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World Languages

Statement of Philosophy

Language and communication are at the heart of the human experience. Today’s learners must be linguistically and culturally equipped to communicate successfully in a diverse American society and abroad. We envision a future in which ALL students will develop and maintain proficiency in English and at least one other language.

World Languages staff 2023-2024

Palo Alto currently offers instruction in the following languages: French, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and American Sign Language. (German is offered at Gunn High School.)

The Instructional Leader (IL) is Carla Guerard.

The World Language Department Administrator Liaison is Erik Olah.

The Paly World Language department offers five languages: American Sign Language, French, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. At all levels of instruction students are immersed in the target language and culture. Emphasis is placed on oral and written communication using performance-based assessments. Classes are offered in sequential order in order to build the proper foundation for oral and written proficiency.

Students who successfully begin their language in middle school move directly into level 2. Students coming from outside of PAUSD or who are native or heritage speakers or have been in after-school programs should use the course catalog to determine which level would be the best fit when meeting with their School Counselor to complete their course selection.