World Language



The World Language Program in Madison believes that all students have the potential to communicate effectively in another language, and to develop cultural understanding of that language and compare it to their own. The program will help each student attain his/her personal best proficiency level in at at least one other language besides their first language (modern or classical).

Through the study of another language and the communities that share a language, our students are encouraged to recognize that we live in a global society where an awareness of difference in attitudes and perspectives is a necessity for the success of humankind. We will educate students to be linguistically and culturally equipped to communicate successfully both home and abroad.


To teach World Language effectively, language educators and their students use the target language as exclusively as possible (90% plus at all levels). Teachers provide comprehensible input in the language that is directed toward communicative goals, make meaning clear through body language, gestures, and visual support, and check for understanding regularly. K-8 teachers provide compelling, comprehensible, and personalized input in the target language. TPRS™ (Teaching Proficiency Through Reading and Storytelling) is one of the strategies that provides comprehensible input to support students as they acquire the language. Teachers also use strategies that encourage success and development in the five essential areas of world language learning: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities.


The Madison district standards are based on the ACTFL World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages that define the central role of World Languages in the learning career of every student. The five goal areas of the Standards establish an inextricable link between communication and culture, which is applied in making connections and comparisons and in using this competence to be part of local and global communities (ACTFL 2016).


Communicate effectively in more than one language in order to function in a variety of situations and for multiple purposes.

Interpersonal Communication: Learners interact and negotiate meaning in spoken, signed, or written conversations to share information, reactions, feelings and opinions.

Interpretive Communication: Learners understand, interpret, and analyze what is heard, read, or viewed on a variety of topics.

Presentational communication: Learners present information, concepts, and ideas to inform, explain, persuade, and narrate on a variety of topics using appropriate media and adapting to various audiences of listeners, readers, or viewers.


Interact with cultural competence and understanding

Practices to Perspectives: Learners use the language to investigate, explain, and reflect on the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the cultures studied.

Products to Perspectives: Learners use the language to investigate, explain, and reflect on the relationship between the products and perspectives of the cultures studied.


Connect with other disciplines and acquire information and diverse perspectives in order to use the language to function in academic and career-related situations.

Making Connections: Learners build, reinforce, and expand their knowledge of other disciplines while using the language to develop critical thinking and to solve problems creatively.

Acquiring Information & Diverse Perspectives: Learners access and evaluate information and diverse perspectives that are available through the language and its cultures.


Develop insight into the nature of language and culture in order to interact with cultural competence.

Language Comparisons: Learners use the language to investigate, explain, and reflect on the nature of language through comparisons of the language studied and their own.

Cultural Comparisons: Learners use the language to investigate, explain, and reflect on the concept of culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their own.


Communicate and interact with cultural competence in order to participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world

School and Global Communities: Learners use the language both within and beyond the classroom to interact and collaborate in their community and the globalized world.

Lifelong Learning: Learners set goals and reflect on their progress in using languages for enjoyment, enrichment, and advancement.

21st Century Capacities

World Language Overview

Guiding Documents