World Languages and Cultural Awareness
Our innovative World Languages program focuses on the importance of beginning instruction at an early age. French is introduced to Lower School students in Pre-Kindergarten and continues through fifth grade. All fifth graders take one trimester of Mandarin, Spanish, and French. A variety of language learning techniques are used as students learn a second language. The classes also help students develop a better understanding of both French and Chinese cultures.
The skills learned in World Language classes are integrated into the curriculum for each grade-level homeroom. In particular, third graders perform—in French—two plays based on well-known children’s tales, and during the fourth grade unit on immigration, students take part in a mock citizenship exam. This exercise requires students to listen to and respond to questions in French so that they can experience taking an oral test in a language that is not their native language.
The Lower School Diversity Committee facilitates the development of curriculum to ensure that all Lower School students are exposed to and learn about many of the world’s cultures. From the study of “Our Community” in Pre-Kindergarten and the “World Tour” in Kindergarten to the fifth grade study of Native Americans during the early colonial times, a foundation is laid to enable the students to become informed, engaged, and ethical citizens and leaders for the global community.