World Languages

Language study enables the student to appreciate other cultures and civilizations through the most fundamental means of communication – the written and spoken word.

The study of French, Latin, or Spanish in Grades 7 and 8 comprises an intense high school Level One course. Each language is learned within a cultural context; students therefore gain an understanding and respect for different societies, past and present. Among the skills emphasized are seeing the patterns of language, recognizing and understanding grammatical structure, memorizing effectively, and understanding the meaning of a passage or sentence without translating every word. We understand that students learn best when they feel positive about the subject. Because of the cumulative nature of foreign language learning, we monitor students carefully to make sure that they do not fall behind.

In French and Spanish, students reach a high degree of oral proficiency, receive an in-depth exposure to grammar and have an opportunity to read short stories. Significant and equal stress is placed on the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational realms, preparing students to be effective and confident communicators. It is assumed that students taking French or Spanish have studied the language previously and thus have a rudimentary knowledge on which to build.

In Latin, students concentrate not only on formal Latin, but on language structure in general and its relation to English grammar. Vocabulary and translation are taught, and through reading a series of short Latin stories, students learn how to work in the language without necessarily knowing every word.