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World Languages Department!
Dr. Alyson F. Lerma, Supervisor
912 South Gay Street, #1203A
Knoxville, TN 37902
Phone: 865.594.1727       Fax: 865.594.3659


MISSION STATEMENT:
The World Languages Department strives to educate and motivate students to become global citizens in an increasingly complex and changing world through the study of languages and cultures other than their own.
What distinguishes human beings and yet links us together regardless of where and in what circumstances we live? What allows us to interact with one another on the most basic level and offers us insight into other cultures? The answer is one simple word that defines a complex system of communication: language. Most estimates are that there are approximately 7,000 spoken languages currently in existence in the world, although experts state that a language dies every 14 days (visit National Geographic’s Enduring Voices Project)!
           
Data from the most recent Census suggest that one of every 5 people in the U.S. speaks a language other than English at home. In addition to the cultural and linguistic diversity in this country, we are more integrated into the global community than ever before. With just a few mouse clicks or keystrokes, students can use social networks to communicate instantaneously with a native Spanish speaker in Buenos Aires or an inhabitant of Beijing who speaks Cantonese.

As a result of these interactions, cultural awareness and linguistic skills are vital in order to take advantage of these opportunities and be productive, responsible world citizens. Another reason to study a second or third language is that research shows that students who do so have increased academic achievement, higher test scores, and enhanced cognitive skills (consult ACTFL or CAL for a list of related studies).


 
Throughout the district, our WL teachers seek to prepare students to live in such a multilingual and multicultural world. WL educators are dedicated to providing relevant and high-quality instruction with an emphasis on real-world application and cross-curricular learning. High schools and some middle schools throughout the district offer a variety of language classes including Chinese, French, German, Greek (Classical), Latin, Russian, and Spanish.

The curricula for all languages taught in KCS are aligned with state standards and objectives, all of which are centered on the five components of the National Foreign Language Standards (for more information, visit www.actfl.org). 

Students attending Tennessee high schools must earn two credits in the same World Language in order to meet graduation requirements (see the TN Diploma Project). 

OUR WL EDUCATORS BELIEVE THAT:

~ Exposure to world languages strengthens & broadens
    students’ academic performance across subjects.

~ The ability to communicate across cultures is imperative.

~ This ability to communicate in a variety of languages
    increases job & leadership opportunities.

~ All students should be exposed to a variety of cultures and
    languages.

~ Learning other languages fosters higher-order thinking skills.

Announcements and News
Julz Chavez to visit KCS schools to discuss her great uncle, Cesar's, legacy and struggle for equal rights
Julz Chavez, great-niece of Cesar Chavez, will be visiting Central, HVA, and Farragut High on Friday, April 4. She will be speaking with students about Cesar's role in the struggle for equal rights for all. She will also discuss part of her documentary about Cesar, which will focus on telegrams that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sent to Chavez about the potential for combining their efforts; these recently discovered telegrams will be central to her film.  This series of discussions is sponsored by HoLa (Hora Latina) and the WL and ELL Departments in KCS. It is part of the city's year-long series of events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.

Visit 
http://www.cityofknoxville.org/Press_Releases/Content/2014/0320b.asp for more information.
Contacts
+ Administrative Assistant, Hickson, Lisa
+ Dr. Alyson F. Lerma, Supervisor
Click on name to see details.

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