The Modern Language Department’s primary goal is to introduce and develop proficiency in Spanish, French and Mandarin Chinese communication. In doing this, we strive to impress upon students the importance and enjoyment of acquiring a second language and learning about other cultures. To achieve this goal, our classes, beginning with the lowest levels, are conducted exclusively in the target language. Through class activities, homework, and use of the newest technology in the school’s multimedia classroom, the students are able to improve their spoken, written, reading and listening skills. In addition, classes at every level participate in field trips and have the opportunity to hear guest speakers in order to better appreciate the culture of the language they are studying.Although Belmont Hill students are required to complete the third level of a language, most students opt to continue with their studies. Students begin in seventh grade and can pursue their language through the AP level. As a department, we offer AP language and AP literature in French and Spanish and prepare the Chinese students for the SAT II. In addition, for students who have a love of the language and/or culture but do not feel ready to take an AP course, there are opportunities to continue with each language outside the AP level.
Finally, we actively encourage our students to immerse themselves firsthand in cultures where the target languages are spoken, through participation in our spring vacation trips, the School Year Abroad program in Spain, France and China, or through an array of summer programs.