As students explore other cultures in World Languages and Cultures class, they are guided in learning about the experiences of people around the world and recognizing similarities and differences with our own culture. Developing sensitivity and respect for all people, even when we don't necessarily agree with all of their beliefs and practices, enables students to show Christ's love to others in concrete ways.
In World Languages and Cultures, students study a variety of prominent world languages. Rather than learning discrete vocabulary words, they learn useful conversational phrases that enable them to greet, thank, and converse politely with people from around the world. Students also study non-verbal means of communication, learning the meanings behind gestures and social cues around the world.
Studying a variety of languages shows students how many global languages are connected through the same root languages, and deepens their understanding of how languages work. Exposure to a variety of languages helps to prepare students to pursue a single language in their next level school. As students progress through the WLC curriculum, they often develop an interest in a particular culture and language, giving them more purposeful direction when it comes time to choose a language for deeper study.
Students' study of each language is complemented by a focus on the culture of a prominent country that speaks that language. Classes explore many aspects of culture — home life, school, entertainment, art, music, dance, food, transportation, clothing — with a focus on elements unique to the particular country being studied. Students gain firsthand experience exploring the art, music, dance, food, and customs in each country, for example, creating Chinese calligraphy with ink and rice paper, or making block prints as we study Indian textiles.
As future leaders in our society, students need to be equipped to interact winsomely with people around the world, both within our borders and abroad. Cultivating respect and appreciation for differences in culture lays the groundwork for positive cross-cultural interactions.