With proficiency in multiple languages becoming increasingly important, some districts are considering expanding middle school foreign language offerings.
In Williamson County, Tennessee, the school board is considering such a move, in order to increase language proficiency. The board is considering whether schools should begin foreign language classes in seventh grade instead of eighth grade. Currently students can take a foreign language beginning in eighth grade, but the choice is restricted to honors students. Teacher availability is also a consideration.
Principals are divided about the new proposals. All support increased proficiency, but are concerned about the costs of hiring more teachers and the limits on other classes that increasing the offerings in seventh grade might make necessary.
Other options being considered include making Spanish I a requirement over seventh and eighth grade, or just for the eighth grade. Sixth grade parents support registering their child for a foreign language class in the seventh grade.