # credits? Or is it all the extracurriculars that American students need to do like volunteering, working, sports, arts, etc that take up so much other time?

 

It looks like funding is now a problem from your post - possibly right when people are wanting more languages too? as there seems to be more interest in immersion programs at least...

 

Funding is not the issue for Spanish being slashed. It is an inadequate administration. The only "good" Spanish teacher retired last year. So, there may not be anyone left who could actually teach the kids at a higher level. Also, the administration frequently messes with the enrollment into various classes. This is done intentionally to force kids into classes they don't necessarily want, but the principal gets paid bonus (generally AP classes).

 

We picked up my son's schedule and Spanish 3 was not on it. I asked the counselor, and she said that according to the computer system, he never enrolled in it last spring. I easily proved her wrong, because I had emailed her in the spring verifying his fall schedule, and yes, Spanish 3 was there. Although our school is a "top in the nation" according to AP tests taken, it is truly awful.

 

As far as having enough credits available to take multiple languages: One of the biggest travesties right now is that all kids must take two years of physical education. This includes kids who participate in school sports year round. My sons is a multi sport varsity athlete for the school. He also plays in the highest club soccer available in the state year round. Up until a few years ago, our district let kids who participated in school sports waive p.e.

 

A student could also waive p.e. if he had a rigorous course load and wanted to take additional math & science beyond the requirements. But, the p.e. teachers were unhappy because their class sizes went down and felt their jobs were threatened. These p.e. waivers are legal in our state, and most districts still allow them. Just not ours.

 

There are also a multitude of other "fluff" classes that are required by either the state or the school district. My dd tried really hard to take two foreign languages in high school. The most she could do was 3.5 years of Spanish and 1 year of French. I suppose she could have dropped a year of math or science, to add an additional year of foreign language, but that really was her only option. There are just too many mandatory classes (art, pe, occupational education, etc.) that are required for a diploma.

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Joan,

 

I cannot participate in your survey since I am unsure what the local public schools are doing today. Unfortunately foreign language has been subjected to the whims of budget cutters. I can offer some historical perspective which you might find to me interesting.

 

Roughly two decades ago, the local elementary offered French. I cannot recall if this was for all or only the so-called "gifted and talented". But what I do remember is that in a budget cutting year, all foreign languages were eliminated at the middle schools. So kids who were exposed to some French maybe once or twice a week in elementary grades had no opportunity to continue foreign language instruction until high school. One year after foreign languages were cut from the middle schools, the school board said that it made no sense to have French at the elementary school anymore--so that went away.

 

My son's peers had the opportunity to take French and Spanish at the highschool--Latin through a video class arrangement. I don't know what they offer today.

 

Students in NC who seek a college prep diploma must have two year of the same foreign language. There are other diplomas--I don't know what is required. Some cities in NC have foreign language magnets but they are confined to larger urban areas.

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There are also a multitude of other "fluff" classes that are required by either the state or the school district. My dd tried really hard to take two foreign languages in high school. The most she could do was 3.5 years of Spanish and 1 year of French. I suppose she could have dropped a year of math or science, to add an additional year of foreign language, but that really was her only option. There are just too many mandatory classes (art, pe, occupational education, etc.) that are required for a diploma.

 

:iagree:This is so true in WA. I used to teach high school prior to kids and it is ridiculous how many required classes are not basics. And if you plan on being a scientist or engineer, science should BE your occupational education credits!

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And if you plan on being a scientist or engineer, science should BE your occupational education credits!

 

I know, right? Shouldn't this be obvious? I am so glad that I don't have to go through this nonsense with my youngest, homeschooled, daughter.

 

Who, OP, is 13yo and already has High School Spanish years 1, 2, and 3 completed with straight A's. Her classes were taught by prior public school teachers, who now are stay at home moms. She is also starting her 4th year of Mandarin, taught by a native speaker. How is this possible??? Through homeschooling. Not from the public school system.

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In this area, P.E. is every other day. Waiving it for an athlete would mean the child gets a study hall every other day as there are no other classes on that schedule. The day off from P.E. is used for science lab, except for those seniors not taking a science class.

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Texas requires 2 credits of a language other than English. It's easiest to see in the "side-by-side" document. However, you must know that though it says a minimum diploma does not require foreign language, a student must actually request special permission to pursue a minimum diploma. All students in Texas are now required to pursue a recommended diploma.

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My daughters high school has this posted...

 

This is to graduate high school:

http://www.sanjuan.edu/BellaVista.cfm?subpage=116023

 

Framed like this:

http://www.sanjuan.edu/BellaVista.cfm?subpage=116021

 

As they say no foreign language requirement......

 

And they tell you this is the college track..:

http://www.sanjuan.edu/BellaVista.cfm?subpage=81273

 

The. School will recommend nothing but high school grads requirements .That is the schedual you are given... If you want a difference sequence you must fight for it..

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I'm combining two posts at a time to answer so it doesn't get too cumbersome...

 

According to my state's graduation requirements, "students choosing a career that requires a college education should take 2 years of the same foreign language. Although foreign languages are not required for high school graduation, most colleges/universities do require foreign languages for admissions."

 

I know that the high school offers foreign language, but I don't know if the middle school does. (There is a middle school, but not a junior high.)

 

Thanks for posting - it becomes obvious the low value attributed to FL in high school...

 

No, it can not be a question of time. In Germany, school days are much shorter than in the US, and they still get two languages done. It is, IMO, solely a question of priorities.

 

regentrude - maybe you have posted this somewhere else and I didn't see it....I'm very curious what a typical German middle school/or jr. hi and high school (let's take the one preparing for the Abitur) schedule would be like...I'm curious what subjects they give priority too in addition to FL's...

 

Thanks for your other comments which I'm going to address in a later post...

 

Joan

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I'm answering two posts at a time...

 

Spanish is a nightmare. The teachers all speak different dialects, depending on their country of origin, and the teaching method is immersion. We had French offered in the past, which was wonderful as it was direct instruction rather than immersion and we are close enough to French speaking Canada to have meaningful field trips at the FLIV and V level.

 

Spanish or American Sign Language are the options here. 2000 student high school in a diverse area with many students who are the children of immigrants who speak Haitian creole, Italian, Mandarin, Russian, German, Spanish, Taiwanese, Korean, Yiddish, Hebrew, etc at home and/or church. Some go to classes on Saturday specifically to study their parents' language or the language their religion uses. Mandarin is asked for, but the admin ignores those requests. Spanish in the elementary has been requested many times as the alternative to study hall for those students who don't qualify for ESL pullouts; again the admin won't do it. This is poltical; the law here requires that there be an ESL teacher full time in each school that has need, however even before the immigration wave receded these teachers didn't have a big enough load to be full time, so parents requested that their extra time go to teaching Spanish to native English speakers rather than sitting idle or doing administrative duties.

 

Students here in NY need 1 credit of FL to earn a Regent's Diploma, 3 credits for a Regent's Advanced Diploma (college prep). Students with a disability that prevents them from learning a FL have alternatives. Students who speak, read, and write well enough to pass the proficiency exam in any FL can test out and earn 1 or 3 credits, depending on which test they pass, even if the school doesn't offer that particular FL.

 

Very interesting information! The diversity of America makes everything much more complicated BUT also more rich...

 

In addition, I had always had a high regard for the Regents Diploma but had never looked at the FL requirements which I now see are extremely scanty!!

 

 

This has nothing at all to do with what students do outside of the school and everything to do with the contract the MEA negotiated.

 

Funding is part of the problem, and can only have gotten worse. The school district fired my German teacher my senior year and told the French teacher to teach German. He had had one year of German in college twenty years earlier!

 

Wait - the MEA is a teacher's union?

 

What a story about the French teacher teaching German - and from other posts like regentrude's, it doesn't seem so uncommon, very sadly....

