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Standards for Foreign Language Learning, Archdiocese of Denver
The Standards suggests that these goals will not be achieved overnight, but that there must be continuous improvement over the years. It identifies five C’s of foreign language education: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities. Communication is the goal of an educated person. It is essential for the success of commerce and peace. Communication in a second language supports the understanding of another culture and connections with the peoples of that culture as well as an understanding of their values and their traditions.
“Language study is best begun in kindergarten and continued without interruption through grade 12 and beyond. Research confirms that children easily and naturally acquire language at an early age.” (Introduction, Colorado Model Content Standards for Foreign Language.)
This Curriculum Guideline is titled World Languages rather than Foreign Language in an effort to focus attention on the value of all languages rather than to work from an ethno-centric position. The goal of this Curriculum Guideline is to expose students from their earliest school experience to a second language in an effort to deepen the understanding of, respect for, and appreciation of others. Meeting this goal will be challenging and school communities will need to be creative with resources of time, personnel, and supporting materials. These guidelines are written with the ideal situation in mind, and the understanding that it will take some time to realize that ideal. A minimum commitment should be made by every Archdiocese of Denver Catholic School to incorporate World Languages into the K-8 curriculum at levels that increase each year. Understanding that hiring certified foreign language teachers will stretch budgets, the resources recommended in the Appendix include some options to support teachers who do not speak the target language as they implement the World Languages Curriculum Guidelines. As a result, these teachers may also begin to learn a second language along with their students. The study of a second language enriches the individual and enhances the Catholic school mission of educating the whole child. It strengthens in students the opportunity for understanding others, active world citizenship, and spreading the Good News.