Modern and Classical Languages

Department Philosophy

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. 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 teach and evaluate all four language skills—reading, writing, listening, and speaking. 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.

Course Catalogue

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Contact Information


Modern and Classical Languages Department Head
(978) 402-2353

Speaking is easy for me, as I grew up in a bilingual environment, come from a bilingual family, and went to a bilingual elementary school . . . but writing and reading were even more important to me because it would complete my comprehension of Spanish and my understanding of the language.

— Alex
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I chose to study Spanish because I felt it would be advantageous, considering its growing prevalence in the United States.

— Liza
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My brother was adopted from Guatemala when I was seven, and that was a catalyst to improve my Spanish.

— Rachel
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