Academics > Curriculum > High School Foreign Language



The North Andover High School Foreign Language Department believes that all students can learn a foreign language. We believe that language is a skill with a natural progression that can be accelerated or slowed due to many influences. Our goal is to make foreign language acquisition at NAHS a positive experience that builds useful communication skills, encourages perseverance and discipline, and creates young adults with an ability to appreciate and understand that each culture has its own world-view.

The 1999 Massachusetts Foreign Language Curriculum Framework defines its core concept as follows: “When we embark on the study of a language not our own, we are initiating a learning adventure which, over and above the invaluable acquisition of another language, can confer upon us multiple educational benefits, capable of exerting a profound influence on our perceptions of the world around us and of permanently enriching and enlarging our appreciation and understanding of ourselves and of others. Language learning is never just about words. Language is the medium in which human beings think and by which they express what they have thought. The study of language – any language – is therefore the study of everything that pertains to human nature, as humans
understand it.”

Standards for foreign language learning

Both the national and state foreign language standards consist of five (5) strands. The standards in each strand are taken from the National Standards for Foreign Language Education.

Communication - communicate in languages other than English

  • Standard 1.1: Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions
  • Standard 1.2: Students understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics
  • Standard 1.3: Students present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics

Cultures – gain knowledge and understanding of other cultures

  • Standard 2.1: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the culture studied
  • Standard 2.2: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the products and perspectives of the culture studied

Connections – connect with disciplines and acquire information

  • Standard 3.1: Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through the foreign language
  • Standard 3.2: Students acquire information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through the foreign language and its cultures

Comparisons – develop insight into the nature of language and culture

  • Standard 4.1: Students demonstrate understanding of the nature of language through comparisons of the language studied and their own
  • Standard 4.2: Students demonstrate understanding of the concept of cultures through comparisons of the cultures studied and their own

Communities – participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world

  • Standard 5.1: Students use the language both within and beyond the school setting
  • Standard 5.2: Students show evidence of becoming life-long learners by using the language for personal enjoyment and enrichment