The ability to appreciate other languages and cultures is critical for understanding today’s complex world. SEM’s commitment to the study of foreign languages mirrors our commitment to helping young women become well-rounded and informed global citizens.
Our Foreign Language program exposes students to other languages and cultures, and inspires them to become more globally aware and sensitive. Whether she's studying French, Spanish, or Mandarin, our ultimate aim is for her to be proficient in interpretive communication (reading and listening); interpersonal communication (writing and speaking); and presentational communication (writing and speaking).
We strive to expose students to the target language at all times through an immersion approach. Students learn in an environment that emphasizes participation, creativity, and a tolerance for diversity.
Technology also plays an important role, as students can work on language labs outside of class time which enables them to use a wide array of media from non-English language dominant nations.
Our foreign language teachers are native speakers or experts who have lived and studied abroad in their language area. Thanks to the flexibility of an independent curriculum, we design our courses according to faculty talent and student need. Acceleration options are offered in the form of Honors classes in Spanish and French at Levels 2 and 3 and AP Spanish.
Our student-led International Club, French Club, Spanish Club and Chinese Club help promote cross-cultural sensitivity. SEM's International Dinner and Talent Show is an annual festivity.
There is no better way for a student to build on her knowledge of a language than by using it. Each year we offer opportunities for students to visit French- and Spanish-speaking countries. In 2019-2020 year we will be visiting Quebec City, Quebec and Arroyito, Argentina.
The international students in the residential program (in 2019-20 from Bahamas, Canada, China, France, Germany, Kenya and S. Korea) present a unique opportunity for students to practice new language skills.
Departmental Requirements: 3 years in target language.
Language Department Chair: Isabelle Fisher
Includes electives, though not all elective courses are offered each year or trimester. Students may also enroll in additional electives and APs offered through SEM's membership in the Online School for Girls.