World Languages

Interior Masthead

Mandarin world language class

The world languages department encompasses both modern and ancient languages. In the study of modern languages, the program is designed to equip each student with proficiency in the oral and written use of a world language, as well as some knowledge and appreciation of the literature, culture, and traditions associated with the countries where it is spoken. Graduates will demonstrate increased awareness of and respect for the diversity of languages, cultural traditions, and histories of other peoples. They will also be able to find commonalities between diverse cultures, and as a result, celebrate our shared humanity. 

Our philosophy related to the study of modern languages is the following: The best way to acquire another language is by hearing and seeing it early and often. We provide our learners with varied examples of language that is comprehensible and interesting in content. Through repeated exposure to novel, compelling input of comprehensible language, students gradually grow in awareness and competence in their language abilities. From an early level of instruction onward, students interact with text, songs, and videos that contain language that will spark their interest and enthusiasm for the language, its native speakers, and their diverse cultures. As students’ abilities expand, so will the level of authentic literature and film we ask them to critically examine. Students will continue to refine their communication skills through more sophisticated writing and speaking. This process should feel natural and allow all students to have success in their language acquisition.

The study of ancient languages is designed to develop students’ mastery of the linguistic elements of the language along with the analytical skills necessary to engage with the authentic texts they examine. At the middle school level, students will examine a wide range of Latin texts that include poetry, philosophy, rhetorical writing, travelogues, and scientific works from ancient, medieval, and modern times and from different regions around the globe. As the curriculum progresses, students are exposed to increasingly complex aspects of Latin grammar and they learn to engage with historical ideas and worldviews with depth and sophistication. At the upper school level, students read authentic texts from the ancient world from a wide variety of authors while engaging with a range of topics in both the ancient and modern worlds. While continuing to develop their language skills, students also think critically about history and sociohistorical constructs such as gender, sexuality, power, empire, and race. The goal of the upper school Latin program is not only for students to become sophisticated readers of Latin but also empathetic stewards of the world.


Contact Us

Anne Wentling

World Languages Dept. Chair, Middle School Spanish and Prima Lingua, Grade 8 Advisor