World Language Scheduling Advice

Graduation Requirements

Beginning with class of 2016: all students must earn two credits in World Language (as with all MPS classes, one year of class equals one credit). However, the second credit may be fulfilled with the second year of a world language OR an additional Visual, Performing, and Applied Arts (VPAA) credit OR a Career-Technical Education (CTE) course of study. See below for more information about VPAA and CTE courses.

State-Approved CTE Programs

Visual, Performing, And Applied Arts Credit Classes

World language courses in grades seven through twelve meet the Michigan Merit Curriculum guidelines and will be noted on the high school transcript.  However, world language courses taken during the middle school years will not count toward a student’s GPA. All of the world language classes were written as high school classes, and are assessed at a high school level. The following are classes offered in middle school and high school.  Beginning in the 2015-2016 school year, changes will occur with the languages offered at each school for upcoming students.  All secondary schools will offer Spanish courses (including lower and upper levels and the Survey courses).  Jefferson and Dow will also offer German instruction.  Northeast and Midland will also offer French instruction.

6th grade Spanish elective (does NOT meet HS grad requirement) Offered twice a week for 55 minutes.  This class is a bridge between elementary and middle school Spanish.
  7th grade French 1 (Northeast only) German 1 (Jefferson only) Spanish 1 (both) Offered five days a week for 55 minutes. These classes meet the state high school graduation requirement (class of 2016 and beyond).
  • A passing grade in level one and teacher recommendation, or a passing grade on a test-out, is the prerequisite for level two.
  • A passing grade in level two and teacher recommendation, or a passing grade on a test-out, is the prerequisite for level three.
  • A passing grade in level three and teacher recommendation, or a passing grade on a test-out, is the prerequisite for IB.
8th grade French 1 or 2 (Northeast) German 1 or 2 (Jefferson) Spanish 1 or 2 Survey of Spanish 1
9th grade French 1, 2,or 3 (Midland) German 1, 2,or 3 (Dow) Spanish 1, 2,or 3 Survey of Spanish 1 or 2
10th grade French 1, 2 ,3 or IB* (MHS) German 1, 2, 3 or IB* (DHS) Spanish 1, 2, 3 or IB* Survey of Spanish 1 or 2
11th grade French 1, 2, 3 or IB* (MHS) German 1, 2, 3 or IB* (DHS) Spanish 1, 2, 3 or IB* Survey of Spanish 1 or 2
12th grade French 1, 2, 3 or IB* (MHS) German 1, 2, 3 or IB* (DHS) Spanish 1, 2, 3 or IB* Survey of Spanish 1 or 2
* International Baccalaureate world language classes are advanced, rigorous, and offered in French, German and Spanish. They are designed to meet the needs of both IB students and non-IB students.  A three-year IB sequence is available for students.  Themes and assignments change yearly, so students may start in any year of the sequence and not have to repeat material.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q 1: Do students have to take a world language or is it optional?

A: Per the state of Michigan graduation requirements, all students are required to take and pass two years of the same world language, although they may replace the second year of world language with other CTE or additional VPAA courses (more information on this below).  If students take and pass levels 1 and 2 in middle school, they have met this requirement.  If they take and pass level 1 in middle school, they will have met half the requirement. Beginning in 2015-2016, students may fulfill year two of this requirement with an approved CTE or additional VPAA credit as well.  More information can be obtained from school counselors, or in the Secondary Course Offering Guide, or below, regarding this option.  

Q 2:  What choices do students have for world language?

A:  Students may take French, German or Spanish.  Spanish is offered at all secondary buildings.  Jefferson M.S. and Dow H.S. offer German as a second world language choice.  Northeast M.S. and Midland H.S. offer French as their second world language. We have two sequences for world language:

  1. Students may enroll in French, German or Spanish and follow a path that could extend from one to six years. Students would first enroll in the level 1 class.
  2. MPS also has a two-year track for Survey of Spanish. This is a less difficult sequence and is not integrated into the other levels of Spanish. If a student completes the two-year Survey of Spanish sequence and wants to continue Spanish study, they may enter Spanish 2.


Q 3:   Should a student continue with Spanish after having it in elementary school, or begin French or German?

A: This is a personal decision.  All three world languages offered are solid choices.  A student should consider which one will best meet his or her future needs.  It is important that a student chooses one language and stick with it.  It takes time to become proficient in a world language.  In addition, to meet state graduation requirement, students must take and pass two years of the same language, unless they use the VPAA credit or CTE course completion to fulfill the second year requirement.  

Q 4: Is it better for a student to start a language in middle school or high school?

A: In general, the earlier a student starts a language the more proficient he or she becomes.  Learning a language is about practice, and it takes several years for a student to become proficient.  Every student is different and when to start a world language is a personal choice. MPS world language classes were written for high school students, and are assessed at the high school level; they are rigorous classes. In the past middle school students that were ready for high school-level rigor experienced success in these classes, just as they have in advanced Math classes.  

Q 5: Are world language courses easier in middle school?

A:  Levels 1 and 2 in middle school use the same book and curriculum as levels 1 and 2 in high school, and students are expected to achieve at the high school level in these classes.  If a student takes and passes both classes in middle school, they will start at level 3 in high school.  The classes at both levels have the same requirements.  

Q 6: If a student is struggling in their English class in middle school, should he or she wait until high school to take a world language class?

A: A student who is receiving less than a B in English may find grammatical concepts taught in a world language to be more difficult.  That student may benefit from two more years of English instruction before taking a world language in 9th grade.  This is one indicator to be considered when making the decision about when to begin world language instruction.  

