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World Languages

In an increasingly interdependent world, knowledge of world languages and cultures is a vital part of the preparation for a student’s role in the world community.

Mission Statement | Program Goals | World Language at Shaker Middle School | World Language at Shaker High School | Study Abroad Opportunities


The mission of the North Colonie World Languages Department is to develop linguistic and intercultural skills that improve students’ ability to function in the global and international community throughout the world.

The North Colonie World Languages Department offers five years of study in four modern languages, French, German, Russian, and Spanish. The program also offers three levels of study in Latin.

North Colonie’s World Languages Department joins the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages’ (ACTFL) mission to promote Global Competence by enabling students to: 

  1. Communicate in the language of the people with whom one is interacting.
  2. Interact with awareness, sensitivity, empathy, and knowledge of the perspectives of others.
  3. Withhold judgment, examining one’s own perspectives as similar to or different from the perspectives of people with whom one is interacting.
  4. Be alert to cultural differences in situations outside of one’s culture, including noticing cues indicating miscommunication or causing an inappropriate action or response in a situation.
  5. Act respectfully according to what is appropriate in the culture and the situation where everyone is not of the same culture or language background, including gestures, expressions, and behaviors.
  6. Increase knowledge about the products, practices, and perspectives of other cultures.

Program Goals

Through teaching French, German, Russian, Spanish, and Latin with an emphasis on communicative proficiency, the 6-12 program will enable students to: 

  • communicate in a world language for multiple purposes in a variety of modes and within a wide range of cultural contexts. 
  • demonstrate knowledge of world cultures, develop an appreciation of cultural diversity, and expand awareness of their own language and culture. 
  • use language by connecting with other disciplines, assessing information through authentic sources, and by interacting in the global society. 

World Language at Shaker Middle School

Our world language program starts with exploratory in 6th grade where students have the opportunity to learn two different languages over the course of one year. Students then select the language of their choice to study for two full years in grades 7 and 8. During this time students learn to discuss various topics with peers and how to interact in a culturally authentic environment. 

The focus of the program is on developing interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational skills through speaking, listening, reading, and writing in the target language. At the end of grade 8, students take the Checkpoint A proficiency exam. Successfully completing this course and passing the exam are requirements for graduation in NYS.

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World Language at Shaker High School

At the high school, students can continue their world language study in French, German, Russian, or Spanish and also enroll in Latin. After the completion of a level 3 modern language course or a level 2 Latin course, students take the Checkpoint B examination to earn their Advanced Regents Diploma.

The North Colonie World Languages Department offers two years of post-Regents language study in French, German, Russian, and Spanish and one year of post-Regents study in Latin through the University in the High School Program. Students in levels 4 and 5 have an opportunity to earn up to 10 college credits in modern languages and students in Latin 3 have an opportunity to receive 4 college credits in Latin. In addition, students of French and Spanish can enroll in the AP French and AP Spanish courses. Additionally, North Colonie offers students the Seal of Biliteracy during Level 5 of each of the four modern languages.

NYS Requirements

In order to achieve a Regents diploma, students must successfully complete a level 1 course and pass the exam for Checkpoint A Proficiency by the end of 8th grade or they must pass a high school World Language course.

For an Advanced Regents diploma, students need to have a three-year sequence. Students can to this by taking a minimum of three years of high school World Language courses and passing the exam for Checkpoint B Proficiency in that language.  

Learn more about NYS Graduation Requirements.
Learn more about the New NYS Learning Standards for World Languages (2021).

NYS State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB)

Students enrolled in a level 5 or AP language class are eligible to earn the Seal of Biliteracy.

In recognition of the importance of bilingualism, many states, including New York, are awarding a seal of biliteracy in formal recognition of students who have studied and attained a high proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation. The intent of a seal of biliteracy is to: 

  • encourage the study of languages 
  • identify high school graduates with language and biliteracy skills for employers 
  • provide universities with additional information about applicants seeking admission 
  • prepare students with twenty-first century skills 
  • recognize the value of foreign and native language instruction in schools 
  • and affirm the value of diversity in a multilingual society

The New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB) was established to recognize high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages, in addition to English.

Study Abroad Opportunities

All high school languages offer trips or exchanges to students who are interested in practicing their language skills in another country.

NY State Seal of Biliteracy


Dr. Trini Hernandez
District Supervisor of Bilingual Education & World Languages

91 Fiddlers Lane
Latham, NY 12110
Phone: (518) 785-8591