Learning a second language is invaluable. Opening our minds to another culture, another way of looking at the world, and other people gives us perspective on life in this world and a desire to learn even more. People who speak a second (or even a third) language prepare themselves to travel the world, enjoy learning about new cultures, music, and foods, and increase their brain power. Come jump into the world of languages with us.
Which Language Course?
Have you had experience with this language before? Are you wondering which course you should enroll in? The information below will help guide you in making that decision.
Self-Paced: The language courses are self-paced so students can go at their own pace. This means that it is possible for them to do more than one course in a semester. A motivated student could easily do TWO courses in ONE semester if they are dedicated and work consistently throughout the semester. If a student really is dedicated, it is also possible to do more than two courses in one semester as there is no limit on how quickly they can move through the courses. A lot also depends on the rest of their workload from other courses or responsibilities so that needs to be taken into consideration in planning to do more than one course in a semester.
High School Credit: In order for a student to get credit for taking a foreign language and have it on their high school transcript, it needs to be during high school. If they took Spanish 1 in middle school, they may want to repeat that course when they are in high school in order to have it show up on their transcript. The self-paced nature of these courses makes this a lot more doable when students retake them.
“Testing Out” to Increase Pace: All students taking language courses are required to do all the assignments. It is possible to skip some parts though if they have prior knowledge. The bulk, 75%, of the language course is done with Rosetta Stone lessons. The other 25% comes from student presentations, notebook checks, and introductory assignments. The Rosetta Stone portion of each course includes four units and each unit has four core lessons and one milestone. There are also other activities and lessons in between these core lessons and milestones. Students who have prior knowledge are welcome to skip these other lessons and activities and do just the core lessons and milestones. This allows them to move through the units quicker and at the same time checks to make sure that they understand the material.
3rd+ Year Language: In some states like Utah, a 3rd or higher year of a foreign language credit can count as the 4th credit of language arts requirement. This means that students can take Spanish 3a and 3b instead of Language Arts 12a and 12b or another language arts course their senior year.
See this doc for course options to fill graduation requirement.
Two Years of a Language: Some colleges and universities and also some scholarships require that a student has two years of a foreign language on their high school transcript. This means that it has to be two CONSECUTIVE years of the SAME language. If they only have Spanish 2 (2a and 2b), it will only count as 1 year even though they competed Spanish 1 (1a and 1b) in middle school and it is evident of that because they passed the 2nd year course. If they don’t have Spanish 1a and 1b on their transcript and only have 2a and 2b, then they may have to then go on to do 3a and 3b to fulfill that two year requirement. (If this is a concern, please check with the admissions counselor at the college/university the student is planning to go to and ask them for their requirements and recommendations.)
Higher Levels: Some languages are only offered through Rosetta Stone for 3 semesters and others for 5 semesters. This is dependent on how many levels of that language is offered by Rosetta Stone. Students are still able to take higher level courses for these languages but they are done differently; they are independent study courses and do not use Rosetta Stone. They require more work independently on the student’s part and with the mentor. Check with your school counselor to make sure this is an option for your school’s program.
There are either 3 or 5 levels of study available in each language, as noted below. Each level takes approximately 20-70 hours to complete depending on an individual student’s aptitude for languages, the difficulty of the language selected, etc. Each level is worth 0.5 credits. For 3-level languages, a student can earn up to 1.5 credits total in Rosetta Stone. For 5-level languages, a student can earn up to 2.5 credits total. Please note that many colleges require two credits of a second language, and Williamsburg can only offer 1.5 credits of the languages for which only three levels are available, as explained below. If you plan to seek admission to a college that requires two years of a second language, you should select a language with 5 levels available, or study more than one language.
Languages with 5 levels available (2.5 credits total):
- Chinese (Mandarin)
- English (US)
- Spanish (Latin America)
- Spanish (Spain)
Languages with 3 levels available (1.5 credits total):
- Filipino (Tagalog)
- Persian (Farsi)
- Portuguese (Brazil)
The Course Framework table (below) shows how Rosetta Stone “Levels” translate to Williamsburg classes, using French as an example:
|Rosetta Stone Levels||Williamsburg Courses|
|French Level 1||French 1A|
|French Level 2||French 1B|
|French Level 3||French 2A|
|French Level 4||French 2B|
|French Level 5||French 3A|
Texts and Materials Students Must PurchaseStudents do not need to purchase any materials for this course. A Rosetta Stone login will be created through Williamsburg for each student at the start of the semester.
- Recommended Grade: 9th (Freshman), 10th (Sophomore), 11th (Junior), 12th (Senior)
- Prerequisites: None
- Versions & Estimated Weekly Hours: 5*
- Format: Self-paced
- Credits: 0.5
*We recommend students spend one hour per weekday on Second Language.