World Languages


Teaching languages at an early age helps children improve their higher thinking skills, and learning about other cultures helps children learn responsible citizenship. They develop insight into the nature of language and culture so that they can participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world.

Westside School follows the national standards documented for Foreign Language Learning: Preparing for the 21st Century. Our foreign language curriculum follows the Five C’s of Foreign Language Learning: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities.

Both Mandarin and Spanish are taught in kindergarten through fourth grade. Students learn to understand the culture, to write and understand what they mean, and to speak the language. They sing songs, read simple stories, play games and more.

In Middle School, students decide which language they want to concentrate in and take World Language as a core academic course.


5th Grade Parents: Join us for our upcoming World Language Cafe on January 15!

Hola! and 你好!Fifth Grade Parents,

The World Language Team here at Westside is excited to announce this year’s second World Language Café on Tuesday January 15, 5:30-6:30pm in both the Mandarin and Spanish classrooms. 

Earlier this year during our curriculum night and the first World Language Café, we continued a conversation about your child’s experiences studying World Language and the general sequence of events leading up to entering into either the Spanish or Mandarin program in sixth through eighth grade. In this upcoming cafe, we will help give your family some entrance counseling as we prepare for your child’s next three years of language instruction. Choosing a language is an important decision and should involve parent feedback, teacher assessment data and analysis, and student feedback gathered from in-class surveys paired with impressions from the conversations you’ve been having at home.

This upcoming meeting will focus on what progress and proficiency look like for our students at this point in the year using evidence from the 2nd Trimester.  We will also share insight on the particular challenges and successes our students have seen thus far and what learning trajectories and healthy expectations look like between the two different languages moving forward. In addition to these topics, we will have time allotted for parent Q&A with both Spanish and Mandarin instructors. Parents are invited to share any thoughts, comments, or questions they might have at that time. Finally, we will talk about next steps in the process, specifically the language decision date on May 4. To this end, we will be discussing the upcoming decision regarding whether your child will be taking Spanish or Mandarin next year. We encourage you all to come and share with us as we talk about student assessment data, interest surveys, teacher assessments, and parent feedback and the role that each plays in the decision making process.

In the meantime, we ask that you please RSVP here. Tea, coffee, and snacks will be provided and we would like to have an estimate of how many will be in attendance. Please feel free to direct any questions to Jeremy, Daniella, or Susannah. If you aren't able to make it and would like materials that will be used throughout the presentation, please feel free to email us when you get a chance.