 

These situations make me think a lot about the value or not of National Standards...but I know that states want flexibility and freedom...but there is such huge variety.....and the country is so huge that clearly there are different needs in different parts of the country...

 

Thank you for posting,

Joan

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I'm answering two posts at a time...

 

Here it varies. While the majority of schools begin offering foreign languages in junior or senior high, there are several "alternative" schools, still part of the official school district, that do immersion in another language in elementary school, offer Chinese in kindergarten, etc. Charter schools are also places where you can find foreign languages as an option in the very early years.

 

So then people who want this move into these districts or close to those schools in order for their children to get this experience?

 

At the Montessori school my kids attended, Spanish was part of the curriculum beginning in pre-school; French was added in lower-elementary; Latin was taught twice a week beginning in 6th grade.

 

Our public school offers Spanish and Chinese in 8th grade. Spanish, Chinese, French and Russian are offered at the high school level.

 

As others have mentioned, due to scheduling conflicts and graduation requirements, it is difficult to study more than one language in high school.

 

Foreign language credit is not required for high school graduation.

 

Wow, it sounds like FL gets a lot of funding in your district - or is it statewide? Could I ask which state (PM if it is private?)?

 

Joan

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Answering three here to try to be more efficient...

 

Those two years cover a single high school level credit. When you enter the high school in 9th grade, you take the second credit for that language. In 10th grade you take the third credit, after which the majority of the students drop the class. The only students who didn't at least begin this path in my district had very severe learning disabilities. You needed 5 credits in Art or vocational classes to graduate if you didn't complete your foreign language sequence.

 

That all may be changing soon because the state has stopped offering Regents exams for foreign language, which were previously required for certain designations of degree from the state. That particular school district still requires foreign language or a different sequence as a substitute, although the state has dropped the requirement.

 

This was a decade ago, but as far as I know I was the only student to take French and Spanish simultaneously during the 4 years I was in high school (average class size of 125-150?). I know of two other students who began a second foreign language but dropped the class in the first 5 week period. One of the major obstacles for picking up a second foreign language class was that you needed to study the first level class for that language on your own. Although the school said that they offered French I and Spanish I, everyone who was going to take a language had already taken that level prior to high school.

 

So I see the Regents requirements/path used to be more demanding for FL, but this lack of support for the first level in high school makes it tough if you are changing your mind or moving into the state without previous knowledge...

 

Exactly. In a recession, the foreign langauge and music teachers are let go in order to give everyone else their raise. When times are good again, they will be hired back.

 

The other problem is that the offering multiple languages means there has to be enough sections that someone who only speaks one language has enough hours to agree to take the job. Teaching isn't set up so that the teacher can teach a half day at one district and a half day at another and still get the bennies of a full time teacher at one district. If that political decision changed, we would have many more schools that could offer a few sections of more foreign languages, or the AP science courses, or advanced math as they would be able to hire teachers who travel between districts. Right now several do travel between schools within a district here, which works out to be as much mileage or more than going between two high schools in adjacent districts.

 

What political and practical considerations! Even more complications to take into account....this is really quite fascinating to start to understand all the nitty-gritty of the problems of more languages and when....

 

Funding is not the issue for Spanish being slashed. It is an inadequate administration. The only "good" Spanish teacher retired last year. So, there may not be anyone left who could actually teach the kids at a higher level. Also, the administration frequently messes with the enrollment into various classes. This is done intentionally to force kids into classes they don't necessarily want, but the principal gets paid bonus (generally AP classes).

 

We picked up my son's schedule and Spanish 3 was not on it. I asked the counselor, and she said that according to the computer system, he never enrolled in it last spring. I easily proved her wrong, because I had emailed her in the spring verifying his fall schedule, and yes, Spanish 3 was there. Although our school is a "top in the nation" according to AP tests taken, it is truly awful.

 

As far as having enough credits available to take multiple languages: One of the biggest travesties right now is that all kids must take two years of physical education. This includes kids who participate in school sports year round. My sons is a multi sport varsity athlete for the school. He also plays in the highest club soccer available in the state year round. Up until a few years ago, our district let kids who participated in school sports waive p.e.

