Learning » World Languages

World Languages

Our World Languages program includes Spanish classes for lower school students and Latin and Spanish classes for middle school students.

Lower School (Pre-K through Fourth Grade)

Rather than relying on rote memorization, our lower school students learn Spanish vocabulary through reading and acting out stories and playing games. This highly interactive, hands-on teaching technique, called Teaching with Comprehensible Input (TCI), uses repetition, music, visuals, and storytelling as well as a total physical response, where students act out the word while saying it. We strive to teach 90% of the time in the target language, the other 10% for comprehension checks, which is very important for language acquisition. 


Fifth Grade

All fifth graders take Spanish as a continuation of the Spanish curriculum offered in Lower School. Students are taught Spanish using comprehensible input and acquire the language by listening and reading to support their eventual output of writing and speaking. We use TPRS: Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling and the SOMOS curriculum, supplemented by reading novels and texts written for language students.

Sixth Grade

Sixth grade students in the exploratory Spanish and Latin classes spend one trimester studying each language. Students are exposed to Spanish and Latin language, culture, history and geography. In Spanish, students expand on the fifth grade curriculum. The trimester culminates in a field trip to a Mexican restaurant. In Latin, language learning is embedded in classical mythology, art, and archeology with the semester culminating in a trip to the North Carolina Museum of Art for a classical scavenger hunt.

At the end of the school year, sixth graders choose to pursue a two-year course in either Spanish or Latin during seventh and eighth grades.

Seventh Grade

Seventh grade Spanish is the first part of a two-year course of study designed to prepare students for high school Spanish. Students explore Spanish speaking countries and embark on cultural challenges while learning Spanish vocabulary, grammar and culture. Students have the opportunity to engage in both written and spoken language in the classroom as well as through online resources.  

Seventh grade Latin is a year dedicated to building the foundations of the Latin language. Students study Latin grammar and vocabulary with the goal of reading simple passages in Latin. Latin vocabulary is introduced and explored in relationship to their English cognates. The course largely follows the curriculum outlined in the textbook series, Ecce Romani. Selected topics in Roman history, culture and mythology enrich the students’ experience and exposure to the classical Roman world.

Eighth Grade

Eighth grade Spanish, in the second part of the two-year course of study, is designed to continue preparing students for high school Spanish. Students explore Spanish speaking countries and embark on cultural challenges while learning Spanish vocabulary, grammar and culture. Students will have the opportunity to engage in both written and spoken language in the classroom as well as through online resources.  Immediately following their graduation in the spring, Spanish students have the option to participate in an immersion program in Costa Rica.

Eighth grade Latin builds on the foundations established in seventh grade. Students study grammar and vocabulary in greater detail with the goal of reading more complex passages in Latin, as well as translating English sentences into Latin. The course largely follows the curriculum outlined in the textbook series, Ecce Romani. In the accompanying book, The Romans Speak for Themselves, students read Latin literature adapted from the writings of ancient Romans such as Catullus, Horace and Ovid, among others. Selected topics in Roman history, culture and mythology are covered throughout the year. Immediately following their graduation in the spring, Latin students and their parents have the option to explore Roman Britain on an educational trip to the United Kingdom through the Paideia Institute.

Eighth grade Classical Studies is a course designed for the building of language acquisitions, following a classical curriculum. It is a course developed for students to advance at their individual pace. Students study syntax and vocabulary, with emphasis on the ability to read continuous narratives. Investigation of English derivatives of Latin words is meant to expand students’ use of their own language. Students are introduced to selected topics in Roman history, culture, mythology and literature in order to examine ancient Greek and Roman influence on modern thought. Classical Studiesstudents and their parents have the option to explore Roman Britain on an educational trip to the United Kingdom through the Paideia Institute.