Q 7: If a student takes two years of the same world language in 7th and 8th grade, does he or she have to take fewer classes in high school because the world language graduation requirement is out of the way?

A: By taking the same world language in middle school, a student is able to meet the graduation requirement for world language.  The student is still responsible for taking a minimum of 22 credits in high school and attend school for six hours per day.  Students are encouraged to take more world language classes to obtain proficiency in the language, but no further classes are required.  

Q 8:  What if a student completes two years of Survey of Spanish and wishes to continue his or her study of Spanish?

A:  A student could continue in Spanish and enroll in Spanish 2.     

Q 9: When does a student need to start a world language if he or she wants to be an International Baccalaureate candidate?

A:  International Baccalaureate (IB) is a program for juniors and seniors, however if a student wants to participate in IB world language, he or she needs to start a world language no later than 9th grade if the student wants to test Standard Level or 8th grade if the student wants to test Higher Level in any of the three languages offered.  Because of the rigor of the IB exam, it is highly recommended that a student start the world language sequence in middle school if he or she wants to take the IB exam as a junior or senior.  

Q 10:  If a student takes and passes Survey of Spanish 1 and 2, are they able to participate in the IB Program?

A:  The Spanish level 1 and 2 classes are the beginning of the sequence that leads to the IB courses as a fourth, fifth or sixth year student.  A student who started the Survey courses in the 8th grade could still have room to test at the Standard Level as a senior.  

Q 11: Does a student planning on going to college need to take a world language to be admitted?

A: All colleges have different requirements for admission and for graduation.  A world language class is considered an academic class.  A few selective colleges require several years of world language for admission.  Other colleges require a world language for graduation.  Some have no world language requirement at all.  Starting with the class of 2016, MPS students will graduate with a minimum of one year of world language.  It is recommended that students and parents get information about the world language requirement for the college(s) they are considering.  

Q 12: What classes may be taken instead of the second year of a World Language?

A: Students may opt to fulfill the second year of a World Language with an additional VPAA credit taken in high school, or by completing a CTE course of study in high school. It is important to note that students must complete one VPAA credit already. They may take a second VPAA credit and use that credit to replace the second year of world language. Many CTE courses of study require two years of credits. All VPAA classes and CTE courses of study are listed in the Secondary Course Offering Guide and below.


Students are required to pass 1 credit of Visual, Performing, and Applied Arts (VPAA) for graduation. A second VPAA credit is needed if a student elects to substitute VPAA for the second world language credit.

Course Department
Beginning Art Art
Intermediate Art Art
Advanced 2-Dimensional Composition A Art
Advanced 3-Dimensional Design A Art
IB Visual Art Art
Commercial Art Art
Building Trades & Advanced Building Trades Career & Technical Education
Computer Aided Design 1 & 2 Career & Technical Education
Computer Technology 2  .2 & .3 (.5 credit) Career & Technical Education
Marketing .2 & .3 Career & Technical Education
Merchandising Operations .2 & .3 (.5 credit) Career & Technical Education
Sales Management .2 & .3 (.5 credit) Career & Technical Education
IB Business Management Career & Technical Education
Introduction to Trades (.5 credit) Career & Technical Education
Web Design & Adv Web Design (.5 credit each) Career & Technical Education
Hobby Art Welding (.5 credit) Career & Technical Education
Welding Technology 1 & 2 Career & Technical Education
Wood Working 1 & 2 Career & Technical Education
Journalism Language Arts – Publication
Advanced Journalism Language Arts – Publication
Yearbook Language Arts – Publication
Debate and Discussion Language Arts – Speech & Drama
Public Speaking Language Arts – Speech & Drama
Drama 1 Language Arts – Speech & Drama
Drama 2 Language Arts – Speech & Drama
Drama Production Language Arts – Speech & Drama
Video Communications Language Arts – Video Communications
Theory of Knowledge Miscellaneous
Chorus Music
Concert Band Music
Concert Choir Music
Concert Orchestra Music
Symphonic Band Music
Symphony Orchestra Music
Pre-Vocational Training Special Education



  Completion of a state-approved Career-Technical Education (CTE) program may be used for graduation in lieu of the second year of World Language. Completion of the state-approved programs includes successfully completing each of the classes listed in the program.

Accounting, Finance, and Financial Management—1 year

Accounting 1 (or 1A), 2 semesters

Business Administration, Management, and Operations—2 years

Computer Tech 1 (or 1A), 1 semester
Computer Tech 2 (or 2A), 1 semester
Advanced Business 1A, 1 semester
Advanced Business 2A, 1 semester

Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design—1 year

Web Design and Development A, 1 semester
Advanced Web Design and Development H, 1 semester

Marketing, Sales, and Service—2 years

Marketing (or Marketing A), 2 semesters
Merchandising (or Merchandising A), 1 semester
Sales Management (or Sales Management A), 1 semester

Automotive Technology—2 years

Auto Technology 1A (2-hour class), 2 semesters
Auto Technology 2A (2-hour class), 2 semesters

Computer-Aided Design and Drafting—2 years

Computer Aided Design 1, 2 semesters
Computer Aided Design 2A, 2 semesters

Construction Trades—2 years

Building Trades (2-hour class), 2 semesters
Advanced Building Trades (2-hour class), 2 semesters

Welding Technology—2 years

Welding Technology 1, 2 semesters
Welding Technology 2, 2 semesters

Agriscience—1 year

Agriscience (Coleman off-site program, 2-hour class), 2 semesters