The Most Innovative High School Language Programs in the United States

Innovative foreign language program

Many high schools are preparing their students for college language studies with innovative programs. Whether these are trips, exchange programs or even just tougher course work, certain high schools in the United States are challenging and pushing their students to learn a new language and hone their skills. Check out the most innovative programs!

South Bend French Immersion Program

South Bend Public Schools is incorporating a new program where students learn half of their curriculum in English and the other in French. They are calling this the Dual Immersion Program. After beginning the Spanish Immersion Program in their middle school, South Bend decided to offer this to those who want to study French.

If students continue this program from year to year, they are eligible to receive the Indiana Certificate of Multilingual Proficiency upon graduation. The certificate ensures the proficiency of students in multiple languages for universities or employers.

Marquette High School Spanish Exchange Program

Marquette Senior High School offers a first-ever exchange program with students and teachers in Costa Rica. The program brings eighteen Costa Rican students and four teachers to Upper Michigan this winter. In return, Marquette students will visit Costa Rica next summer. Both the Americans and Costa Ricans will be immersed in one another’s culture with encouragement for meaningful conversions between students.

Brunswick High School’s Early Bird Program

For many years, Brunswick High School Spanish teacher Krystal Evans has incorporated more than just Spanish words into her students’ course work. She provides fun activities, confidence building and much more. Evans teaches an Early Bird Program for eighth grade students to begin learning a second language before entering high school. This class includes a similar curriculum to what high school students can expect. By doing so, the eighth graders can get on the AP Spanish track in their high school years.

Since the Spanish program has been so successful, the high school Spanish classes have been approved for a trip to Costa Rica for the summer of 2021 – 2022 school year.

Wilton High School German Honors Society

Wilton High School paired with twenty-three German students when the WanderbUS stopped by in Connecticut. The German students interacted with the Americans during many activities, conversations, and cultural immersions. They did virtual reality simulators on the WanderbUS, along with games, prizes and many other fun activities helping the students to get to know each other.

Norman North German American Partnership Program

Norman North High School participates in a German American Partner Program allowing seventeen German students to spend three weeks in Oklahoma this fall. In return, the American students will visit Germany for three weeks in the coming summer. The program provides homes and automatic companions for their visits. The German students will go to school with the Americans, but also visit the Wichita Mountains, experience a Thunder game and explore Oklahoma City.

Lakota East and West ASL Program

Lakota East and West Public High School started an innovative program with video conferencing, allowing the two high schools to collaborate with each other for video instruction. Deaf people use skyping technology in their culture, so both Lakota public schools felt that it was vital to incorporate this into the curriculum. There are six instructors who are working together to give the students the greatest opportunities for success with learning American Sign Language.

Craig High School JIEP

Craig High School offers a one-year exchange student program bringing thirty-one high school Chinese students to America. They call this program Janesville International Education Program (JIEP). The Janesville school district will also send twelve to sixteen students to China. JIEP allows Chinese students to live with host families and really immerse themselves into the American culture. In return, the American students will do this in China as well.

Niles North High School Welcomes Israeli Students

Fifteen Israeli high school students visited Niles North High School as part of a program to experience American culture and teach American students what Israeli culture is like as well. When they visited, they conducted a STEM class for their American friends to learn about the Israeli attempt to land a spacecraft on the moon.

To Israeli students, technology is an important part of their culture and they felt it was essential for the American students to experience what their education entails, all in Hebrew. After the Israeli students visited America, they offered American students to do the same in the coming summer. This way they could share and fully experience both cultures.

Torrington Students Travel to Sicily for Competition

Seventh, eighth and ninth grade students from Torrington Middle and High School are traveling to Agrigento, Sicily for the Connecticut Academy for the Arts (CAFTA) outreach program. This program is a competition that requires middle and high school Italian language students to write a play in Italian. Among the 877 students from 176 schools in 11 countries, they were one of only two American schools to make it to the finals.

CAFTA prides itself on allowing children to find their creative voice. By expanding their interests in the Italian language, the students were able to experience all there is to the culture of Sicily while challenging their proficiency in the Italian language.

Edwardsville High School Welcomes Fourteen German Students

Edwardsville High School brought in fourteen German students for a multi-day experience around culture. Working with the German American Partnership Program (GAPP), they offer a one-to-one exchange program where one native student is paired with an international student.

This exchange allows students from both cultures to experience one another’s daily activities, cultural norms, education and academic levels, and much more. It is important for both students to experience the culture in collaboration with the language, so they can better understand their partner country.

Contact Our Translation Program

If you’re invested in foreign languages and are looking to earn a degree in translation, be sure to visit our M.A. in Translation program page for details. Feel free to reach out to our staff with any questions. We’ll be happy to help!