About the Department

Languages Collage

The study of a language that is not our own provides new opportunities to communicate with speakers of other languages, understand how others think and express their thoughts, perceive the world around us differently, and enhance our appreciation and understanding of ourselves and of others. Because of the unique rewards of this discipline, we believe that all students should become proficient in at least one language other than English. We believe that language learning is a lifelong undertaking that ideally should begin in elementary school and continue beyond high school. We believe that the study of language cannot be separated from the study of its culture, including daily living, history, literature, and the arts. We believe that there are natural connections between the study of language and other disciplines. We believe that language learners should interact with other speakers of the language locally and globally. Our philosophy parallels that of the Massachusetts Foreign Languages Curriculum Framework and the national Standards for Foreign Language Learning.

Guiding Principles

All students of modern languages should:

  • Develop proficiency in the target language through listening, reading, viewing, speaking, writing, and presenting in the target language;
  • Develop an understanding of the target culture – its daily life, history, literature, arts, mathematics, and science;
  • Develop insight into languages and cultures through comparison and contrast;
  • Acquire information in and make connections with other disciplines such as the arts, English, history, and social studies;
  • Communicate with local and international speakers of the language;
  • Develop critical and creative thinking, organizational, cooperative, and study skills;
  • Use technology as a tool for communicating, developing language skills, and accessing authentic cultural material from around the world.