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4/1/2010 10:08:26 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter--Teaching a Foreign Language

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HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter--April 2010
The Quandary of Teaching a Foreign Language: Que Sera Sera
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Chers amis,

Si la pensee de l'enseignement d'une langue etrangere au cours des
annees de lycee vous effraie, vous n'etes pas seul! For a translation,
read on...

Dear Friends,

If the thought of teaching a foreign language during the high school
years scares you, you are not alone! Many parents shake and shudder
at the thought. If it's been quite a number of years since you
conjugated verbs in another language, take a deep breath and relax.
There are many options for providing your teen with the foreign
language skills he may need.

Ist eine fremde Sprache erforderlich? (German for "Is a Foreign
Language Necessary?")

Although many homeschoolers are not required by state homeschool law
to teach a foreign language (check out your state's requirements
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7930 ), there are several reasons
why we encourage you to do so.

Learning a foreign language is advantageous when traveling, living in
an area with many internationals, applying for certain jobs, or
serving in missions or charitable work. In addition, communicating
with others in their native language is a matter of great respect and
puts people at ease. For those students who are college bound, a
minimum of two years of the same foreign language during the high
school years is required by many colleges. And don't forget that
learning a foreign language in many cases improves English grammar.

Hvordan kan jeg lare et fremmedsprak? (Norwegian for "How Do I Teach a
Foreign Language?")

High school foreign language courses should incorporate the components
of reading, speaking, and writing the language, including using proper
grammar. There are many foreign language programs from which to
choose. Some are specifically directed toward the homeschool student
and, as such, are user friendly. Certain curricula are computer-based
while others use textbooks.

Some curricula assume that the parent has a working knowledge of the
foreign language being studied; however, other programs advertise that
no prior knowledge is needed. Foreign language programs often include
pronunciation tapes, DVD instruction, online courses and other
materials to facilitate learning.

Some additional options for providing a foreign language course to
your teen include taking the course at a community college or in a
co-op setting; or finding a private tutor, homeschool parent, or
homeschool graduate to teach your teen. Even a former teacher or a
retiree may be enlisted to teach your teen a foreign language. If you
live in a community which is home to internationals, you might offer
one of them the opportunity to improve his or her English skills in
exchange for tutoring your child in his or her native tongue. There
are any numbers of possibilities.

Que lenguaje se estudia? (Spanish for "What Language Do We Study?")

As a homeschooler, you have great flexibility to choose a language
that will be most beneficial to your teen. Factors for choosing a
foreign language can include your teen's future education and career
plans, personal interest, and the availability of study materials.
From Arabic to Russian to the more familiar Spanish and French, the
choice of language may be something you would like your teen to
decide. HSLDA does not recommend one program over another, but we
provide a sampling of the many curricula available to give you a
starting point from which to investigate:

Foreign language:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7931

Greek:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7932

Latin:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7933

Some colleges specify that in order to fulfill their admission
requirements for high school foreign language courses, the language
must be currently spoken or a modern language. Other schools do accept
Latin, for example, even though it is not a modern language. If you
are thinking about teaching Latin as a foreign language, we recommend
that you check how the college your teen is considering will view the
Latin course.

American Sign Language is now accepted by some colleges as fulfilling
high school foreign language requirements. If your teen completes a
sign language course and you desire to award academic credit for the
course, be sure that: 1) the number of hours devoted to the course
rises to that of any other academic course, and 2) the materials used
are either high school or college level. See these links for more
info:

Center for Applied Linguistics:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7934

National Information Center on Deafness:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7935

Come faccio a valutare un corso di lingua straniera? (Italian for "How
Do I Evaluate a Foreign Language Course?")

A foreign language course is considered a core academic course
(similar to English, math, science, and history). As such, it is
important to determine a method of evaluation for your teen's
coursework in order to award him or her a final grade at the
completion of the course. If the curriculum being used includes
quizzes, tests, and daily assignments, most of the work will be done
for you (publishers usually also include answer keys). For example,
you can simply assign a percentage value to each of the aforementioned
categories--such as quizzes (25%), tests (65%) and daily assignments
(10%). (Feel free to come up with your own evaluation categories and
percentages.) On the other hand, if you choose to use a curriculum
that does not include prepared tests or quizzes; you will need to
develop your own evaluation resources in order to award a grade.

In addition to a letter grade, you'll need to determine how much
credit to give the foreign language course. Usually a one-year course
(such as Spanish 1) will be given one credit. Pre-packaged curriculum
typically indicates the level of the course (Spanish 1, Spanish 2,
Spanish 3, etc.); however, other material may not clearly delineate
between the various levels. If this is the case with the curriculum or
materials you are using, then it's best to contact the publisher of
the material and ask what level of high school foreign language the
materials cover, how long the material should take to complete, and
how many high school credits to award at the end of the course.
Publishers know the content of their materials, how the materials
relate to typical high school work, and what needs to be accomplished
before a credit is awarded. When noting the credit on your teen's
transcript, it is important to include the level of the course
(Spanish 1, French 2, etc.) in the course title.

Git Along Little Doggies (Cowboy talk for moving on...)

Now that the foreign language ogre is off your back, join us next
month as we discuss various ways that your teen can earn college
credit while still in high school using AP tests, CLEP tests, and dual
enrollment courses taken online or through a local community college.

Enjoying the coming of spring after a hard winter on the East Coast,

Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Coordinators

High School Symposium

Last chance to join Becky and Diane at the HSLDA High School Symposium
on April 9! Registration closes tomorrow, April 2, so take a minute
now to let us know you plan to come.
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7969


Quote of the month:

"Relying on God has to begin all over again everyday as if nothing yet
has been done."
C. S. Lewis

Becky and Diane's Speaking Engagements

Home Educators Organized for Ministry & Encouragement, Greenville, NC
(Becky)
April 23-24, 2010
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7936

Christian Family Schools of San Diego, CA (Diane)
May 7-8, 2010
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7937

Christian Home Education Fellowship of Alabama, Gallant, AL (Becky)
May 14-15, 2010
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7938

Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators, Des Moines, IA (Diane)
June 18-19, 2010
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7939

Valley Home Educators - Modesto, CA (Becky)
July 30-31, 2010
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7940

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-> Remember the last time you wrote a term paper?

Research can be grueling-digging through archives, wading through
articles, conducting interviews. But if it's related to
homeschooling, you can relax a little. There's a good chance that
you'll find what you're looking for in HSLDA's bimonthly
Home School Court Report. Providing in-depth, insightful articles
on much of what affects the world of homeschoolers, the
Court Report is a must-read for the serious homeschooler. This
publication is provided free to each HSLDA member.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1933

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