Foreign language study through the third year is required for graduation. Students are placed in a course according to interest, ability, preparation, and prior language background. Sections designated IV or V provide preparation for the SAT Subject Tests. It is expected that all students enrolled in AP Language courses will register for the Advanced Placement Examination.
The foreign language department offers Latin, French, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. In Latin, classes prepare students to read and translate classic works, explore the verbal and rhetorical connection to English, and appreciate the history and culture of the Ancient World. In French, Spanish, and Chinese the goals range from students being able to have basic conversations to being able to read and discuss major works in the target language. Each class is scheduled for a language lab session once every eight class periods for intensive paired work or recording or multi-media activities. Reading, writing, and conversational skills are all stressed and developed throughout the course of study.
The department also strongly urges students to travel to a country where the target language is spoken, or to somehow use the language outside the classroom in order to broaden their experience and ability in the language. To that end, the department organizes trips to Spain, France, Canada, Italy, Peru, and China.
Prerequisite: second year of any language