Bonjour! Salve! Hola! Ni hao! No matter how you say it, Lake Forest High School is proud to say “hello” to four different world languages within its walls. LFHS has always had a rich tradition of offering students the opportunity to learn a variety of languages during high school. And for good reason. There are many well-known benefits to learning a second language. Research shows foreign language study boosts brain power, improves memory, enhances decision-making, and even builds skills in the student’s primary language. It is correlated with higher academic achievement and standardized test scores, while deepening students’ connections with other cultures. In fact, each year more than 1,000 LFHS students invest in studying a second language while in high school. With the help of our generous donors, the Lake Forest High School Foundation has been proud to support our World Language students and teachers with grants that enhance their learning and educational experience.
"GimKit can take a class from barely paying attention to highly engaged in seconds."
Practice, Practice, Practice
Learning a second language can be challenging, requiring repetition to learn new vocabulary and grammatical structures. Luckily, with GimKit, a web-based “game” that tracks and rewards student study, practice doesn’t need to be boring. Developed by a student for students, GimKit allows World Language learners to earn “money” that they can use to gain points within the games as they practice their language. Thanks to a grant last year from the LFHS Foundation, GimKit is available to all World Language students and it’s described by the teachers as a “huge success!” Rachel Abel, Instructional Director for World Language, reports that the department will continue to use GimKit next year because it “can take a class from barely paying attention to highly engaged in seconds.”

GimKit provides another tool to our students in their quest to master a second language, adding to previous LFHS Foundation investments of SmartBoards, Headsets, Quiz Bowl materials, Foreign language magazines and DVDs, Maps, and more.
“The World Language Learning Lab is a space that was built with the students in mind.”
21 st  Century Learning Space
In addition to innovative materials, World Language learners needed an innovative space to practice fluency and connect with other students. The LFHS Foundation was proud to provide a student-driven learning area where students can create, collaborate, and present their work. The World Language Learning Lab provides flexible student groupings, allowing for increased differentiation and hands-on learning. As Rachel Abel notes, “The World Language Learning Lab is a space that was built with the students in mind.” A favorite spot of both students and teachers, she believes the lab underscores “our main value in World Language – Communication.”
Supporting Native Speakers: Building a Spanish Library
Last year, the LFHS Foundation supported the Spanish for Native Speakers class with an extensive library of Young Adult books. These books allow the students to choose higher-interest titles to enhance their learning in both reading and writing. Following the “reading workshop” model that is used in English classes, these books give students the feeling of accomplishment that comes from finishing a whole novel.
Investing in Our Teachers: ACTFL 2019
This past November, six of our World Language teachers were able to attend the National American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL) Conference to expand their knowledge of best practices in the classroom. ACTFL is a national organization dedicated to the improvement and expansion of teaching and learning all languages. Over the past 5 years, the World Language Department teachers have re-written the existing courses to match the ACTFL national standards and assessment practices. Conference attendance not only provides professional development for those teachers who attend, but the content is also shared with the entire department to enrich the learning for all World Language teachers.
Thank You for Supporting Our Mission
The mission of the LFHS Foundation is to support, enrich, and enhance the Lake Forest High School experience for all students, faculty, and staff by investing in educational excellence.
Our investments are across all curricular areas and we are grateful to our donors for partnering with us in this important work.
For More About our Impact . . .
Thank you to our GENEROUS DONORS
for investing in educational excellence with us!
Lake Forest High School Foundation |