 

A student could also waive p.e. if he had a rigorous course load and wanted to take additional math & science beyond the requirements. But, the p.e. teachers were unhappy because their class sizes went down and felt their jobs were threatened. These p.e. waivers are legal in our state, and most districts still allow them. Just not ours.

 

There are also a multitude of other "fluff" classes that are required by either the state or the school district. My dd tried really hard to take two foreign languages in high school. The most she could do was 3.5 years of Spanish and 1 year of French. I suppose she could have dropped a year of math or science, to add an additional year of foreign language, but that really was her only option. There are just too many mandatory classes (art, pe, occupational education, etc.) that are required for a diploma.

 

Very curious about the 'fluff' classes that are required...occupational education? what is that really? are there others not listed?

 

This becomes an advantage for home education then - or are they requiring these fluff classes for HE as well?

 

Thanks!

Joan

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I can offer some historical perspective which you might find to be interesting.

 

Jane :001_smile: I do find the historical perspective interesting - but sad in a way as other things take priority....as below about the lack of basics...

 

I used to teach high school prior to kids and it is ridiculous how many required classes are not basics. And if you plan on being a scientist or engineer, science should BE your occupational education credits!

 

Senior Kindergarten - French Immersion

 

Do you live near Canada? - Ha, ha - just looked at your blogspot after writing that and see that you ARE ;):001_smile:

 

I know, right? Shouldn't this be obvious? I am so glad that I don't have to go through this nonsense with my youngest, homeschooled, daughter.

 

Who, OP, is 13yo and already has High School Spanish years 1, 2, and 3 completed with straight A's. Her classes were taught by prior public school teachers, who now are stay at home moms. She is also starting her 4th year of Mandarin, taught by a native speaker. How is this possible??? Through homeschooling. Not from the public school system.

 

I can see that you value languages! Wow! More power to HE!

 

In this area, P.E. is every other day. Waiving it for an athlete would mean the child gets a study hall every other day as there are no other classes on that schedule. The day off from P.E. is used for science lab, except for those seniors not taking a science class.

Wait, so no other options on the schedule means that all the kids are doing PE at that time? for all the years? so that there are no other teachers (teaching other subjects that theoretically a student could take if they had the pre-req's?)?

 

Texas requires 2 credits of a language other than English. It's easiest to see in the "side-by-side" document. However, you must know that though it says a minimum diploma does not require foreign language, a student must actually request special permission to pursue a minimum diploma. All students in Texas are now required to pursue a recommended diploma.

 

Hmmm...so TX is trying to make high school more demanding in this way then...any idea how many would request not to do the FL? So are HE's required to do the FL too?

 

Joan

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My daughters high school has this posted...

 

This is to graduate high school:

http://www.sanjuan.edu/BellaVista.cfm?subpage=116023

 

Framed like this:

http://www.sanjuan.edu/BellaVista.cfm?subpage=116021

 

As they say no foreign language requirement......

 

And they tell you this is the college track..:

http://www.sanjuan.edu/BellaVista.cfm?subpage=81273

 

The. School will recommend nothing but high school grads requirements .That is the schedual you are given... If you want a difference sequence you must fight for it..

 

Those documents are really clear - thank you.

 

Joan

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Hi Joan,

 

I didn't vote b/c I don't know the actual answer. I know that one of ds's friends attends the local governor's school (this is a poli sci/international studies gov school) and he is required to take 4 yrs of one foreign language and 2 yrs of another for a total combined of 6 yrs (though they do allow American Sign Lang to count as 1 of the 2.)

 

Another family friend started high school credit worthy Spanish in 7th grade, so I do know it is not that unusual for level 3 to be a freshman level class.

 

The state requires 2+2 (2 yrs of 2 languages) or 3 yrs of 1 language for graduation.

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I have not read what everyone has put, but the poll feels to confining to me so let me give input here.

