School district reviews World Language offerings

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Tuesday, October 13, 2015 10:50pm
  • News

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is nearly finished revising its World Languages curriculum to align with national and state standards.

High school students will still have six options available to them inside the classroom and through distance learning programs, for skills that are becoming more relevant in the workplace and college admissions.

“Our school counselors do let high school students know that most often two years of the same world language is a requirement for admissions to a four-year college,” said Assistant Superintendent of Instruction John O’Brien. “However, it is not a high school graduation requirement.”

There are no plans to establish any language learning requirements, he said.

According to Board of Education policy, an assessment is required every seven years. The World Languages Committee met for the first time in April, beginning this round.

Languages are electives, and 4.5 elective credits needed to graduate, said Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator Melissa Linton. Spanish, French, Russian, and Sugt’sun, also known as the Chugach dialiect of Alutiiq, offered at Nanwalek School in Nanwalek, are offered at various sites based on student interest and the availability of qualified staff. In addition, the Distance Learning Program offers Italian, French, and Spanish, she said.

The next step is materials review, Linton said. The final draft will be submitted to the board for approval at an upcoming regularly scheduled meeting, where the public can weigh in on any part of the curriculum.

Linton said the school district follows standards set by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and the Alaska Department of Early Education and Development. She said national language specifications match up with the Partnership for 21st Century Learning.

The partnership, a national coalition of organizations, establishes educational frameworks to explain how in-the-classroom lessons relate to real-world scenarios.

Knowing another language makes graduating students more employable, and improves vocabulary and communication skills, Linton said. The school district includes Alaska’s ELA, Writing, Speaking, and Listening Standards as part of the curriculum, which establishes the comprehension of three modes of communication — interpersonal, interpretive and presentational, she said.

“The expectations for what students will learn will be the same for each language,” Linton said. “For example, Level 1 Spanish, French, and Russian will have similar learning targets, but of course with the nuances of each particular language.”

The board will have to approve the final revisions to the curriculum.

Reach Kelly Sullivan at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Alaska State Troopers logo.
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alaska reports record weekly and daily highs

The state reported a record single-day total of 353 cases on Saturday.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough building in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion file photo)
Borough now accepting applications for housing relief program

The program will provide up to $1,200 per month, for four months, to eligible households.

A masked pumpkin entered into the City of Kenai’s pumpkin decorating is seen here during the Fall Pumpkin Festival in Kenai, Alaska on Oct. 10, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Masks get their day

Peninsula offers spooky, socially distanced Halloween events

Graphic showing the location of the Salamatof Boat Launch.
Salamatof Boat Launch to close to public Monday

Improvements to the launch include evening out the gravel road, providing a space close to the river

Chelsea Berg, a nurse at Peninsula Community Health Services, administers a flu shot during a free drive-thru flu shot event at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska, on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Drive-thru flu shots draw nearly 300

“We want people to be as healthy as possible and not get two diseases at one time.”

James Baisden, who is running to represent Alaska’s 30th District in the State House of Representatives, is seen here in Kenai, Alaska on Oct. 14, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Election 2020: House District 30 candidate James Baisden

Baisden discusses PFD, COVID and running as a petition candidate.

This graphic shows the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District risk levels associated with different numbers of new COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy Kenai Peninsula Borough School District)
Eastern peninsula schools will continue remote learning through Oct. 28

Eastern peninsula schools include Moose Pass School, Seward Elementary, Seward Middle School and Seward High School.

Linda Galloway, of Kenai, fills out her absentee ballot at Kenai City Hall on Wednesday. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Questions on casting your ballot?

There are 12 days left until th Nov. 3 general election.

Most Read