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High School Placement
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World Languages High School Placement Process

World Languages High School Placement Process

World Language learning is a developmental process which takes a long articulated learning sequence to build proficiency in the language.  An individual student’s language acquisition and ability to use the language depends on an ongoing, articulated effort. 

Minneapolis Public Schools offers a variety of language learning programs. Students will progress through the stages of language learning to proficiency at different rates depending on the age, grade, and course level at which they enter these programs. Our placement process is developed to ensure that students have the opportunity for an articulated program of study that addresses their language learning needs in a developmentally appropriate manner. The High School placement process involves many stakeholders; parents, students, middle school teachers, high school teachers, and counselors.

The primary goal of the World Languages Placement Process is to ensure the most appropriate placement to provide a smooth, continuous learning sequence towards proficiency in the target language. Eighth grade language teachers use the established criteria to make recommendations for students to be placed into appropriate level language courses at their high schools.

The recommendation process begins in March. It is advised that students and parents become familiar with the expectations and the process for recommendations so that your son or daughter’s transition into a high school language course goes smoothly. We want to ensure that your son or daughter’s language learning is articulated, and that he or she is placed into the most appropriate level where he or she will be able to continually develop language proficiency without disruptions. In April, your son or daughter will receive a World Languages Teacher Recommendation Form from his or her language teacher. This form will indicate the level for which your son or daughter will be recommended.

Placement Criteria Guidelines:

  • Placement criteria assumes that students have learned the language through a standards-based, communicative approach in a sequential program (I.e., 6th grade, every other day, 7th & 8th grades, every day)
  • Programs that meet only quarterly or for only one semester may not prepare students to advance into Level 2 or Level 3. This means students are more likely to be placed into Level 1.

Level 2 Placement:

  • Typically a student who has studied the same language every day for the minimum of 2 years should meet the placement criteria for Level 2.
  • In some unique cases, a student who has had only one year of the language study might qualify for Level 2 placement depending on the language skills that he or she has acquired through outside of classroom experiences.

Level 3 Placement:

  • A student who has had a solid language learning experience for 2-3 years (class met daily, etc.) might meet the Level 3 criteria.
  • In some cases, a student who has had extra exposure to the language through extra-curricular activities, stay abroad program, or extended language camp might demonstrate language proficiency that meets the criteria for Level 3 or higher placement.

**In addition to World Languages courses, MPS currently offers Spanish instruction through Two Way Immersion, Dual Developmental Language, and Spanish for Spanish Speakers. The Multilingual Department’s goal is to improve the articulation between these programs and ensure that students have access to coursework that meets them at linguistically developmentally appropriate levels.