World Language

What is World Language?

World Language programs at Portland Public Schools provides programming for students to develop and maintain proficiency in a language other than English, to deepen their understanding of other cultures and to gain insights about their place in an interconnected world. Portland Public Schools offers World Language instruction from 3rd grade through 12th grade and has a Spanish immersion program at Lyseth Elementary School: Kindergarten through 2nd grade, with a grade being added every year through 5th.

Why is World Language Important?

Portland Public Schools adheres to the following core principles and values:

  • The development of language proficiency requires an early start in a long-sequenced, well-articulated curriculum.
  • All students, given the appropriate learning environment, can learn and experience success in a world language class.
  • World Language studies expand and enrich academic experiences of students through connections made with other disciplines such as geography, history, literature, music, and art.
  • Authentic student-centered learning experiences accelerate oral language development.
  • The process of learning another language supports students' cognitive development.
  • World Language studies help students meet college and career expectations of a 21st Century geopolitical and global economy.
  • Classical languages complement the study of modern languages and enrich academic experiences across the humanities and the sciences. 


First grade Spanish immersion

Immersion parent Esme Ulloa teaches Spanish immersion first graders about Mexican cuisine and Day of the Dead.

World Language Offerings

Portland Public Schools (PPS) offers Spanish in nine elementary schools. In general, Spanish is offered in grades three through five, with one school starting in second grade. 

PPS middle schools offer both Spanish and French. King Middle School offers these languages every day, while  Lyman Moore and Lincoln Middle School provide them every other day.

The high schools offer an array of World Language opportunities. Portland High School provides its students with the option of Spanish, French or Latin offered every other day. Deering High School offers Spanish,Spanish for Heritage Speakers, French, Mandarin, Arabic and Arabic for Heritage Speakers every day. Casco Bay High School has Spanish, French and Mandarin offered every other day.

Lyseth Elementary School provides its students with a unique World Language opportunity through its Spanish Immersion program. For the 2016-2017 school year, Spanish Immersion is offered in Kindergarten through second grade. In each year moving forward, one more grade level will be added through fifth grade. 

How Do We Select Our Teachers?

The district has a relationship with the Spanish consulate through which we currently have two visiting, highly qualified teachers. PPS is also awarded a cultural/language assistant who is a teacher in training, here to assist in the immersion classrooms.

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