Foreign Language

Guiding Principles

Spanish is taught to all students in the elementary schools in kindergarten through grade five once per six-day cycle.  In grade six students have the opportunity to continue with Spanish or choose French, but he/she must continue with the language selected through grade eight. In grade nine students again have the opportunity to elect one or more of the four foreign language courses offered at the high school: Chinese, French, Latin, and Spanish. Hingham High School has a two- year foreign language graduation requirement in the same language. The foreign language program adheres to the principles as defined in the Massachusetts Foreign Languages Curriculum Framework that “sets the expectation that all students will become proficient in at least one language in addition to English by the time they graduate from high school. It is recommended that students begin their language studies in the elementary grades and continue to study one or more languages throughout middle and high school.” There is a minimum requirement of two years of foreign language study for entrance into Massachusetts state colleges, and most competitive liberal arts colleges and universities are looking for three or more years of study in the same foreign language. Therefore, we advise students to elect the same foreign language for the longest possible sequence that their ability allows. For the serious language student, the department recommends the election of a second foreign language.

All courses in the foreign language department address all HHS Expectations for Student Learning.

Goals and Objectives

In addition to attaining proficiency in at least one language other than English, the goal of the Foreign Language program is that all students become life-long learners. They should be equipped linguistically and culturally to function as citizens in a pluralistic society and in the global community in which they now live. All modern foreign language courses are conducted in the target language. The students develop the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing along with an appreciation and understanding of a culture different from their own. In Latin the goal is for students to be able to read, understand, and interpret passages written by ancient authors, as well as recognize and reproduce spoken Latin excerpts. To support the language program there are active foreign language clubs, cultural trips, native speakers, and excursions. At the high school the Virtuoso Major Language lab is an integral component of the program. At the middle school the new Virtuoso Minor language lab is a significant addition to the program. Foreign language DVDs, CDs, newspapers, magazines, music, food etc. are integrated into daily activities.

Page 25 in the Program Studies


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