The Five C’s of Foreign Language Education
The purposes and uses of foreign languages are as diverse as the students who study them. Some students study another language in hopes of finding a rewarding career in the international marketplace or government service. Others are interested in the intellectual challenge and cognitive benefits that accrue to those who master multiple languages. Still others seek greater understanding of other people and other cultures. Many approach foreign language study, as they do other courses, simply to fulfill a graduation requirement. Regardless of the reason for study, foreign languages have something to offer everyone. It is with this philosophy in mind that the German School identifies five goal areas that encompass all of these reasons: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities – the five C’s of foreign language education.
Communication is at the heart of second language study, whether the communication takes place face-to-face, in writing, or across centuries through the reading of literature. Through the study of other languages, students gain a knowledge and understanding of the cultures that use that language and, in fact, cannot truly master the language until they have also mastered the cultural contexts in which the language occurs. Learning languages provides connections to additional bodies of knowledge that may be unavailable to the monolingual English speaker.
Through comparisons and contrasts with the language being studied, students develop insight into the nature of language and the concept of culture and realize that there are multiple ways of viewing the world. Together, these elements enable the student of languages to participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world in a variety of contexts and in culturally appropriate ways.
“Knowing how, when, and why to say what to whom”
All the linguistic and social knowledge required for effective human-to-human interaction is encompassed in those ten words. Formerly, most teaching in foreign language classrooms concentrated on the how (grammar) to say what (vocabulary). While these components of language are indeed crucial, the current organizing principle for foreign language study is communication, which also highlights the why, the whom, and the when. So, while grammar and vocabulary are essential tools for communication, it is the acquisition of the ability to communicate in meaningful and appropriate ways with users of other languages that is the goal of today’s foreign language classroom.
The German School campus Newport Beach is a 501(c) (3) Non-Profit Organization founded in August 2015. We are governed by a board of directors, consisting of educators, parents with children in the school, and community members. The German School campus is a member of the German Language School Conference (GLSC), AATG (American Association of Teachers of German), ACTFL (American Council of the Teaching of Foreign Languages) and WDA ( Weltverband Deutscher Auslandsschulen).
The German School campus Newport Beach admits students of any color, religion, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded and made available to students of the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of color, and religion, national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies.