Williamsville Central School District

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Program Philosophy

World Languages in Williamsville

The Williamsville School District’s World Languages Program is built on the philosophy of three major New York State documents. They include the Learning Standards for World Languages, Modern Languages for Communication Syllabus, and The Learning Centered Curriculum and Assessment. We aim to provide students with learner-centered classrooms that emphasize a communicative approach.

We believe that the purpose of our World Languages Program is to:

  • cultivate an awareness and understanding of other languages and cultures in order to broaden an individual’s world and to promote personal growth.
  • give students language skills so that they are able to communicate in an interdependent world.
The study of languages other than English, by its very nature, touches all curricular areas. When applicable, our second language teachers work with teachers in other subject areas to plan lessons and activities. With the use of technology and computer skills in our language classrooms, our students have passports to the world. Through our extra curricular projects and activities, students explore and enhance their understanding of different languages and cultures. Students have the opportunity to participate in  field trips, language clubs, exhibitions, and local and state competitions. Students are encouraged to experience the food, customs and traditions of different ethnic groups represented in our community. In this way, they can appreciate the lifestyles and accomplishments of others.

Why Do We Emphasize World Languages Study?

Williamsville is a microcosm of a multicultural world. A multilinguistic society is our reality and strength. Based on the Williamsville Strategic Plan, all students will:

  • choose to act upon their unique potential to contribute.
  • continually collaborate to create and implement solutions to the challenges of a participatory democracy.
  • demonstrate, to experts, distinguished performances in an area of their unique talents and interests.
  • throughout their school experience, strengthen their natural passions for inquiry.
Study of a World Language...

  • enhances language ability in English and sets the framework for learning additional languages.
  • satisfies entrance and/or exit requirements for college-bound students.
  • increases job opportunities and improves career prospects in a global economy.
  • vastly expands the ability for world-wide communication through technology and telecommunications.
  • encourages acceptance of others through understanding, which fosters world harmony.
  • broadens knowledge of other cultures through their art, music, literature and customs.
  • provides "survival skills" for, and increases enjoyment of, travel.
Did You Know ... ?

  • It takes approximately 5-7 years of uninterrupted language study to develop functional competency in a language other than English.
  • Students learn language at different rates and in different ways. Language acquisition is not steady and linear, but filled with thresholds and plateaus.
  • An integrated approach to language learning (reading, writing, listening, speaking, culture study) is most effective.
  • Learning a language and culture is enhanced by providing a variety of experiences and settings.
(Source: ASCD Curriculum Handbook 1993 Report on Foreign Languages and A New Compact for Learning, Board of Regents)