At US, we are committed to the language learning process because we know that learning a second language opens many doors and helps world citizens understand each other better. Research has also shown that bilingualism shapes brain development, both improving executive functioning and overall cognitive skills.
At US, language study begins in kindergarten, with all students studying Spanish from kindergarten through grade 4. This early exposure to both Spanish language and culture lays a strong foundation for future language study. In the Lower School years, our French and Mandarin Clubs offer boys the option to explore two other languages and cultures.
In fifth grade, students elect to pursue French, Latin, or Spanish for their middle and upper school studies, embarking on an exciting journey into their chosen language and culture. Boys complete Level 1 over the course of fifth and sixth grade and Level 2 during seventh and eighth grade.
Taught largely in the target language, the goal of the modern language courses is communication in both oral and written forms; whereas, Latin focuses primarily on fluent translation, though some aspects of spoken Latin are integrated into the courses. In all three languages, teachers foster a classroom environment where boys work hard to master the core skills and knowledge that will lay a foundation for further study in the Upper School. The majority of our students leave the Middle School poised to enter Level 3 study of their chosen language in ninth grade.
In addition to coursework, Middle School Mandarin Club provides linguistic and cultural exposure for those students who would like to develop an additional perspective on our global community. Boys have the opportunity to take their knowledge and learning to the next level with international travel programs during spring and summer breaks.