The mission of the World Language Program is to encourage a global mindset. To understand the human experience around the globe, the World Language program educates students in celebrating diversity, appreciating the arts and culture of the language, and communicating with proficiency. We believe language is at the heart of the human experience, and the study of language supports all disciplines, and lifelong pursuits.
There are many cognitive advantages to studying a world language such as developing critical thinking, acquiring grammatical knowledge of the target and native languages, or developing organizational and comparative skills. The study of world languages also fosters social advantages such as understanding diversity, empathizing with cultural differences, or becoming more competitive in work and study places. In other words, learning a second (or a third) language not only helps us to develop our cognitive skills but also our social, cultural, and professional ones.
In order to realize our curriculum, we follow ACTFL standards in our teaching. Every class is planned to develop our students’ communicative skills in the target language: listening, reading, speaking, and writing. But we also work on integrating the five C’s for them to thrive outside of the classroom: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities. In order to do so, we engage students through games, technology, arts, music, and projects.
At Roycemore, students take French classes starting in pre-kindergarten all the way through senior year. Spanish is offered from seventh grade, and Mandarin Chinese is offered in the Upper School. We offer Spanish from Spanish I to AP Language and Culture, French from French I to AP Language and Culture and Mandarin from Mandarin I to AP.
In Upper School, our classes are planned for students to use the language in real-life situations so many of them include technology or take place at locations in the city, such as restaurants where students order food and comment on the cuisine in the target language. We also prepare students to take language classes at Northwestern University after they complete the AP curriculum. New students with some experience learning one of these languages must take a placement test with the teacher in charge of the language the student wants to take.
Our World Languages faculty is highly qualified. Most of our teachers have earned Ph.D. and Master’s degrees, and are native speakers or have lived abroad perfecting their communicative skills.