Chesapeake Public School students in grades 8-12 may elect to study any one of four foreign languages, French, German, Latin, or Spanish. Various combinations of languages are in different schools depending upon student interest. Six years of each language is made available to students.
A student has the option of taking an Advanced Placement course after the fifth year of study for each respective language. In addition, an Advanced Conversation and Grammar class is offered in French and Spanish.
In order for a student to receive an Advanced Studies Diploma, three years of one language or two years each of two different languages must be taken.
Students in grade 6 have an opportunity to explore the study of French and Spanish through the nine-week Foreign Language Exploratory (FLEX) program. The FLEX program is also currently available as a semester elective in grades 7 and 8.
The summer Foreign Language in the Elementary School (FLES) program has added richly to the study of a foreign language in Chesapeake for over twenty years. The FLES Program employs language teachers at various elementary schools throughout the city. The program is limited to students in the fourth and fifth grades, recommended by their teachers. Students have embraced the program wholeheartedly. The FLES teachers have found the elementary students to be receptive and enthusiastic about learning a language, and parents have applauded their children’s positive responses to an academic subject.
In February of 2007, the Virginia Board of Education adopted revised Standards of Learning for foreign language study. The Foreign Language Standards of Learning identify essential content, processes, and skills for each level of language learning in Virginia’s secondary schools. There are specific standards for French, German, Latin, and Spanish, Levels I-IV, as well as general Modern Foreign Language Standards adoptable for courses in other modern languages. The Standards of Learning set reasonable targets and expectations for what students should know and be able to do by the end of each language course offered for a standard unit of credit.
The Standards of Learning are intended to provide a framework from which school divisions may develop local curricula. The standards do not encompass the entire curriculum for a given course or prescribe how the content should be taught. The concepts and structures for each level are presented in a spiraling fashion that allows them to be re-introduced with increasing complexity at various stages of language development.
Knowledge and skills that students acquire in their language classes will reinforce and expand their learning in other subject areas, enable them to interact effectively with others, and give them increased access to information across the world.