Throughout their LREI experience, most students take world languages classes. In lower school, Spanish is the language offered. In middle and high school, students have the opportunity to choose Spanish, French, or Mandarin. The overarching goal of the world language program is to promote communication skills and an understanding of world cultures. From a young age, students learn to articulate vocabulary and to express their feelings, experiences and interests in another language. Students integrate their language study throughout the three divisions by using blocks, writing letters, and blogging, and exploring proper and authentic accent and pronunciation. Beyond reading, writing and speaking a language, our curriculum fosters an understanding of culture and diversity in the world and an appreciation for social justice through global citizenship.
In high school, students continue this immersive approach to language and culture study. As the depth and sophistication of their language facility increases, a wider range of experience is available to them. Students explore literature, history and current events and document their learning by blogging and producing media-rich documents. While travel is only one of the paths to understand what it means be a global citizen and to demonstrate the courage to explore outside one’s comfort zone, eleventh graders who chose to may participate in homestay programs in France, Spain, or China through the “School Year Abroad” program.
An important part of being a global citizen is understanding that other cultures have alternate ways of seeing and interpreting the world. Students cultivate courage by attempting to engage in a new language, even at the young age of four, when they gain cultural awareness through their study. Students are also able to navigate the social, political, economic, and environmental climates we live in, through the study of current events, history, and a repertoire of end of trimester projects that demonstrate curricular content.