Modern and Classical Languages

Language lies at the core of what it means to be human. Learning a language, be it classical or modern, involves the student in a progressive and cumulative search for meaning that is rigorous and rewarding, scientific and artistic.

Students may choose to study any of the following languages from beginning through advanced levels: 

  • French
  • German
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Spanish
  • Latin 

Knowledge of a foreign language promotes the kind of understanding of other cultures and increased awareness of self that is crucial in a world where globalization is a reality. Being able to communicate in more than one language opens enormous opportunities in every discipline.

The Modern and Classical Languages Department develops students’ verbal abilities. Modern languages help students develop skills in the three communicative modes: interpersonal, interpretive and presentational. Classical languages focus on reading and rhetoric. All languages introduce the student to another culture with all its differences and similarities. Students are best served by pursuing the study of one language long enough to reach a level of proficiency that will serve them for the rest of their lives. For most students, that means studying a language for their entire career at Concord Academy; some study more than one language. Reading literature in a second language is an integral part of that proficiency.

We teach with a diversity of styles. All modern language courses are taught primarily in the target language. The language lab allows us to teach and practice listening and speaking skills and to evaluate those skills more effectively. Frequent use of DVDs, videos, and the Internet provides linguistic and cultural authenticity.

Underlying all we do is the hope that all students will experience the joy that comes with communicating in another language and experiencing other cultures.


Language Requirements

Students must successfully complete at least the third level of one language at Concord Academy before graduation. Entering students who qualify for a level higher than the third must complete the next course in the sequence in that language, or fulfill the three-level requirement in another language at Concord Academy. For further details and a list of course offerings please click here.

Choosing Appropriate Courses

Students are encouraged to select the language that most interests them regardless of past experience. Choice of language should be a personal commitment and not necessarily dictated by the language begun or offered at one's previous school. The modern and classical languages placement questionnaire and test give entering students and the department an idea of which level is most appropriate. Both forms are due with other course registration materials. Preliminary placement decisions, based on the placement questionnaire and test, are made in the spring and adjusted if necessary during the drop/add period in the fall. For more information about studying two languages at CA, please click here.