 

We live in a large district with I think around 60,000 students. There are two elementary schools that offer foreign language to their students both are magnet schools, one a Spanish immersion magnet and the other a year round global learning school that teaches Japanese to students (I'm less sure how effective this school's offering is). I believe there maybe a middle school that offers Spanish to the students from the immersion magnet school.

 

However, the majority of elementary and middle school students do not have an opportunity to take a foreign language and in high school I'd be shocked to learn that more than a handful of students in any given school take more than one foreign language. Certainly it is not a norm of any sort.

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I'll be surprised if you find any states/public school districts that require any foreign language for graduation.

 

My son's school requires 1 year of a modern language for graduation. (THey also require 3 years of US history, so they really are more specific and rigid than some districts @@.)

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regentrude - maybe you have posted this somewhere else and I didn't see it....I'm very curious what a typical German middle school/or jr. hi and high school (let's take the one preparing for the Abitur) schedule would be like...I'm curious what subjects they give priority too in addition to FL's...

 

 

Kids have many different subjects, not every subject is taught every single day. When we lived in Germany for a semester and DD was in 6th grade she had weekly:

4 periods each of math, German, English, French

3 periods PE

2 periods of biology, physics (chemistry would be added in 7th grade), history, geography, ethics (or religion)

1 Art, Music, computer

 

32 periods, each 45 minutes. Six periods a day on 3 days, 7 on 2 two days.

 

10th graders in our state have 35 periods. They have Government and chemistry, shorten foreign languages to 3 periods/week, and have 3 periods of specialized electives (extra science, humanities, arts or third foreign language)

 

All three sciences and both foreign languages are continued through 10th grade; in 11th and 12th, students drop one of the sciences and one of the humanities, and select 3 subjects in which they want to focus and take more rigorous classes.

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Hmmm...so TX is trying to make high school more demanding in this way then...any idea how many would request not to do the FL? So are HE's required to do the FL too?

 

Joan

 

My understanding is that a parent has to convince the administration her student is not capable/worthy of a recommended diploma. (I'm thinking learning disability or some such, but I haven't found that posted anywhere.) They are now teaching all students so that they are expected to graduate with the recommended. So there must be some reason a parent would request a student be allowed to reduce the work load.

 

In addition to the link I provided earlier, many school districts in Texas allow 8th graders to take foreign language I and carry the credit with them to high school, so long as they take a full load in HS.

 

ETA: Home schoolers are not required to follow this guideline.

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Our local public school has recently started offering Spanish (their only foreign language choice) in 7th and 8th grade. The nearby public school my nephew attends offers it in 6th grade and up. These are supposedly the normal high school classes, given for high school credit, but my nephew is not a strong student, so I have my doubts. They are telling parents that they will have no problem listing them as high school credits, and it is being used as a way for students to get their two years of foreign language done before high school. From what I know, I think it will blow up in their faces, but you know... :D

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I didn't vote b/c I don't know the actual answer. I know that one of ds's friends attends the local governor's school (this is a poli sci/international studies gov school) and he is required to take 4 yrs of one foreign language and 2 yrs of another for a total combined of 6 yrs (though they do allow American Sign Lang to count as 1 of the 2.)

 

Another family friend started high school credit worthy Spanish in 7th grade, so I do know it is not that unusual for level 3 to be a freshman level class.

 

The state requires 2+2 (2 yrs of 2 languages) or 3 yrs of 1 language for graduation.

 

Hi 8FillTheHeart!

 

Another state with a requirement for FL for graduation!

 

If you ever find out, please vote...

 

From your, Candid's, and others posts - I'm thinking I should start another poll that is more accurately reflecting the situation...something like...

 

From your general knowledge, students in your state/district (?) usually start studying a foreign language in primary?

middle/jr.hi?

or sr. hi?

 

Most students in your state study two languages during their obligatory school years...

 

Would that be a better reflection of the majority of students?

 

It seems so far like it is the exception rather than the average to start in primary school for the average student (though there are a good number of districts that offer if for some students at least)..

