Middle School World Language Courses

Our language program is designed to challenge students with classes in Spanish, Chinese, French, and Latin. We offer Honors, CIS, and AP for many of these courses.

The goals of our department are to teach effective communication, language proficiency, and cultural understanding. To successfully communicate in a world language, it is important to understand the relevance of diversity and culture, and to have a true appreciation of the global society in which we live. At Saint Thomas Academy, our teachers are dedicated to creating high-quality, student-centered learning environments that prepare our boys for excel in college.

Through the study of world languages, students will:

  • Gain skills that enable them to communicate orally and in writing with speakers of another language.
  • Develop a greater understanding about people across national boundaries by giving them insight into the ways of life and ways of thinking of the people who speak the language they are learning.
  • Expand their understanding of how language functions, including their own language.
  • Learn to read with comprehension so that they may keep up with current writing, research, and information in the studied language.
  • Develop critical thinking skills by understanding perspectives, exchanging opinions, and presenting ideas.
  • Be prepared to think and interact in a global community.
  • Be inspired and prepared to study a world language and culture in college.

Note: Placement is determined by exam scores, satisfactory completion of a lower level course, and/or teacher recommendation. Sixth and Seventh graders are placed in a World Language and Cultures course. A student whose native language is other than English is encouraged to study a third language in the World Language Department.

Based on student interest and demonstrated proficiency, higher level language courses are available. Please refer to the HS Courses for more information.

WORLD LANGUAGES AND CULTURES - Grade Level: 6-7, quarter based:  1 quarter French, 1 quarter Latin, 1 quarter Spanish

In this course, students will have the opportunity to learn to communicate in three languages other than English: Spanish, French and Latin. In the World Languages and Cultures course, students are exposed to various cultural perspectives as they learn to increase their awareness and knowledge of what it means to be a global citizen. In French, students will learn about the phonetics of the French language as well as vocabulary and language structures. In Latin, students will begin the study of Latin vocabulary, syntax and the Roman culture. Finally, in Spanish, students will learn contextualized vocabulary and grammar structures in order to facilitate verbal and written communication, while being exposed to the cultures around the world where Spanish is the primary language. The World Languages and Cultures course will allow students to gain knowledge and understanding of other cultures and to connect with other disciplines to acquire information.  Class graded S/U.

FRENCH 1 -  Grade Level: 8, year long

Instructor approval.
The study of topics involving weather, time, and seasons; family and friends; the home and neighborhood; and items found in everyday life are the core of this year's curriculum.  Through the use of the basic text and oral comprehension program, the student learns to express himself in the present tense and is introduced to the use and practice of progressive future and recent past tense.  He also is introduced to the diversity of the French language and culture through units that present the French-speaking countries around the world.

LATIN 1 - Grade Level: 8, year long
Instructor approval; 2.5 GPA and space availability.
Students comprehend the Latin language through practice in reading Latin, with special emphasis on the legacies of Latin in our own language.  They are also introduced to the diverse social and political history of the Romans.  Students will discover the wonders of Roman mythology, art, and culture.

SPANISH I - Grade Level: 8, year long

Instructor approval
This course introduces the skills of communication (listening, speaking, reading, writing) in Spanish. It also attempts to instill in students an understanding and appreciation of persons belonging to social, cultural, and ethnic groups different from their own. This course is for students who have had little or no previous experience studying Spanish.

SPANISH IB - Grade Level: 8, year long
This course is for students who have studied Spanish but need to develop stronger foundational skills before advancing to a more rigorous Spanish 2. Prerequisites include: strong study skills as well as knowledge of basic vocabulary and communicative functions such as numbers, telling time, date, weather description, family, pastimes, food and likes/dislikes. Students should have knowledge of regular present tense verb conjugations and should be able to speak and write in simple sentences in Spanish. Students should be familiar with comprehension strategies and have a basic level of comprehension of written and spoken Spanish. In Spanish IB, students will reinforce their basic knowledge of Spanish communicative skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking while continuing to develop new vocabulary and grammatical concepts. Previously learned vocabulary and grammatical structures will also be reinforced.

SPANISH II - Grade Level: 9-12, year long
This course offers the opportunity to continue developing and deepening the skills of communication (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) in Spanish, to investigate and experience the richness of cultures, and to continue forming those study skills which help students become lifelong learners. There is an increased emphasis on grammatical skills at this level.