The foreign language program aims to broaden student awareness of other cultures and to develop a student’s ability to communicate outside of his or her own native language. A choice of either French or Spanish is offered beginning in Transition. The classes, held twice a week, expose students in Transition through Grade 5 to the language and culture while building basic skills.
In Middle School, Latin and Academic Studies Class (ASC) are introduced to the program in sixth-grade and the frequency of French and Spanish classes increases to three times per week. In Grades 7 & 8, the foreign language courses continue to provide each student with a solid communicative and grammatical foundation upon which to base more advanced studies. Verbal communication, relating to real-life tasks and situations, is the centerpiece of the course, and classes, which meet daily, and are conducted mainly in French or Spanish in preparation for the international study trips. An appreciation and awareness of the culture and geography of Spanish or French speaking countries are also promoted through the use of videos, websites, films, map work, and related projects.
The goal of the Latin course, which begins in Grade 6 and is incorporated as an integral part of the Language Arts program, is to enable a student eventually to read prose. The language skills of listening, reading, writing, and speaking are used to reinforce vocabulary, Latin and English grammar, and the patterns of the declensions and conjugations. Cultural topics are also included. Emphasis is given to derivations and word study, especially English words with Latin roots.
Academic Studies Class (ASC) is taken in lieu of a foreign language to review and reinforce basic language skills in grammar, writing mechanics, composition, reading comprehension strategies, and vocabulary. Additional learning strategies such as time management, note-taking, study skills, and organization are also taught.