 

What does anyone think - would a poll with those questions get answers that reflected reality in America?

 

I have not read what everyone has put, but the poll feels to confining to me so let me give input here.

 

We live in a large district with I think around 60,000 students. There are two elementary schools that offer foreign language to their students both are magnet schools, one a Spanish immersion magnet and the other a year round global learning school that teaches Japanese to students (I'm less sure how effective this school's offering is). I believe there maybe a middle school that offers Spanish to the students from the immersion magnet school.

 

However, the majority of elementary and middle school students do not have an opportunity to take a foreign language and in high school I'd be shocked to learn that more than a handful of students in any given school take more than one foreign language. Certainly it is not a norm of any sort.

 

Thanks!

 

Joan

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My son's school requires 1 year of a modern language for graduation. (THey also require 3 years of US history, so they really are more specific and rigid than some districts @@.)

 

So is that a state requirement too then? it seems that I'm hazy on this - if a district can have different graduation requirements from the state?

 

Kids have many different subjects, not every subject is taught every single day. When we lived in Germany for a semester and DD was in 6th grade she had weekly:

4 periods each of math, German, English, French

3 periods PE

2 periods of biology, physics (chemistry would be added in 7th grade), history, geography, ethics (or religion)

1 Art, Music, computer

 

32 periods, each 45 minutes. Six periods a day on 3 days, 7 on 2 two days.

 

10th graders in our state have 35 periods. They have Government and chemistry, shorten foreign languages to 3 periods/week, and have 3 periods of specialized electives (extra science, humanities, arts or third foreign language)

 

All three sciences and both foreign languages are continued through 10th grade; in 11th and 12th, students drop one of the sciences and one of the humanities, and select 3 subjects in which they want to focus and take more rigorous classes.

 

Ok regentrude - now I'm really curious because the public schools here have about the same load of subjects and number of hours, but they don't finish til average 4pm or 3 pm if they did a one hour lunch break (instead of two) and stayed at school for lunch....But even if you would take off that hour or two for lunch it would get you til 2pm, not 1....

 

So what time of day do Germans start school? And it must be that they are not eating lunch til after 1....but it takes time to get home it seems...so that means they are eating lunch around 1:30 or 2 pm? or how does this work in reality?

 

My understanding is that a parent has to convince the administration her student is not capable/worthy of a recommended diploma. (I'm thinking learning disability or some such, but I haven't found that posted anywhere.) They are now teaching all students so that they are expected to graduate with the recommended. So there must be some reason a parent would request a student be allowed to reduce the work load.

 

In addition to the link I provided earlier, many school districts in Texas allow 8th graders to take foreign language I and carry the credit with them to high school, so long as they take a full load in HS.

 

ETA: Home schoolers are not required to follow this guideline.

 

Thanks for the answers!

 

Our local public school has recently started offering Spanish (their only foreign language choice) in 7th and 8th grade. The nearby public school my nephew attends offers it in 6th grade and up. These are supposedly the normal high school classes, given for high school credit, but my nephew is not a strong student, so I have my doubts. They are telling parents that they will have no problem listing them as high school credits, and it is being used as a way for students to get their two years of foreign language done before high school. From what I know, I think it will blow up in their faces, but you know... :D

 

Wait - so that means that instead of half a credit for 7/8th grade language, they will get one full credit? No wonder things are so complicated to work out even on the WTM board when people discuss about giving credit for languages in middle/jr hi years...

 

Joan

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Are you trying to waive a Swiss state diploma requirement by referencing US requirements? I'm not sure how far you'll get with that.

 

Though you might find that appealing to international school requirements helps.

 

Fwiw I did take two languages in high school. But I think my high school offered 7 periods per day.

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My kids did osu German last year in 7/8 grade. The workload and grade requirements were lessened for them.

 

But I could see how many language classes in middle school might be lighter. And of cpurse it begs the question of how much proficiency you would retain of you couple of years if they had been taken so many years earlier.

