World Languages

The World Language Department inspires students to realize their power for good through the ongoing study of a world language and its culture. Above all else, languages exist in order to connect people and in the World Language program at OES, students at all levels use the language they are studying to establish, maintain, and deepen human relationships, both within the school community and beyond. Language and culture are symbiotic: study one language and its culture further enhances the understanding and appreciation of another language and culture. All students study Spanish in grades PreK-5.

Middle school students choose to continue their study of Spanish or begin the study of French or Mandarin.

In the Upper School, students complete at least two consecutive years of study of the same language, regardless of the level at which they begin.

Guiding Principles for World Languages

Essential Questions

CULTURE: What do I know about the infinite and complex array of cultural elements that inform the Chinese, French, and/or Spanish-speaking world?

COMMUNICATION: What registers of my target language am I familiar with, and to what extent am I able to adapt my register to be contextually appropriate?

CONNECTIONS: What connections am I able to build with other people, perspectives, and disciplines through the study of a language?

COMMITMENT: How am I transformed through the study of another language?

Growth of Self

In the World Languages program, students at all levels practice and develop:

  • Risk-taking
  • Resiliency
  • Cultural Literacy
  • Multiple perspectives
  • Compassion
  • Global Awareness
  • Flexible thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Service Learning
  • Perseverance

Linguistic Development

Interpersonal & Presentational Skills:

How effectively am I able to communicate with others about information, reactions, feelings, and opinions in the spoken and written forms (in my target language)?

Interpretive Skills:

To what extent am I able to understand, interpret, and analyze what is heard, read, or viewed in my second language?

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