Glastonbury Public Schools Foreign Language

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Glastonbury's Foreign Language Program

1. Which students should study a foreign language in Glastonbury?

All students.

2. What are the characteristics of a successful language learner?

The most important characteristic of a successful language learner is that the student possesses a desire to learn the language, embraces all aspects of that language, and is willing to take risks.

3. Do students have to take a foreign language?

While taking a foreign language at Glastonbury High School is not a graduation requirement itself, it does allow students the opportunity to fulfill standards 5, 10, 11 and 22 toward graduation requirements. Ninety-five percent of all students do take at least one foreign language at GHS. Foreign Language is required grades 1-8.

4. Should students take a language? Why? What are the college entrance requirements?

Yes, students should take a language in order to increase cultural awareness and improve their ability to communicate with more people in a global society. Most colleges require a minimum of two years of high school study of the same foreign language, and three years are strongly recommended. Generally, colleges will only accept foreign language credit earned in grades 9-12 to meet college/university entrance requirements. We urge you to consult with guidance counselors and to refer to admissions offices for college entrance requirements. In addition, we would like to emphasize that although some colleges do not require a foreign language for entrance, many require the study of language for graduation. Some colleges waive the graduation requirements if incoming students can demonstrate, through departmental or standardized tests, that they have achieved college level proficiency in foreign language. Please consult college catalogs for requirements.

5. Which students should study Russian, Mandarin or Greek?

Students who have a strong desire to learn these particular languages.

6. Can a student take two foreign languages at Gideon Welles School? Smith Middle School? At Glastonbury High School?

Yes, at all three schools. We love to see students take advantage of the language opportunities our schools have to offer.

7. Which language is easier?

In Glastonbury Public Schools, the study of a Romance Language such as Spanish in grades 1-12 or French in grades 6-12 helps students build a strong foundation for language learning. A second or third foreign language comes more easily as a result of studying the first foreign language. Language layering optimizes a student’s potential for performance in other scholastic areas.

8. Is it better to take two years of one language and then switch to another?

This would depend on the student and his/her situation in the language. One may want to keep in mind college requirements; most colleges like to see two or more consecutive years of study of the same language.

9. What can I do as a parent to help my child be a successful language learner?

  • Communicate with your child
  • Inquire about his or her language class
  • Encourage any new language or culture related interests
  • Contact your child’s language teacher and frequent the teacher’s web page, if any questions or concerns arise
  • Ask your child to teach you some of the language too
  • Participate in the summer language camps that are offered

10. How can I obtain more information about the program?

Contact Rita A. Oleksak, Director of Foreign Languages/ELL, at oleksakr@glastonburyus.org. or (860) 652-7954.