The World Language program at the Middle School level offers the following choices for students coming from the Primary, as well as students new to Hathaway Brown:
Students coming from the Primary can continue their study of the Spanish language or switch to French. In either case, emphasis of the instruction will be on the acquisition of the four language skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. Classes will be conducted in the target language. Upon successful completion of the sixth grade, students in both languages will have concluded the first year of a regular language curriculum, Spanish 1 and French 1 respectively. This also applies to students who joined the existing Spanish class as new members in fifth grade or chose the beginning French class. All the students proceed to Spanish and French 2 upon entering seventh grade and will have completed that course of study by the end of eighth grade, whereupon they will proceed to the third level of their language as ninth graders.
The World Language program offers a second point of entry for students entering Hathaway Brown during their Middle School years. In seventh grade, newcomers or students who have delayed taking a foreign language for one reason or another can choose between Spanish or French and complete French or Spanish 1 by the end of eighth grade. This course of study still affords the student six years of language learning by the time she is graduated. Students who wish to join existing sixth- or eighth-grade language classes will be evaluated by the responsible language teachers to see whether they can be successfully integrated. Remedial and introductory courses are offered during the summer.
The goal of the World Language program is to provide its students with the tools that allow them to become proficient in their chosen language. At the Middle School level, the students learn to function in classes conducted in the target language. In addition, they are introduced to a culture different from their own in order to help them become aware of the global community.
The members of the Global Language department see as their foremost mandate to provide students with the tools to help them to speak and understand the fundamentals of the global language they have chosen. Furthermore, they hope to prepare the students for life in an increasingly global society. Awareness of cultural diversity and heightened sensitivity to similarities and differences enrich future language studies, careers and travel opportunities. The members of the department believe that being able to communicate in a language other than one's own is a sign of a well-rounded education and of the respect due to the identity of other peoples. The language comes alive in the classroom, as the teachers use it completely and expect the same of the students, while keeping the cognitive level of the students in mind and applying pedagogically sound methods.