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Languages Other Than English

Lamar Consolidated ISD offers Languages other than English courses beginning for Spanish and French in grades 7 and 8, while all languages are offered in the 9-12 grade. Currently Spanish, French, American Sign Language (ASL), and Chinese (Mandarin) language instruction is available within Lamar CISD.

Using age-appropriate activities, students develop the ability to perform the tasks of the novice language learner. The novice language learner, when dealing with familiar topics, should:

  • understand short utterances when listening and respond orally with learned material;
  • produce learned words, phrases, and sentences when speaking and writing;
  • detect main ideas in familiar material when listening and reading;
  • make lists, copy accurately, and write from dictation;
  • recognize the importance in communication to know about the culture; and
  • recognize the importance of acquiring accuracy of expression by knowing the components of language, including grammar.

Additionally, students of classical languages use the skills of listening, speaking, and writing to reinforce the skill of reading.

Introduction:

Acquiring another language incorporates communication skills such as listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing, and showing. Students develop these communication skills by using knowledge of the language, including grammar, culture, communication and learning strategies, technology, and content from other subject areas to socialize, to acquire and provide information, to express feelings and opinions, and to get others to adopt a course of action. While knowledge of other cultures, connections to other disciplines, comparisons between languages and cultures, and community interaction all contribute to and enhance the communicative language learning experience, communication skills are the primary focus of language acquisition.

Students of languages other than English gain the knowledge to understand cultural practices (what people do) and products (what people create) and to increase their understanding of other cultures as well as to interact with members of those cultures. Through the learning of languages other than English, students obtain the tools and develop the context needed to connect with other subject areas and to use the language to acquire information and reinforce other areas of study. Students of languages other than English develop an understanding of the nature of language, including grammar, and culture and use this knowledge to compare languages and cultures and to expand insight into their own language and culture. Students enhance their personal and public lives and meet the career demands of the 21st century by using languages other than English to participate in communities in Texas, in other states, and around the world.

Did you know that...

• Texas children need second language fluency in order to be competitive in the 21st century.
• Students of foreign language score statistically higher on standardized tests conducted in English.
• Students who average 4 or more years of foreign language study scored higher on the verbal section of the SAT than those who had studied 4 or more years on any other subject area. (1992 report consistent with College Board profiles of previous years.)
• Students of foreign languages have access to great number of career possibilities and develop a deeper understanding of their own language and other cultures.
• Children who receive second language instruction are more creative and better at solving complex problems.
• Texans fluent in other languages enhance US economic competitiveness abroad, improve global communication, and maintain national, political and security interest.

Did you know that...

Language techniques are different than those of other subjects?
To help insure success, it is important to do the following:
• Study aloud with someone. Talk to the mirror ; record your practice and reading on a tape.
• Take risks in the languages; express yourself as best as you can.
• Try varied language-related activities outside the classroom.
• Study daily. Intensive 20 minutes study periods are vital, even if only used as review or for oral drill.
• Avoid translation to your first language. (Latin is the exception.) 
Visualize or act out what you are saying, hearing, or reading.
• Be an active listener. Class time is the primary contact with the target language. Full attention will help you learn.
• Practice for a test by doing what you have to do on the test. If you will be asked to listen, practice listening. If you will be required to write, practice writing, including spelling and accents.
• Get help if you need it. Talk to your teacher. Form study groups among class members.
• Plan to continue your language study for as long as possible. Proficiency comes with four to six years of study.