Learning how to learn a second or third language will position Spectrum students to engage in deep world language study as they have further opportunities in high school and college. At Spectrum, interacting with different languages and cultures takes a variety of forms:
- We offer American Sign Language and Deaf Culture in Preschool, Early, and Intermediate twice a week.
- Early and Intermediate engage in Japanese and Japanese studies twice a week, with regular cultural experiences at Anderson Gardens as well as pen pals and arts integration.
- Middle School has monthly international potlucks and receives intensive instruction in German several times a week. There is also a weekly Spanish table at lunch where students can learn and practice conversational Spanish.
- Students are provided the option of using free online platforms like Duolingo or We Learn Chinese if they want to extend learning in other languages.
During the 2018-19 school year, Spectrum partnered with several cultural institutions, as well as IQRA School of Rockford and Rockford University, to offer many intercultural experiences for the students. Chinese exchanges and integration of cultural studies through volunteers from We Learn USA brought a rich array of experiences, and we continue to build these opportunities. We want students at Spectrum to develop as global citizens, with an awareness and appreciation for human and cultural diversity.