About World Languages
World Language study encompasses the skills of listening, speaking, writing, and reading in the chosen language within the context of the various cultures, their characteristics and contributions. Department courses encompass the skills of listening, speaking, writing, and reading in the chosen language within the context of the various cultures, their characteristics and contributions.
Eight languages are offered at ETHS: American Sign Language, Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Latin, and Spanish. Incoming students may elect to begin a new language or continue the study of a language begun prior to ETHS. Students may also switch to a new language at the beginning of each school year, if they want a different experience.
Students whose first language is not English may take English as a Second Language (ESL) and benefit from other classes and services for English Language Learner (ELLs).
A number of enrichment activities are available relating to languages, including language clubs, travel exchange programs, and conversation tables.
Most World Language classes are mixed-level classes, with regular and honors levels offered in the same class. The focus in World Language instruction is the development of meaningful communication skills as well as increasing cultural awareness and understanding. In spoken languages, classes are conducted in the target language and students are expected to use the language in class. Effective communication in the language studied is an explicit goal of the World Languages program. Although English will be used at times in the first and second year of spoken languages and American Sign Language, beyond this, classes are taught using the second language for communication.
Students may choose any of the eight languages offered and may enter the sequence at any point based on placement exams and department chair recommendation. Several course levels are available for incoming students. Freshmen who studied a world language in middle school are tested to assess their achievement. Based on the results, recommendations from middle school teachers, and ETHS department recommendations, freshmen may be placed in a second-year course, if they choose to continue studying the same language.
Most World Language classes combine regular and honors levels in the same class, and students are able to transition to or from the honors level within the same class. To advance to the next course in the sequence, a student needs to pass both semesters and have a second semester grade of C or better. If a student earns an NC in either semester, he/she needs department chair approval to advance to the next course in the sequence.
- Listening - Students will develop listening skills in order to understand and interpret oral communication in the target language. For ASL, this applies to receptive skills. (This standard does not necessarily apply to Latin.)
- Speaking - Students will speak effectively in the target language for a variety of purposes and audiences. For ASL, this applies to signing. (This standard does not apply to Latin.)
- Reading - Students will develop reading skills to understand and interpret written passages in the target language.
- Writing - Students will write effectively in the target language for a variety of purposes and audiences.
- History - Students will understand history of areas where the target language is/was spoken.
- Geography - Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of geography.
- Customs - Students will develop an understanding of and appreciation for the customs of the peoples who speak the target language.
- Arts - Students will exhibit an understanding of the arts. Literature/Media. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of literature and the media.
- Connections - Students will reinforce and expand their knowledge of other disciplines through the target language.
- Career Benefits - Students will explore the career benefits derived from acquiring a foreign language.
All World Languages classes have common semester exams. Oral assessments are a required part of all language classes, except Latin. Oral assessments measure students’ speaking skills in the language on familiar material that is essential to become proficient in the language. Often, the assessments are given in the language laboratory.
A minimum of 13 elective credits are needed for graduation. Any course that does not meet a specific graduation requirement is considered an elective. Elective courses may be chosen from any department.
Visit the graduation requirements page for complete details.