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World Languages FAQ's
- What language(s) should I study?
- How many years of a world language are required?
- How do I know what level of language is most appropriate to begin language studies at TJ?
- Should I study a new language if I'm already proficient in a language as a native or heritage speaker?
- What steps can I take to assure success in my foreign language class at TJ?
Language choice should take into account personal interests, background, and career choices.
The minimum graduation requirement is three years of a single language, but all students are encouraged to take at least four years to remain competitive and achieve fluency. Two years of two different languages does not meet the world language requirement for TJHSST. More than 65% of students at TJ go on to complete four or more years of study with many taking advanced placement exams in language or literature.
These exams may give the students college credit or advanced standing when attending college. According to Dr. John Casteen, former Director of Admissions and present President of UVA, “competitive colleges like to see four or five years of a world language on a student's transcript when deciding on admission offers."
If you have excelled in your level 1 foreign language class in Middle School, you would probably be most comfortable entering TJ at level 2. Level 2 classes offer an extensive review during the first quarter. Please talk to the language teachers available to you on Registration Night if you have any concerns regarding placement. Students who have completed level 2 in Middle School or come from an immersion program should consult with teachers and counselors before making their selection.
Should I study a new language if I'm already proficient in a language as a native or heritage speaker?
We believe that it is in a student’s best interest to study a new language, to have the valuable experience of studying a “foreign language”. It is of course possible to continue learning the native language by taking an upper-level course, participating in language-related organizations, engaging in community service opportunities or traveling abroad.
- Go to the TJ web site for self-assessments or practice suggestions. Use these tools to help you prepare for the fall semester.
- Practice using the language as frequently as possible. Listening comprehension and speaking skills are especially important for incoming freshmen.
- Use Internet and other media sources to help you practice. It is not important that you understand everything you hear but rather that you are exposed to the language.
- Review Level 1 vocabulary and grammar.
If you have further questions, send them to Peggy Gendive: email@example.com