WEST ORANGE, NJ - Outstanding students in the World Languages program at West Orange High School were recognized in a ceremony on May 17 that inducted juniors into their respective language honor societies as seniors received their cords for graduation.

Tarnoff Cafeteria was filled with family and friends as Mary Quiroz, World Languages Supervisor, described the value of learning a second language.

"There are basically four main areas of focus for the chapters: scholarship, service, leadership and character. Each of the societies currently engages in activities that represent these categories: The members provide peer tutoring, travel to the elementary schools to promote world language, provide activities for the community at the WOPL and assist with all functions related to world languages:

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1. To create enthusiasm for scholarship

2. To stimulate a desire to render service

3. To promote leadership

4. To develop character in the students of secondary schools

I feel strongly that World languages should be apart of every student’s education. And for reasons beyond the obvious, we have all heard about global citizens and 21st century skills, but I believe that learning a second language does more than that.

Learning another language creates an atmosphere of mutual understanding; it builds bridges not walls. In order to solve many of the world problems of today require collaboration among nations. This type of collaboration depends on a deep understanding of the cultures, perspective and languages of many peoples."

To be considered for acceptance into the Chinese, French, Italian or Spanish Honor Society, each student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 during freshman, sophomore, and junior years. Candidates are also successful beyond the academic arena, proving themselves to be dependable inside and outside of school.

"These students are problem solvers, said Quiroz. “They maintain positive attitudes, and they serve as role models for their peers. Much of this sense of leadership comes from the character that these students possess. Unlike some teens, our candidates have made the decision to embrace qualities such as honesty, cooperation, respect for authority, courtesy to others and a general sense of ethics that promote a positive sense of community.”

Candle-lighting ceremonies welcoming the new honor society members preceded the distribution of cords to seniors, who will wear them at graduation on June 22.

To see all the photos from the World Languages Ceremony, go here.

To see the program listing the new inductees in the Chinese, French, Italian, and Spanish Honor Societies, go here