World languages prepare students for life in our global society. As innovative technology facilitates communication in the world, our students need to be equipped with the skills and tools to face the challenges of a more diversified marketplace. Old Bridge Middle Schools currently offer four modern languages: French, German, Italian, and Mandarin Chinese. Level I Spanish is offered in 8th grade in addition to the other four languages. Grade 6 provides an introductory opportunity for students to be exposed to the cultural and linguistic components of French, German, Italian and Chinese stressing the connection of recognizing and accepting cultural differences. Students in grade 7 continue study of the same elements, developing advanced grammar and vocabulary components, as well as multicultural awareness. Grade 8 presents an opportunity for students to select the first year of formal study of a language/culture with continuing emphasis on an immersion environment in the target language. This model provides the opportunity for advanced studies in all 5 languages and potential advanced placement or level 5 attainment in the high school.
Through recurring thematic-based units, students in grades 6-8 explore, develop and reinforce skills necessary to build proficiency in one or more languages and cultures. Our program, which uses a proficiency based, communicative approach is geared to students who may further their language study for personal or professional enrichment. The New Jersey Student Learning Standards in World Languages guide daily lesson planning while content rich in interdisciplinary units meet individual student needs. Listening, speaking, reading and writing skills are stressed with reading and writing assuming greater importance in the advanced levels.
The Middle School World Language department strives to deliver instruction which emphasizes:
- Extensive foundation for appreciating eastern and western cultures.
- Practice and reinforcement of cultural morés and philosophies.
- Facilitating entrance into the growing diverse cultural marketplace.
- Promoting in-depth exploration of rich traditions and diversity.
- Exposure to developing cultures in immersion settings
- Introducing grammar and vocabulary used in daily routines presented in an immersion setting
- Providing opportunities for students to converse in the target languages
- Utilizing both Pinyin and Hanyu in Mandarin courses
- Introducing and reinforcing vocabulary emphasizing courtesy, respect, politeness and cultural nuances
- Utilizing an immersion environment to create role-play scenarios and experiences to demonstrate awareness of culture
- Providing a venue for appreciation of multi-ethnic backgrounds
- Creating online cultural discovery of target country’s history, economy, food, music, recreation and technology
Old Bridge Middle Schools’ goal is to empower all students to learn, achieve success and become confident, productive members of a pluralistic, global society prepared to face the challenges of the twenty-first century.