Who are we?
World Languages and Cultures is an office in the Multilingual and Multicultural Education Department. Our mission is to promote bilingualism, biliteracy, and cultural competencies through standards- and proficiency-based teaching and learning of World Languages and Cultures; to help all students, regardless of their home language, meet or exceed the district's graduation and UC/CSU "a-g" admissions requirement in languages other than English. Crucial to this mission are more than 580 teachers of World Languages and Cultures, countless school counselors and site administrators, who serve over 103,000 students every day across the LAUSD. Our secondary schools offer Spanish, French, Korean, Mandarin, American Sign Language, Italian, Japanese, Arabic, Russian, Vietnamese and Latin throughout the district. Most of our schools offer Spanish courses and many offer French courses at various levels. Please refer to the program directory to find schools and the LOTE languages they offer.
World Languages and Culture Coordinator
Dr. Jina Kim, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Michael Berger, Elementary and Middle School Biliteracy Pathways, email@example.com
Ms. Nada Shaath, L.A. Unified and State CDE Seal of Biliteracy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Together, we are World Languages and Cultures. We are LAUSD
- What are World Languages and Cultures?
In LAUSD, World Languages and Cultures include courses and programs that provide students with opportunities to fulfill the graduation and college admissions requirements for languages other than English.
These courses may include secondary school introductory elective courses in a language other than English (e.g., Introduction to Mandarin), as well as sequential, credit-bearing and UC "a-g"-approved courses that lead to the development of linguistic and cultural proficiencies (e.g., Spanish 1AB, Spanish 2AB, Spanish for Spanish Speakers 1AB, AP Spanish Language and Culture, among others).
Currently, the LAUSD is proud to offer these languages in its schools:
• American Sign Language
• Chinese (Mandarin)
- Why World Languages and Cultures?
Our students today live in a more inter-connected world than that of any previous generation.
Knowledge and appreciation of different languages and cultures of the world contribute to increased global competence and are valuable and necessary skills for our students in the 21st Century. Citizens of the United States share and shape the future with citizens of all countries of the world.
The ability to communicate with peers in other languages --in addition to English-- and to engage with others in culturally-appropriate ways increases educational and employment opportunities, strengthens personal relationships, and adds to the enjoyment and appreciation of life. Proficiency in a language other than English can aid significantly in the pursuit of learning by granting access to information that may only be accessible in another language. Furthermore, acquiring another language can provide the learner with a better understanding of English through new perspectives.
As 21st Century Americans and global citizens, our students need to understand, appreciate and respect the linguistic and cultural backgrounds of all people. Currently, both the University of California and the California State University require successful completion of at least two years of secondary-level study of a language other than English as part of their admissions requirement.
In alignment with the district's vision for all our students to graduate "college prepared and career ready", the LAUSD requires a minimum of two years of secondary-level study of a language other than English for all graduates beginning with the Class of 2016. Hence, World Languages and Cultures is an integral part of LAUSD's instructional program.
For additional resources on the value of bilingualism, biliteracy, and multilingual and multicultural education, please see the Advocacy section of our General Resources page.
Once commonly known as "foreign languages", these courses and programs are now referred to by the LAUSD and by an increasing number of learning institutions and professional organizations, including the University of California-- as "world languages" to affirm that, in a community as diverse as ours in Los Angeles, such languages are not necessarily "foreign", but rather "languages of the world", other than English.
This website is dedicated to all LAUSD teachers of World Languages and Cultures, counselors, and school administrators who, through their tireless efforts, make languages and cultures come to life and create "a world of opportunities" for our students day after day, year after year.