For the Love of Language

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Copiague School District’s foreign language department is thriving thanks to classes structures that are allowing students to reach their full potential as language learners. Beginning in seventh grade, students have the option to take Spanish or Italian as a foreign language.

According to Michelle Passeggiata, director of ENL and world languages, students are engaged in real-world learning geared toward college and career readiness. “The goal is for these students to be able to function using these languages in a real setting,” she said. Native language speakers and heritage speakers, those who understand the language but do not necessarily read or write it, are put in the same classroom setting. Together, they hone their reading and writing skills. 

The Advanced Placement Spanish class, for example, uses speaking/interpersonal communication. The class is designed to develop a high level of Spanish vocabulary. Students have debates, and lessons are focused on social themes and world issues. 

In the World Affairs in Foreign Films class, students explore different foreign films and learn about the history of the particular country. They study social issues, languages and holidays and then participate in related cultural activities.