The world language program begins for students at age 3 as part of our Nursery program. Language acquisition is a vital aspect of human development, and adding a world language during this exciting time of growth is extremely beneficial for children. Our families choose one language (French, Mandarin Chinese or Spanish) for their child to pursue over the course of his/her time at St. Hilda’s and St. Hugh’s.
During a child’s time in the early childhood program, world language is not an immersion program, but is grounded in exposure and excitement. Children learn to appreciate the accent of the language, understand important vocabulary, and learn more about where and by whom the language is spoken around the world. Lower School students begin to converse more fluently, as well as begin reading and writing in their world language of choice. This prepares them for when world language becomes an academic subject in the upper division.
Upper division language classes meet three to four times a week, depending on the grade. Each class becomes a well-established unit, as the students grow together and with their teacher over the course of five years of language study. Students learn to read, write, and converse with increasing sophistication each year. In seventh and eighth grade, our students receive two years of Latin instruction on top of their world language classes.