Following the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for World Languages, Princeton Charter School teaches a modern foreign language to every student in grades K-8. Students who begin study of a second language in elementary school and continue its study for a number of years have a much better chance of achieving full proficiency. The French curriculum at Princeton Charter is articulated and supported by thematically organized French methods. Spanish is offered starting in third grade. World language instruction begins in kindergarten and expands to a full period daily in first grade, continuing through eighth grade.Classes meet each day (grades 1-8) to maximize exposure to the sounds of the new language and to provide as much immersion experience as possible.
In grades K-4 students are immersed in the study of foreign language through games, songs and dramatizations. Teachers use visual aids, stressing oral expression and listening comprehension. Cultural elements and basic vocabulary are introduced through stories, comics and civilization materials. Students are encouraged to develop interpretive, interpersonal and communicative skills through a variety of class activities, conversations, role plays and presentations.
In grades 5-8 short stories, poetry, and other authentic materials are used to focus class discussion and build reading comprehension, while studying written expression.
Milestones of achievement range from mastering a small set of phrases and vocabulary words in 1st grade, through genuine literary expression in 8th.
Throughout the program, classroom learning is supplemented by audio tapes, films, and computer software programs that allow students to build vocabulary, understand sentence structure, and practice the language skills taught. All students participate in the French and Spanish National Contest.