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World Language

image of flags of different countries on a flag post in a classroom.

Coordinator of World Language

Dr. Vilma Bibeau


Andrews World Language Staff

The World Language Program at the Medford Public Schools provides students with the necessary tools to become global citizens and learners committed to understanding and appreciating their own culture as well as the culture of others. The program strives to empower students by broadening their perspectives, applying their language and presentational skills to real-life situations and nurturing empathy for others. Furthermore, the program is committed to inspiring all students to find joy in language learning and applying their knowledge to other disciplines. As a result, students will develop the skills to be successful in today’s job market and feel fully competent and well-adjusted in today’s diverse world.

Massachusetts World Language Framework Structure

The Massachusetts Curriculum Framework provides a structure, standards, and practices intended to guide the selection, development, and evaluation of world languages curriculum and programming that builds students’ linguistic and cultural proficiency. It primarily does this through the Standards for World Language Practices, specifically the development of world language proficiency to:

  • Understand, interpret, and analyze what is heard, read, or viewed.
  • Interact and negotiate meaning in spontaneous signed, spoken, or written conversations.
  • Present information, concepts, and ideas,
  • Interact appropriately with others in and from another culture.
  • Gain cultural competence and understanding.
  • Develop insight into the nature of language and culture.
  • Connect with other disciplines and acquire information and diverse perspectives.
  • Engage and responsibly collaborate with a variety of multilingual communities.
  • Develop and employ social and emotional skills,
  • Serve and lead in the community.

Guiding Principles

Guiding Principals 1

Effective world language programs invite, include, support, and benefit all students.  World language education is for all students, regardless of age, linguistic background, or ability. 

Guiding Principals 2

Effective world language programs lift up all students and empower them to act with cultural competence and critical consciousness.

Guiding Principals 3

Effective world language programs produce high levels of linguistic and cultural proficiency in one or more world languages in their students.

Guiding Principals 4

Effective world language programs are communicative and support meaningful, authentic, and affirming interactions in the target language. 

Guiding Principals 5

Effective world language programs measure linguistic proficiency. 

Guiding Principals 6

Effective world language programs foster risk-taking and mistake-making toward growth in linguistic and cultural proficiency.  

Guiding Principals 7

Effective world language programs deliver meaningful, relevant, and cross-disciplinary content to motivate students to acquire the language and build proficiency.

Guiding Principals 8

Effective world language programs differentiate instruction and content, so that they are accessible, rigorous, and appropriate for all students. 

Guiding Principals 9

Effective world language programs connect students to their peers in the classroom, their community, and speakers/signers of the target language throughout the world.

Guiding Principals 10

Effective world language programs promote social and emotional growth.

Acquisition and Progression of Skills

The 2021 Standards for World Language Practice describe the processes and skills students acquire as speakers/signers of world languages throughout the elementary, middle, and high school years to proficiently navigate a linguistically and culturally diverse world. Five of these practices - communications, cultures, comparisons, connections, and communities - appear explicitly in the content standards. The two final practices - social-emotional well-being and social justice - are implicit and woven through all the standards.

These practices are based on the standards presented in the 2015 World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages, the 2017 CASEL Social and Emotional Learning Competencies, and research into the interconnectedness of language acquisition and social justice. The domains listed below are grouped by the role they fulfill in allowing students to demonstrate proficiency in the language.

Domain 1

The communication practices - speaks to how students communicate in languages other than English.

Domain 2

The linguistic cultures practices describe what students must know about various cultures to effectively communicate.

Domain 3

The connections, communities, social emotional, and social justice practices - expresses why students communicate in languages other than English. The practices, by necessity, appear simultaneously as students acquire language. The practices from the individual domains do not develop in isolation from one another. Students should develop them concurrently, and not focus upon one to the exclusion of the others

Curriculum Overview

Spanish I CP and Italian I CP

This introductory course is designed to cover the development of the fundamental skills necessary to build a strong foundation for further world language learning. The focus will be on the four skills in world language learning: listening, reading, speaking, and writing with an emphasis on oral skills. Students are also introduced to the culture of the country/countries where the language is spoken. It is intended for students who have no previous background in the language, or for those who need a thorough review before proceeding to the next level of the language.

Students will engage in the following:

  • Use and recognize vocabulary on such topics as family, friends, likes and dislikes, school, leisure activities, clothes, health, geography, weather, seasons, and food. 
  • Use the present tense of regular verbs and some irregular ones. 
  • Address concepts of noun/ adjective agreement; masculine, feminine, singular and plural; some pronouns; interrogative words and contractions. 
  • Participate in short dialogues, and understand others when familiar details are given in clear, uncomplicated speech. 
  • Compose brief writing assignments. 
  • Read simple materials for meaning.
  • Identify common daily routines, greetings, holidays and products of the target1 culture. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the geography of the target1 countries. 
  • Compare their own and the target1 language / culture.