The study of foreign language is an essential component in the education of students coming of age in the 21st Century. The reality of the growing interdependence of peoples and cultures mandates that education prepares students to participate fully and responsibly in the local, national, and world communities.
In order for students to acquire both linguistic skills and cultural empathy, language learning should occur in a non-threatening and student-centered environment. The instructional strategies at the core of the world language curriculum should involve students in creative and authentic use of the language. Cultural comparisons should emphasize the similarities that unite the world community and note the differences that enrich the blend. When language activities are implemented in a sequential and articulated program over an extended period of time, students will be better able to communicate with linguistic, social, and cultural experience.
Features of Pittsburgh Public Schools World Languages
- Languages offered: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish (Languages vary by school.)
- High School: levels 1 through 5 PSP; levels 1 through 4 CAS; levels 5 & 6 AP (Language levels vary by school.)
- Middle grades programs grades 6-8
- Elementary language programs in "language emphasis" schools and other select schools
- Instructional focus is speaking proficiency
- Cultural practices and perspectives integrated into instruction
- PPS ORALS speaking proficiency assessment (grades 5, 8, level 3 high school, grade 12; IBMYP 8, 10; IBDP 12)
- PPS Multimode assessment - listening and reading (all grade 8, levels 1 and 2 high school; some IBMYP 9 and 10 classes)