The Massachusetts Foreign Languages Curriculum Framework applies to the study of modern and classical languages.
When we embark on the study of a language not our own, we are initiating a learning adventure which, over and above the invaluable acquisition of another language, can confer upon us multiple educational benefits, capable of exerting a profound influence on our perceptions of the world around us and of permanently enriching and enlarging our appreciation and understanding of ourselves and of others.
Language learning is never just about words. Language is the medium in which human beings think and by which they express what they have thought. The study of language—any language— is therefore the study of everything that pertains to human nature, as humans understand it.
I. All students should become proficient in at least one language in addition to English by the time they graduate from high school. Students who select modern languages should be able to speak, read, write, and understand the foreign language they study; students who select a classical language should be able to read and understand the foreign language they study.
II. Language acquisition is a lifelong process. Foreign language programs should begin in elementary school, since language acquisition is more easily accomplished at a young age, and continue beyond grade twelve.
III. Effective foreign language programs integrate the study of language with the study of culture, which includes daily life, history, literature, visual and performing arts, mathematics, and science. In this way, foreign language programs create natural links to all other disciplines.
IV. Assessment of student learning is an integral component of effective foreign language instruction.
(excerpt from MA DESE Foreign Language Framework http://www.doe.mass.