The World Language Department at Hamilton High School offers a wide array of options for its student body. With six levels of Spanish, French, German, and having just begun to offer Mandarin Chinese, the department goes above and beyond the State Standards for the study of world languages. Our program adheres to the National Standards of Foreign Language by incorporating its five goals into the curriculum: Communication, Culture, Connections, Comparisons, and Community. The department implements these goals by focusing on the four essential skills of reading, writing, listening comprehension, and speaking. We work in vertical teams to make certain that all students develop thorough language skills, as well as horizontal teams to ensure that all students are learning the same material during the years their years of study of the target language. Once a quarter, all world language teachers in the district meet to revise common benchmarks and discuss strategies to address and evaluate student needs and performance. Our program is rigorous, and honors level classes begin during the third year of foreign language. Levels three and up are honors/AP classes and stress the four essential skills through literature, art, and history. Through the study of culture in greater detail, students move from proficient to fluent.
Hamilton High School also offers a program for native speakers of Spanish. These students face unique challenges experienced by Spanish speakers with the formal learning of their heritage language.