Youth foreign language programs: advancing global education, one word at a time
By Kevin Yaley, Head of Francis Parker School
Back in November, I wrote a column about the importance of global education within the development of a contemporary college preparatory curriculum. Naturally, foreign language programs go hand in hand with international studies and travel-based education, bringing students an enhanced awareness of other cultures and increasing their ability to connect with and understand their global peers. It’s no surprise that, as our society grows increasingly interconnected, global fluency will become an essential skill for tomorrow’s leaders. An early introduction to foreign language studies is thus of substantial benefit to today’s students – and for many, it provides a lasting skill set for lifelong learning.
At Francis Parker School, our experienced educators recognize the cognitive, creative and communication advantages of foreign language learning; and our college preparatory foreign language program is designed to foster these skills in our students. Beginning at a young age, Parker students experience practical applications of reading, writing and speaking in a foreign language, and learn how to use their growing skills in settings ranging from school and work to home, travel and leisure. In addition, we ensure proper pacing and advancement to reinforce course information with individual student confidence as they see their own abilities improve. Eventually, Parker students graduate with a working knowledge of at least one – and oftentimes several – contemporary languages; and we have found that these skills not only stay with our graduates, but often grow to serve them throughout the rest of their lives.
Exploring new worlds: language studies at Francis Parker School
From the first day of kindergarten all the way to graduation, Parker students enjoy a curriculum enriched by foreign language learning – beginning with either Spanish or Mandarin for Lower School students and expanding to include French or Latin studies in Middle and Upper School classes. In addition, all Upper School students have access to our Virtual Language Lab, a unique independent study resource that offers guided instruction in 19 different languages – including many of those spoken on our distinctive Global Learning trips.
From Farsi to Hindi, Vietnamese to Arabic, Italian to Turkish and beyond, students at Francis Parker School have the chance to explore new worlds through language – and to prepare themselves for a lifetime of informed global citizenship. To learn more about language, global learning or other facets of our celebrated San Diego private school, visit us online today: www.francisparker.org.
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