GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP IN AN INTERCONNECTED WORLD
BUILDING INTERCULTURAL COMPETENCY
Amana Academy leaders and teachers recognize that we must prepare students for global citizenship in an increasingly complicated and interconnected world. Such preparation is cross-disciplinary and includes developing knowledge of diverse cultures, languages, and political systems, as well as knowledge of the physical terrains, ecosystems, and natural forces of the planet.
Fully integrating global skills and knowledge into the curriculum is tied closely to environmental stewardship and social justice as students are challenged to grapple with the most complex problems facing the world such as climate change, structures of economic inequities, and international terrorism and conflict. They are asked to probe how the peoples of the world are connected and what young people can do to make a difference.
Teaching World Languages to Enhance Students’ Global Perspective
One of the unique core practices of Expeditionary Learning is a focus on global awareness and world language learning. At Amana Academy, this is evidenced in our Arabic and French world languages program. Arabic is offered at all grade levels, beginning in Kindergarten, and French is offered in Middle School. A command of Arabic and French will enhance cognitive skills and broaden students’ perspectives and intercultural competency. Both Arabic and French are among the United Nations’ six official languages and are spoken by hundreds of millions of people around the world. Like Chinese and Russian, these languages are considered by educators and policymakers to be languages of economic and cultural significance. Basic level fluency in Arabic and French will give Amana students an important edge in getting into top colleges, and in the global job market of the 21st century.
Per the Georgia Department of Education Foreign Language Program’s recommendation, the model chosen by Amana Academy is the Georgia Elementary School Foreign Languages (ESFL) Model Program. The ESFL Program was developed in 1992 after years of research on the best format for teaching children a second language, in accordance with the National Standards for Language Learning in the 21st Century, which incorporates the Performance Guidelines for K-12 Learners of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL).
Among Fulton County schools, Amana Academy is unique in offering world language instruction at the elementary level, and the only one of its kind among Georgia schools offering Arabic at the elementary and middle school levels.
Amana students who complete three years of Arabic and two years of French, can leave Amana with two high school foreign language credits already on their transcript.