At the beginning of the sixth-grade year, every student chooses one of three languages to study for their Middle School years: French, Mandarin, or Spanish. At every grade level, students develop their language proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing with the ACTFL Proficiency Levels as their guide.
All language classes build upon the skills and vocabulary of previous years and include cultural studies, geography, and the history of places where their target language is spoken. Students develop a deeper understanding of the origins of that language and its associated cultures. Students often have the opportunity to travel to a country where the target language is spoken.
By the end of eighth grade, many students will have reached the novice-high or intermediate-low level of the language and developed proficiency in the following:
- Understanding and communicating at the sentence level
- Asking and answering simple questions related to everyday life
- Ability to continue in target language at the Upper-School level
- Strategies to analyze authentic writings and infer wholistic meaning
- Identifying and explaining some cultural perspectives that differ from what they are accustomed to