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World Languages

Why learn another language?

Our world is an interwoven variety of cultures throughout a global economy, the internet, ease of travel, and multicultural people living in our Shoreline community.  

It is essential that our students are exposed to other languages and cultures.  Learning a language enhances listening and memory skills and promotes positive attitudes toward people of diverse backgrounds.  In addition, knowing languages enhances opportunities in the academic and career world.

Languages Offered

  • French, Japanese, and Spanish  

    • Years 1 & 2 are offered at our middle schools:  Einstein and Kellogg (7th & 8th grade)
    • Years 1-5 (or Advanced Placement) are offered at our high schools:  Shorecrest and Shorewood

Native speakers

Students who use the language at home, but might not read or write it, can register for year 3 or higher. Levels 1 & 2 teach vocabulary and simple grammar.  These levels cater to non-native speakers and thus lack the practice needed by native speakers. Shoreline also offers high school graduation credits by scoring well on a language test .  If you're not sure which level, some counselors might be able to help, but it is best to reach out to one of our language teachers as they can quickly assess with a brief conversations. 

Learning goals

In Shoreline our goal is to give students the confidence to understand and use the language, starting on the first day of class.  In the lower levels we sometimes use English to explain grammar concepts or historical/cultural information but we do not translate.  Our community is composed of diverse people who have different levels of English proficiency.  We cannot assume that using English will help students learn a different language.  We know that using a language is what helps us learn it.  When our language classes are in the target language, we better care for the learning needs of all students with equity to access of understanding.  

Our courses focus on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) standards as the basis for instruction.

In 2020 the WL team agreed that our goals for year-end learning are:

  • Level 1 Novice Low to Novice Mid
  • Level 2 Novice Mid to Novice High
  • Level 3 Novice High to Intermediate Low
  • Level 4 Intermediate Low to Intermediate Mid
  • Level 5 Intermediate Mid to Pre Advanced

Washington State Office of Public Instruction K-12 WL learning standards 

We are also aligned with the Common Core State Standards.

Middle school students earn a graduation credit for each year successfully completed.  They may "carry" the credits up to the high school.  

Core 24 requires that one year of the two years of language study be taken at the HS.  Please ask your counselor if you're seeking another pathway (other than a world language).  

If you use one of the languages we teach at home, please ask for a placement assessment prior to registering.  Most native and heritage speakers perform well in the 3rd, 4th or AP level.  Even if you don't read or write well, or feel your skills aren't good enough - check first as years 1 and 2 are typically not appropriate for someone who already understands the language.  


In Shoreline we celebrate diversity in the languages our students use.  For world language certification, see the Seal of Biliteracy for more information. 

View the World Language Credit Program video to get inspired