Academics / Languages

The ability to use a language other than English to communicate, present, and interpret information is essential to succeed in the 21st century. Additionally, it is important to have the knowledge and experience necessary for the understanding of other cultures and worldviews, in order to fully participate in multilingual and multi-cultural communities locally, regionally, and globally.

The Modern Language Program includes American Sign Language and Spanish. American Sign Language focuses on developing both receptive and expressive signing abilities, while Spanish uses communicative and integrative methods that develop listening, speaking, writing, and reading skills.

Both of our modern languages also emphasize cultural understanding as a part of language acquisition. Students acquire skills in employing the grammatical structures necessary to carry out the chosen communicative functions, learn a selected lexical content, and gain a cross-cultural perspective and insights into their own culture.

The Classical Language Program’s goals differ because the study of Latin is strongly associated with its incidental benefits—the knowledge it gives one of English vocabulary and the structure of language in general. Its primary goal is to provide students with the knowledge that will allow them to read Latin literature. Its secondary goal is to move beyond the purely linguistic sphere to comment on questions of culture so that students gain an understanding of Roman history and institutions, which have shaped Western culture.

Students begin the language program with the option to take Latin 1 in seventh grade. Beginning in eighth grade, students may choose any language. Students entering with a previous background in foreign language study may take a placement exam to demonstrate their level of language mastery for placement in upper-level courses.

Students interested in a more in-depth course of study are encouraged to pursue the Languages Intensive Path.

Learn more from our Curriculum Catalog »