N.J.A.C. 6A:8-5.1 requires that all students in New Jersey earn at least five credits in world languages to graduate from high school. Districts can and many do require more than the minimum of five credits of world language study as part of local graduation requirements. (Delaware Valley Regional High School requires 2 (two) years of a world language).
N.J.A.C. 6A:8-1.1: The New Jersey Student Learning Standards specify expectations in nine content areas including world languages. The standards are further delineated by Indicators that outline what students should know and be able to do at benchmark grades four, eight and twelve.
N.J.A.C. 6A:8-3.1: Requires districts to "ensure that curriculum and instruction are delivered in such a way that all students are able to demonstrate the knowledge and skills specified by the Student Learning Standards."
All students should be given the opportunity to learn a world language in a program that offers appropriate time allocations and quality instruction. A program that does not offer a sufficient amount of contact time and frequency of instruction assumes less student proficiency from the outset and denies district students access to excellence and equity in achieving the standards.
NJAC 6A:8-3.1(a)3: Holds school districts accountable for "assessing and publicly reporting student achievement in all content areas", including such areas as world languages that are not yet part of the statewide assessment program.
Amistad Law: N.J.S.A. 18A 52:16A-88 Every board of education shall incorporate the information regarding the contributions of African-Americans to our country in an appropriate place in the curriculum of elementary and secondary school students.
Holocaust Law: N.J.S.A. 18A:35-28 Every board of education shall include instruction on the Holocaust and genocides in an appropriate place in the curriculum of all elementary and secondary school pupils. The instruction shall further emphasize the personal responsibility that each citizen bears to fight racism and hatred whenever and wherever it happens
LGBT and Disabilities Law: N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.35 A board of education shall include instruction on the political, economic, and social contributions of persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, in an appropriate place in the curriculum of middle school and high school students as part of the district’s implementation of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (N.J.S.A.18A:35-4.36) A board of education shall have policies and procedures in place pertaining to the selection of instructional materials to implement the requirements of N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.35.
World Languages (NJSLS – WL) promotes an acquisition process that is research-based, spiraling and recursive, and aligned to appropriate proficiency targets that are designed to ultimately enable learners to attain Novice-High level proficiency or above, which is a requirement for high school graduation. All students have regular, sequential instruction in one or more world languages beginning in kindergarten and continuing at least through the freshman year of high school.
Further, N.J.A.C. 6A:8-5.1(b)4 directs districts to actively encourage all students who otherwise meet the current-year requirement for high school graduation to continue their study of a second language through high school in order to reach higher proficiency levels. Opportunities to develop higher levels of proficiency should be based on personal and career interests. The number of years spent studying a language and the frequency of instruction impact the level of proficiency acquired in the language. This principle has historically been supported by research in the United States and abroad (Raymond, 2012). A three-year grant project (2005-08) administered by the New Jersey Department of Education supports these research findings. Data from the federally funded project that assessed the language proficiency of 60,000 8th-grade students presented compelling evidence for the need to develop programs that offer all students the opportunity to meet the state designated proficiency level of Novice-High. The data showed that programs offering a minimum of 540 hours of articulated instruction in classes that meet at least three times a week throughout the academic year produce a majority of students who can speak at the Novice-High proficiency level or higher. Consequently, the establishment and/or maintenance of quality, well- articulated language programs at the elementary and middle-school levels, as required by New Jersey Administrative Code, is critical for building the capacity of high school students to achieve the Novice-High level of language proficiency required for graduation.