A rich education recognizes the importance of language. With a fully developed mastery of primary and secondary languages, students are able to appreciate the literary and expressive quality of written texts and be able to use languages effectively to express their thoughts, reflections, and ideas in speech and writing. In addition, students are able to see themselves as participating in multiple linguistic communities and understanding the perspectives of different cultures. While one purpose of this standards document is to describe what we want students to know and be able to do, another is to create a common community of a shared educational goal, literacy in Spanish. Two very important recommendations must be taken into account on implementing these standards:
1. The abilities listed here are not developed independently of each other, but rather sequentially and concurrently. It would be a serious mistake to try to teach skills in isolation, making difficult to understand, and in many cases, students would not be able to apply the skills with rigor.
2. Once the abilities have been presented within a meaningful context that will make them understandable, it will be important to recognize that these skills are not an end in themselves, but rather an instrument to reach an end. The desired goal is to develop the expressive, interpretive, and critical abilities of all students, in order that they may reach a level of mastery.
Language is needed to think and learn. As we fully develop our command of language, our capacity to reach our goals also increases. The effective use of language is necessary to express our feelings, convey our experiences, share our ideas, and to understand and collaborate with others.
The value of language is doubled when two languages are known. By facilitating the acquisition and development of Spanish in children and youth, parents and teachers are providing them with better instruments to achieve intellectual, social, and economic success.