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Academics

World Language

Overview

The School District of La Crosse offers a highly-acclaimed world languages program that includes a comprehensive curriculum in the languages of Chinese, French, German, and Spanish. The department’s skilled teaching staff have more than 200 years of combined classroom experience as well as a department-wide passion for preparing students for the today’s workforce.

The program boasts an impressive exchange and travel program for both teachers and students that has sent more than 200 individuals to foreign countries to study in recent years. In addition, the department’s commitment to developing our students into global citizens has resulted in a multitude of international travel opportunities for our students to countries including Austria, China, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Spain and Switzerland.

Currently, the entry level of world language instruction begins in Grade 7, with instruction every other day. For this required phase of language exposure, students may select one of three languages: French, German, or Spanish. Although world language study is not required in Grade 8, students may continue to study the language they began in Grade 7. World language classes meet daily in 8th grade. The middle school sequence of instruction is equivalent to one year of high school study. Students who continue their middle school language study in high school have the opportunity to complete a five-year sequence upon graduation. Chinese is offered beginning at the high school level.

7th Grade
World Languages (required)
Unit: .5

Students select a language that they will study on alternate days in seventh grade. (They may continue on a daily basis in eighth grade). Students will learn basic conversational skills while exploring the cultures in which the language is spoken.

 

8th Grade
French (Elective)
Unit: 1.0

German (Elective)
Unit: 1.0

Spanish (Elective)
Unit: 1.0

World Languages 8 is an elective, a continuation of World Language 7. Students continue in the language they began in Grade 7. The outcome for all languages is that students will demonstrate increasing ability to understand and communicate in the language of their choice.

Chinese I

Chinese II

Chinese III

Chinese IV

French I

French II

French III

French IV

French V

German I

German II

German III

German IV

German V

Spanish I

Spanish II

Spanish III

Spanish IV

Spanish V

Contact Information

Cassie Tolvstad

World Language Content Coordinator
Grades K-12
(608) 789-3261

Geri Patschull

Administrative Assistant
(608) 789-6402

Contact Us

If you have any questions or concerns not addressed on our web page, please feel free to contact us using this form.

Global Education Achievement Certificate 

The Global Certificate is something the School District of La Crosse is offering to recognize students who have made the conscious decision to gain a more global perspective on life, through their studies and through other activities with a global focus.  This is recognized via a formal certificate that is noted on a student’s transcript.  The Dept. of Public Instruction, by universities in the UW system, will recognize it and, as the program grows, so will employers who value this perspective.

The Global Certificate is something the School District of La Crosse is offering to recognize students who have made the conscious decision to gain a more global perspective on life, through their studies and through other activities with a global focus.  This is recognized via a formal certificate that is noted on a student’s transcript.  The Dept. of Public Instruction, by universities in the UW system, will recognize it and, as the program grows, so will employers who value this perspective.

To earn the Global Certificate, students must take certain courses in school, complete optional activities in other courses, complete out-of-school activities (chosen from a list provided under the supervision of the Site Director), and complete community service activities.

Although some of the details of the certificate are still under consideration, at this point, we can provide the following information. (8 credits, 4 of which would be in World Language)

  1. Students must complete 4 years of study in the same foreign language, e.g. French 2, French 3, French 4, and French 5.
  2. Students must complete classes of a global nature in other areas. The list we sent to the DPI for approval includes things such as World Humanities, Geography, etc.  Other courses may be added to the application list as they become available.  The requirement is that the student completes 4 credits in these other areas as well.
  3. Students may complete “global options” in many, many other courses, at the discretion of the course instructor, e.g. reading a novel by a Russian author in an English class instead of the novel by Mark Twain that everyone else is reading. These options would go toward fulfilling the cultural literacy requirement.
  4. Students may attend other events in the school or community that are global in nature, e.g. a lecture on the effects of globalization on Central American countries. These options would go toward fulfilling the cultural literacy requirement, and/or the co-curricular requirement.
  5. Students must complete community service hours.

