The mission of the Languages Department is to develop in students the language skills that will enable them to gain a firsthand appreciation and understanding of other people’s languages, literatures, histories, and cultures. Students learn to respond creatively and critically to the challenges and opportunities for communication in the world today. Our ultimate goal is to help students cultivate a healthy vision of the future that includes not only themselves but past and present peoples from around the world.
As an objective framework for our mission statement, we have adopted the five goals as set forth by the American Council for the Teaching of Languages:
• Communication: Communicate in languages other than English.
• Cultures: Gain knowledge and understanding of other cultures.
• Connections: Connect with other disciplines and acquire information.
• Comparisons: Develop insight into the nature of language and culture.
• Communities: Participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world.
Six languages are offered – two classical and four modern – with Honors sections available. The Classical Honors Program attracts students who achieve a high level of competence in Latin and Greek.
The School Year Abroad program (SYA) offers students studying French, Spanish, and Chinese opportunities to improve their language skills dramatically in an immersion setting. Exchanges with the Seikei School in Japan; the École Alsacienne in Paris, France; and the Humboldt Gymnasium in Leipzig, Germany, offer similar benefits for one term of study abroad.
Enrollment in language courses is subject to permission of the department head.