World Languages Department
Our WL classes emphasize language learning in a way that will serve our students outside of the class.
Our MissionThe World Languages Department strives to educate and motivate students to become global citizens in an increasingly complex and changing world through learning languages and cultures other than their own.
Our department is comprised of outstanding language educators! Our 80+ teachers fulfill a wide variety of roles across the district, both at the school level and at the county level as well. WL educators are dedicated to providing relevant and high-quality instruction with an emphasis on use of ninety percent or more target language, real-world application, communication, and cross-curricular learning. High schools and most middle schools throughout the district offer classes in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek (Classical), Latin, Russian, and Spanish.We are fortunate to have dedicated WL teachers who volunteer willingly to share their expertise and professional experiences by serving on district-wide (local) EOC committees, leading high-quality professional learning opportunities, participating in language tables outside of school, and much more!We are also fortunate to experience an increase in WL offerings in our middle schools. Bearden Middle School added German to its Spanish and French classes. The following middle schools offer at least one WL class Bearden, Cedar Bluff, Farragut, Gresham, Holston, Karns, Northwest, South Doyle, Vine and West Valley Middle.
The Importance of Language in a Global Society
What distinguishes human beings and yet links us together regardless of where and in what circumstances we live? What allows us to interact with one another on the most basic level and offers us insight into other cultures? The answer is one simple word that defines a complex system of communication: language. Most estimates are that there are approximately 7,000 spoken languages currently in existence in the world, although experts state that a language dies every 14 days (visit National Geographic’s Enduring Voices Project)!
Data from the most recent Census suggest that one of every 5 people in the U.S. speaks a language other than English at home. In addition to the cultural and linguistic diversity in this country, we are more integrated into the global community than ever before. With just a few mouse clicks or keystrokes, students can use social networks to communicate instantaneously with a native Spanish speaker in Buenos Aires or an inhabitant of Beijing who speaks Cantonese.Cultural awareness and linguistic skills are vital in order to take advantage of expanded opportunities and to be productive, responsible world citizens. Another reason to study a second or third language is that research shows that students who do so have increased academic achievement, higher test scores, and enhanced cognitive skills (consult ACTFL or CAL for a list of related studies). Throughout the district our WL teachers seek to prepare students to live in such a multilingual and multicultural world.