Students wishing to complete the certificate will work with the Global Education Coordinators at Logan (Rhonda McGowan) and Central (John Havlicek) to make sure they are registered for the appropriate coursework, to verify that they are completing the requirements, to become informed of upcoming events, to develop their own projects, and eventually complete the certificate.  The students will also work with instructors in other courses regarding the “Global Options” in those courses. 

Students wishing to include activities of their own choosing should always consult with the building Coordinator prior to participation, to ensure that the activity does qualify for the Global Certificate.  Some courses and activities already completed may be counted retroactively toward the completion of this certificate.

A. The coursework identified in the District of La Crosse. (8 credits)

  • World Humanities
  • World History
  • World Geography I and II
  • Global Partners
  • Global issues
  • Second World Language (I year)
  • 4 credits in World Language
  • P. Euro
  • P. Environmental Science
  • International Business 

B. Cultural Literacy (8 works of international/cultural media)

The student will complete independent reviews and reflections which must include 4 books. These will require prior approval at the District Level. The other 4 pieces could include but are not limited to:

  • Films
  • Music
  • Art
  • Media

C. Co-Curricular and School Sponsored Activities (4 activities)

  • Lectures on international topics or speakers in the community.
  • Travel abroad programs/exchange programs
  • Language or International focused clubs
  • International Programs offered by local Universities
  • Language Immersion camps, programs
  • Organizing and running internationally themed events, fairs
  • Internationally themed competitions

D. Community Service (20 hours global/cross-cultural public service project)

The student will present the project proposal for approval and write a summary report upon completion. May include but is not limited to these areas below.

  • Raising awareness about a Global issue
  • Fundraising for an international nonprofit service agency organization.
  • Projects with returned Peace Corps volunteers
  • Rotary
  • Tutoring, volunteering with a cultural group in the community

Testimonials

Little did I imagine when I walked into Chinese class my sophomore year of high school that only three years later I would be standing inside an airport in Changsha, Hunan, China, saying an emotional goodbye to some of the greatest people I had ever met. But that’s exactly what happened.

Sophie Olson

It is said that while learning another language not only does one gain a valuable skill but also gains access to a new world of ideas and opportunities. At Central High School I was introduced to Chinese language and culture, where every class period felt like reading further into an adventure novel. Every verb studied, sentence constructed and social custom introduced was a turn of the page. The small class sizes, reasonable pace and the teachers being equally dedicated to the language and student’s success was invaluable experience which left me with a deep impression. Besides, the excellent resources and teachers at Central High School, the most valuable thing I gained was an introduction the Chinese language world.

Jeb Sumeracki

By studying foreign languages, I have been granted access to worlds upon worlds of different perspectives and insights on what it means to be in this world, not to mention all of the film, poetry, literature, and music. I have met so many people, heard so many musics, and read so many books from so many corners of the globe that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. Knowing multiple languages –particularly Spanish in my case– has also already proven to earn my jobs and make money that I couldn’t have earned otherwise. The list goes on and on. Simply put, languages have deeply enriched the lens through which I see the world and have left, and continue to leave, profound marks on my mind, psyche, and heart.

Henry Meger

Being able to learn about someone else’s life, whether that person lives a few hours away or on the other side of the planet, is a humbling experience that is vital to grasping an understanding of our planet and humanity as a whole. Studying languages and different cultures has opened up many opportunities for me to grow as a person as well as learn how to be a more influential and educated global citizen.

Kendall Fowler

Taking a foreign language is a great way to meet new friends and become well-versed in other cultures. In high school I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in an exchange program as well as hosting multiple foreign exchange students. My trip to China was one of the most eye-opening and interesting experiences of my life and I would recommend an exchange trip to anyone. Taking a trip outside of the country, immerses you in the language, allows you to experience a new culture first hand, and creates the opportunity to make lifelong friends.

Jordan Dittmer

Video Testimonials