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World Language

Costa Rica 2023

Our world has become smaller due to expanded communications and increased global travel and business opportunities. As a society, we need to realize that knowledge of a second language and an understanding of other cultures are vital in today’s world. Students need to be prepared to become active citizens of the global community. Learning languages provides a valuable business and educational tool, practical advantages and the lifelong value of understanding a second language and its cultures. Students may have the opportunity to travel abroad.

Since students who learn a world language are college-bound, we believe in equipping them with the language skills necessary to succeed in intermediate or upper-level college courses or to fulfill their world language requirement by passing a proficiency test. Therefore, we recommend that a student take two to three years, preferably four years, of a language.

Department Learner Outcomes

Students will:

  • Communicate in the four modalities (listening, reading, speaking, and writing) in the target language at the correct level of difficulty for their level of study.
  • Understand and appreciate the cultures of the target language.
  • Reach better understanding of their own language and culture through comparison.
  • Be exposed to the culture and people of the target language through travel, field trips, and speakers. 

Why study a second language?

Students who have good reading and spelling skills in English are strongly advised to begin a world language sequence as a ninth grader. Language students must receive a passing grade at each level in order to continue the language course the following trimester. Students earning “F” grades will be required to repeat the course for an audit before moving on to the next level. Students earning “D” grades will work with their language teachers and guidance counselor on a contract for enrollment in subsequent courses.

Ninth graders with previous language experience must pass a proficiency test and an oral interview to be placed in a higher level course.

Transfer, heritage, and immersion students are required to meet with a World Languages Department teacher before registering for their language class, and take a placement test.

Students who are successful in their study of a second language are encouraged to begin the study of a third language.
Students are required to buy their workbooks (approximately $35).

Real Life Experiences in World Cultures

Travel experience to French, German, and Spanish-speaking countries is offered during spring and summer breaks, depending on student interest and program availability. Students in Level II or above and who show enthusiasm for language study may apply. 

The World Language Certificates & Seals description can be found in Special Academic Programs.

World Language course map

World Language Courses



AHA's Program of Studies is a comprehensive course catalog with a description of the school's requirements for graduation and for student honors. 

Please reference the catalog below as it is the official document of AHA. 

Caroline Grabow - Department Chair

Katy Eiden

Erin El Amatoury
German and French

James Amstutz

Marine Tretout