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World Languages


To prepare our students for a more connected and interdependent world, DCPS offers world language programming from early childhood through advanced high school courses. World language courses aim to foster five core standards:

  1. Communities: students will positively contribute to multicultural communities at home and around the world;
  2. Communication: students will have the ability in read, write, speak, and listen in their target language(s);
  3. Comparisons: students will draw comparisons and contrast different perspectives and lifestyles;
  4. Cultures: students will gain an appreciation for a variety of cultures;
  5. Connections: students will make connections across content areas using World Language skills.

DCPS world language instruction is aligned with the national ACTFL World Readiness Standards, which seek to link culture and communication through language learning. Students’ language proficiency is measured in grade 8, and in Level 2 courses using the national STAMP (Standards-Based Measure of Proficiency) and ALIRA (ACTFL Latin Interpretive Reading Assessment) exams. For a list of languages by school, please visit the DCPS Profiles page.

Student Experience

Students’ world language experience aims to prepare them to become global citizens who effectively communicate and collaborate with diverse audiences. In each grade and across the district, students will have the opportunity to read, write, speak and listen in new languages.

  • Elementary school: Students receive a minimum of 45 minutes of world language instruction per week.
  • Middle school: Students can choose to receive world language instruction throughout their middle grade years, and have an opportunity to receive high school credit as part of their coursework.
  • High school: All students graduate high school with a minimum of 2 credits in a world language. To fulfill that requirement, students must complete two consecutive years in the same world language.

Program Highlights

  • Schools offer at least one of seven world languages, including American Sign Language, Arabic, French, Italian, Latin, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish.
  • DCPS has partnered with ACTFL (American Council on The Teaching of Foreign Language) to provide students with a world-class curriculum that includes all modes of language learning: interpersonal, interpretive and presentational.
  • DCPS offers study abroad experiences which enhance the student’s target language experience.

Contact Information

Jesse Nickelson, Director, Global Education
Allyson Williams, Manager, World Languages
Kate Burkett, Specialist, World Languages