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World Languages
Francesca McAuliffe, Assistant Principal
Office: Room 502
Telephone: 212-312-4800 ext. 5021

The objective of the World Language Department is to ensure that students achieve near-native fluency in one of six target languages offered while experiencing and appreciating their respective cultures. In order to reach these goals, the department provides early training in speaking, writing, listening, and readings skills. Conscious of the demands of the 21st Century, we consider worldview concepts such as diversity, globalization, language and cultural appreciation in our approach to teaching.
In accordance to National Standards, the World Languages Department incorporates the three modes of communication: interpersonal, interpretive and presentational. We regularly integrate reading, writing, speaking and listening tasks which align to the World-Readiness Standards for learning languages while developing critical skills in the target language at all levels.
Our students are required to take a three-year sequence in the same language to gain a solid foundation. We encourage scholars to go on to a fourth year of study in order to develop competencies beyond The New York State requirements, to ensure mastery and to meet College Board standards. We currently offer Advanced Placement classes in Chinese, French, Latin, Japanese, and Spanish.
Faculty members of the World Language Department bring authentic cultural experiences as well as a strong command of the target language to their classes. Some of our cultural activities include an annual international food festival, an annual international film festival, field trips, honor societies, and various clubs. Students also have the opportunity to study abroad enhancing their experiences with language immersion and culture. Students who complete the AP course are also encouraged to pursue the NYS Seal of Biliteracy.
Our program aims to broaden student horizons, to empower them with better communication skills, and to develop open and inquisitive minds. Our mission is to abide by the College Board’s belief that “all students deserve an opportunity to participate in rigorous and academically challenging courses.” It is also our goal to eliminate barriers that restrict access to AP courses, by utilizing teaching strategies and logistical testing formats, at all levels, that will enable students to do well in such classes. We are working on building and applying the concept of “vertical teams,” so that when a student begins an AP course he or she will be familiar with most, preferably all, grammatical structures and verb tenses. In theory, the AP Language course should be a review course in which students achieve mastery in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening.
As an energetic, invested, and experienced department, we have the highest expectations, both for our students and for ourselves as world language educators.