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Ok regentrude - now I'm really curious because the public schools here have about the same load of subjects and number of hours, but they don't finish til average 4pm or 3 pm if they did a one hour lunch break (instead of two) and stayed at school for lunch....But even if you would take off that hour or two for lunch it would get you til 2pm, not 1....

So what time of day do Germans start school? And it must be that they are not eating lunch til after 1....but it takes time to get home it seems...so that means they are eating lunch around 1:30 or 2 pm? or how does this work in reality?

 

A typical start time is 7:30am.

After each 45 minute period, students get a 10 minute break; after 2nd period a 15 minute break during which students can eat their snack or go outside; about 30-45 minutes for lunch and outside recess (even in high school, we have outside recess!).

So, a typical daily schedule could be (exact times vary by school, of course - some start at 7:40, or have different lengths of breaks):

7:30-8:15 1st period

8:25-9:10 2nd period

9:25-10:10: 3rd period

10:20- 11:05 4th period

11:15-12:00 5th period

Lunch at school. Warm cooked meal in school cafeteria, or students bring food. Students do not go home for lunch!

12:45- 1:30 6th period

1:40-2:25 7th period

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Wait - so that means that instead of half a credit for 7/8th grade language, they will get one full credit? No wonder things are so complicated to work out even on the WTM board when people discuss about giving credit for languages in middle/jr hi years...

 

 

Yep. It's new, and I can't see how it is going to go well. They apparently don't realzie that there are colleges that simultaneously require foreign language credits AND don't accept credits from before 9th grade. And they don't see that allowing *any* 6th grader to take the class means that it won't really be high school level.

 

But what do I know; I'm just a homeschooler? :lol:

 

The state of Michigan requires 2 years, and for whatever reason the schools seem to want to push them down into middle school. To make room for what, I don't know? More study halls? They certainly don't offer a lot of electives. :confused:

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Wait, so no other options on the schedule means that all the kids are doing PE at that time? for all the years? so that there are no other teachers (teaching other subjects that theoretically a student could take if they had the pre-req's?)?

 

Joan

 

Right. We are not on block scheduling. PE is A day and Science Lab is B day in one period (or vice versa). PE has to be scheduled all four years, unless the student is going to grad in 3 years, in which case he has to double up on PE one year. Science is only req'd for 3 years.

 

FL in middle school results in 1 high school credit here if the student passes the state exam and both 7th and 8th grade FL. A year of high school FL = 2 years of middle school FL. In the past, there was an option for IB students to take FL2/3 in one year, but with the elimination of IB that option is gone.

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My kids did osu German last year in 7/8 grade. The workload and grade requirements were lessened for them.

 

But I could see how many language classes in middle school might be lighter. And of course it begs the question of how much proficiency you would retain of you couple of years if they had been taken so many years earlier.

 

I'm not asking for my personal situation but for expats that come here - where the GE admin is expecting homeschoolers to be taking the maternal level French exams after being here only two years....while they do not have anywhere near such a requirement for int students in the Int School..

 

I think you must have meant 'not' for OSU?

 

I think it could be highly variable for middle/jr hi years (retention and work load capacity) - depending on studying traditions of the school....I know that for ds3 I gave stuff that was actually too easy in those years and couldn't count it as high school level work, so now stretch dd more....

 

It's quite true that it is easy to forget a lot of a language - it seems that the earlier it is studied, the more quickly it is forgotten...so as quickly as young children learn a foreign language is how quickly they will forget it, is what I've heard...but at some point that changes....

 

The second part of my poll was because the admin is wanting HE students here to study German as well as French, which isn't so bad if you are Swiss...but for foreigners?

 

Here is what the admin considers 'core' requirements, with group testing requirements...7th through 9th grades...for HE as for public school...

 

French

Math

German

English

 

Then other subjects are changing but there was an 8th grade requirement for biology exams...it may change to 7th grade...I'm not sure...maybe...other subjects don't have 'statewide' exams...so HE's just have a 'research paper' requirement...

