Foreign Language Department Members
Dr. Hector Custodio, Department Chair
Ms. Ana DeJesus
Ms. Malvina Tillman
A foreign language is a language not spoken by the indigenous people of a certain place: for instance, English is a foreign language in Japan. Chinese, French, Spanish, etc. are foreign languages spoken in United States. The Foreign Language Department is designed for those students who wish to develop proficiency and integrate their language skills, to seek college degrees, and who plan in the near future to seek a job. William H. Spencer High School hired specialists and certified professionals to teach the concepts and new content, as well as the culture of the foreign languages. By using these factors, the teachers create a connection between the students and the language taught.
Why is learning a foreign language so important?
Today, foreign language skills are vital to our country in many ways, especially in national defense, law enforcement, many businesses and/or corporations, and for economic security around the world. Thus, our goal is to enable all interested students to graduate from high school fluent in at least one language other than English.
As students learn a foreign language (e.g., Chinese, French, Spanish, and/or other foreign language), students will learn the principles of the language as well as improve their language proficiency skills, literacy, enhance listening skills and memory. In addition, they will learn the structure of the language, such as indirect and direct objects, nouns, adjectives, and verb tenses. Much of English vocabulary has Latin origins as well as Spanish; therefore through the study of the foreign language they will gain a better understanding of their native language. Through the completion of college –level AP course, they enter a universe of knowledge that might otherwise remain unexplored in high school.
What does the research show?
Robinson (1920) studies conducted on the relationships involved in learning a second language demonstrated that students who had studied a foreign language perform better on standardized tests, as well as various basic skills tests such as those in English, math, and social studies. In addition, data from College Board (1992) revealed higher scores on the SAT among those students who had the foreign language experience versus those who had no foreign language experience.
Research shows over 400 million Spanish speakers are around the world, making Spanish the fourth most commonly spoken language in United States, Central America, South America, Spain, and other countries. English, Chinese, and Hindustani are the other three. In addition, French is the official language of almost half the countries in Africa, and is spoken on every continent.
In career opportunities, chances for success are multiplied if you are a foreign language speaker. It is estimated that 91% of Fortune 500 and Forbes International 800 companies cannot respond correctly to a foreign language email. Spanish and French are two of the official languages used in the United Nations.
Why study Advance Placement in Foreign language?
In 2005, more than 15,000 schools offered high school students the opportunity to take Advance Placement (AP) courses, and over 1.2 millions students then took the challenge of AP exams. The power of learning came alive in the classrooms and many students earned college credit and placement while still in high school.
The Advance Placement course summarizes the variety of approaches and curricula used in college courses corresponding to the Advance Placement course. This is for students who can demonstrate achievement in the area taught (e.g., French language, Spanish Language, etc.) at a third-year college level. Students will complete an exam, which presumes at least one academic year’s college-level preparation. During the course the students will take formative and summative tests.