Foreign Language Curriculum
Any philosophy statement concerning the teaching and study of foreign language in a Christian school needs to begin with an understanding of language and culture from God’s point of view. First and foremost, we must recognize God as the Creator of all human language. God created Adam and Eve with the ability to speak and understand a language, and in Genesis, Chapter 11, God introduced new and multiple languages. Secondly, it is evident from Scripture that through all of history, both written and spoken language has been one of the primary means through which God has revealed himself to the world.
Considering these two facts leads us to conclude that language is a gift from God to man, intended to be used for his glory. It is God’s design to use men as his agents to demonstrate God’s love to people of all cultures (Deut. 10:19), and to be his witnesses and spread the gospel of his grace to the world.
Therefore, the goal of our foreign language curriculum is to develop and further the growth of:
* Wise students who, through the study of foreign language and culture, benefit from a broader revelation of God's image reflected in man. English speaking Americans are tempted to view God strictly through the eyes of American culture and the constraints of the English language. But Jesus did not speak English nor live in America. Our goal is to help our students identify the fingerprints of God on every culture, and to brighten the picture of God in our students' minds with the illumination that each culture can add.
* Passionate students who experience the love of God through foreign language and cultures, and understand that Jesus is the Savior for all cultures, not just their own. (Rev. 5:9).
* Articulate students who are able to effectively communicate and ultimately share the gospel in a foreign language. (Matt 28:19) We are to imitate Jesus, our great example. Through the incarnation he entered a foreign culture in order to bring the knowledge of his gospel to lost men. Our goal is to ignite in our students the desire to help, befriend, and share the gospel with people from other cultures. (John 1:1,14)
* Fruitful students who steward the gift of language and appreciate the privilege of learning a foreign language. Foreign language study begins with the rudiments of vocabulary and grammar and leads to a deeper understanding of Latin-based languages. It also lays a strong foundation for potential future study and may expand opportunities for future employment.
Foreign language students learn most effectively as active participants by asking, imitating and doing. Consequently, instruction should be based around practical situations, such as using the telephone, going shopping, using recipes, asking and giving directions, traveling, using expressions of courtesy, and sharing the gospel. These situations can be created or encountered by role-play in the classroom, native speaking guest speakers, and field trips to community sites that use foreign language, such as a radio station and restaurants. Many students have the experience of foreign missions trips.
The study of foreign language is often the means by which greater respect and appreciation for other cultures is developed. Though all cultures (including our own) are fraught with the sinfulness of man (Romans 3:23), God desires from his heart of gracious love to save men from every nation to bring praise to his name (Rev. 5:9). As Christ’s ambassadors, learning a foreign language is one means by which we can mirror this same kind of love.