Foreign language instruction should be part of every child's education. A language is a culture and a perspective on the world. Each language is a precious resource that must be studied, used, and preserved precisely because a language opens the mind to new possibilities.
Because learning a foreign language at the earliest possible age opens up a whole new dimension for children and contributes significantly to the development of their intelligence, NAC has decided to launch the world language program starting from Grade 1. Students will have the opportunity to choose between French, German and Spanish as a second World language starting from Elementary.
Our goal is to have our students graduate from NAC with a second foreign language as fluent and successful as the leaders of today’s world.
Foreign Languages Program Philosophy and Goals at NAC
The essence of human interaction is language and communication. The world that our students will encounter as adults will be vastly different from the one we know today. The rapid development of telecommunications will make the ability to communicate in more than one language a necessity for all future employees. Therefore it is important to prepare our students for this multilingual environment by ensuring that they are able to function using the foreign language. During the learning process, they will derive the benefits of developing insight into their own language and culture as they learn to communicate with others. With the focus on performance in the language, students in NAC will exit our school system equipped with the skills, knowledge, and proficiency necessary to use the language in job, career and higher education opportunities
The Foreign Language Program of Studies identifies essential content, progression, and skills for each level of language learning in NAC. This Program of Studies has been designed to reflect not only the latest research in language learning but also the best practices of foreign language instruction that enhance language development, aligned with the European Common Frame and the Virginia Standards of Learning for Foreign Languages.
The primary goals of the Foreign Language program in NAC are to ensure that students:
Communicate in languages other than English
Gain knowledge and understanding of other cultures
Connect with other disciplines and acquire information
Develop insight into the nature of language and culture
Participate in multicultural communities at home and around the world
These goals include a comprehensive focus for instruction that takes language learners beyond the traditional confines of the classroom. In the Foreign Language curriculum, students will not only learn to communicate with native speakers of the language, but they will do so with the cultural knowledge necessary to interact in an appropriate way.
Research studies have indicated that the early study of a second language results in cognitive benefits, gains in academic achievement, and increases in self-esteem, creativity, and positive attitudes toward diversity.