Foreign Language (French & Latin)
The French program at SMS emphasizes oral expression as the key to cultural literacy. Its goal is to encourage students to approach language acquisition fearlessly and to understand it as a path toward new experiences, friendships, and international dialogue.
The Lower Elementary curriculum focuses on the basic language of daily life. This includes “getting to know you” questions and answers, along with common nouns and familiar expressions.
The Upper Elementary curriculum is centered around a year-long simulated “Trip to Paris,” and the study and performance of two plays, both entirely in French. The fall play is usually a retelling of a traditional folk tale; the spring play is written by the students with faculty guidance, using vocabulary acquired over the year.
Sixth year students begin the study of Latin, using the text The Phenomenon of Language. Comparisons to English, French, and other languages spoken at home form part of many class discussions. An introduction to Esperanto is included at the end of the year.
The cultural and linguistic diversity of SMS inspires the children of all levels to develop excitement and curiosity about world languages to take with them as they go on to further education.