 

So you can see that languages are given great importance even for foreigners just here for a few years if they are home educating...to me if they don't even like German, they probably won't continue back in the US...so it could be a wasted time that potentially derails their program, since 9th grade is part of high school in the US (during which time they are potentially enforcing these requirements - unless the student just starts HE in 9th, then they might let them off the German).

 

Here's a recent article about trilingualism here -well people objecting to that goal... The authorities want the students to at least have a base in the three languages not actually be 'trilingual' but some people say that some students aren't mastering French...obligatory schooling ends by 16 or 9th grade...

 

As in all 'institutional - type' settings, there are a certain number of unmotivated students who aren't really retaining these foreign languages...

 

Joan

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I know, right? Shouldn't this be obvious? I am so glad that I don't have to go through this nonsense with my youngest, homeschooled, daughter.

 

Who, OP, is 13yo and already has High School Spanish years 1, 2, and 3 completed with straight A's. Her classes were taught by prior public school teachers, who now are stay at home moms. She is also starting her 4th year of Mandarin, taught by a native speaker. How is this possible??? Through homeschooling. Not from the public school system.

We've done something similar (Latin and Spanish) with an eye toward DS going to public or private high school next year. Depending on which school he ends up at, he will likely either not have Latin and Spanish available, OR not have enough room in the schedule for both. And virtually no chance of adding a 3rd (Russian).

 

So the plan is... he should be at a point with both Latin and Spanish that he could continue on his own, just reading real books and for Spanish watching TV/ reading the news, perhaps with a tutor "on call" for difficulties. He could do AP Latin if his school offers it, and then switch to Russian.

 

This isn't something we could have managed with any school, public or private, that we've ever had access to. It's one of the main reasons we have homeschooled, along with the fact that DS is not a "natural" language learner. I don't think any school, language oriented or not, would have bothered teaching two languages (early!) to a kid who has to put a lot of effort into even one.

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A typical start time is 7:30am.

After each 45 minute period, students get a 10 minute break; after 2nd period a 15 minute break during which students can eat their snack or go outside; about 30-45 minutes for lunch and outside recess (even in high school, we have outside recess!).

 

Thanks for the schedule regentrude..

 

Yep. It's new, and I can't see how it is going to go well. They apparently don't realize that there are colleges that simultaneously require foreign language credits AND don't accept credits from before 9th grade. And they don't see that allowing *any* 6th grader to take the class means that it won't really be high school level.

 

But what do I know; I'm just a homeschooler? :lol:

 

The state of Michigan requires 2 years, and for whatever reason the schools seem to want to push them down into middle school. To make room for what, I don't know? More study halls? They certainly don't offer a lot of electives. :confused:

 

Another state! I'm also curious/:confused: about the thinking of pushing FL to middle school without continuing into high school...to me that would be the advantage of many years available...to become really fluent...Oh, this reminded me that in my brothers school district (where he teaches) - very affluent - he told me that they offer medical Spanish for kids who already have a high level if they're thinking of going into a medical profession...

 

Right. We are not on block scheduling. PE is A day and Science Lab is B day in one period (or vice versa). PE has to be scheduled all four years, unless the student is going to grad in 3 years, in which case he has to double up on PE one year. Science is only req'd for 3 years.

 

FL in middle school results in 1 high school credit here if the student passes the state exam and both 7th and 8th grade FL. A year of high school FL = 2 years of middle school FL. In the past, there was an option for IB students to take FL2/3 in one year, but with the elimination of IB that option is gone.

 

Are those PE requirements due to poor health stats in the state?

 

And what happened to the IB program??? That's the first time I've heard of one being discontinued...

 

Joan

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This isn't something we could have managed with any school, public or private, that we've ever had access to. It's one of the main reasons we have homeschooled, along with the fact that DS is not a "natural" language learner. I don't think any school, language oriented or not, would have bothered teaching two languages (early!) to a kid who has to put a lot of effort into even one.

 

I'm curious which programs you've used for someone that has to put in a lot of effort - to get him to that level?

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