Published in the June 24, 2016 edition
By JESSICA VALERIANI
MELROSE – The new global language program for Melrose public schools was presented to the School Committee on Tuesday, June 14.
Asst. Supt. for Teaching and Learning Margaret Adams and Global Language Department Chair Kim Talbot presented the new program, along with their team of fellow high school and middle school foreign language teachers.
The team had been working on the new program for two years and presented the final report to the committee on Tuesday. “The program was written collaboratively by all members here,” said Adams.
“The group started by the identification of some essential questions,” said Adams. Before making any changes, the curriculum of the foreign language department was reviewed and the team was informed of teachers’ needs and concerns. The team wanted to form an action plan that would focus on the “5 C’s – culture, collaboration, communication, comparison and communities.” While focusing on these five aspects, they also wanted to create a plan that would further develop students reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.
The strengths of the plan include a variety of languages that end in capstone courses, four language exchanges, strong parents support and a focus on enrollment data.
It was noted that a decrease in enrollment occurred among seniors and this was one of the areas where growth was needed. In addition to enrollment decreases, improvements needed to be made on increasing the use of target languages not only in the classroom but also outside. The new program also needed to continue supporting students in advanced level courses.
The goals of the new program were to set targets for what proficient looks like at each grade level, provide engaging opportunities for students to speak their target languages and to increase enrollment beyond the required two years.
In order for the team to achieve their goals, some new materials would be needed. Up to date Italian books were among the needed materials, as well as community connections, access to supersites on the textbooks they use and continuous professional development funds.
The next school committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 28, at 7 p.m.