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HS World Language

YHS WL Department

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.

If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.

‒Nelson Mandela


Believing that language and communication are at the heart of the human experience, the York World Language department provides the tools that students need to maximize their communicative and cultural capacity. By responding to the learning needs of all students, we ensure that students can reach their highest level of linguistic potential.

All world language courses at York focus on developing proficiency within the three modes of communication. The three modes are described by The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages as follows:

Presentational Mode- The Presentational Mode refers to the creation of oral and written messages in a manner that facilitates interpretation by members of the other culture where no direct opportunity for the active negotiation of meaning between members of the two cultures exists. Students present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics.

Interpretive Mode- The Interpretive Mode focuses on the appropriate cultural interpretation of meanings that occur in written and spoken form where there is no recourse to the active negotiation of meaning with the writer or the speaker. Students are assessed both in on their reading and listening skills. Students interact with texts of various types. A text can be any kind of spoken, written or visual material, as well as films and music.

Interpersonal Mode- The Interpersonal Mode is characterized by the active negotiation of meaning among individuals. Participants observe and monitor one another to see how their meanings and intentions are being communicated. Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions.