The Upper School Department of World Languages and Cultures (WLC) mission is to provide students with a meaningful program wherein they gain proficiency in at least one other language (Latin, Mandarin, or Spanish), while exploring places, customs, and people beyond the Berwick campus. Our goal is for our students to develop self-expression and empathy through our curriculum. Students leave our classrooms as globally literate citizens with an open-minded, empathic window into the world. In Mandarin and Spanish classrooms, instructors use the target language while integrating speaking, reading, writing, listening, and cultural studies into the curriculum.
To make language-learning accessible to students of all backgrounds and abilities, the WLC department honors students’ strengths through small classes, an array of course offerings, and varied assessments. Language classes include various creative and cultural activities for students to better understand themselves and the world around them. Aside from the academic courses, the World Languages and Cultures Department promotes international study and travel opportunities and offers eligible students membership into the National Honor Society. Pre-Kindergarten through twelfth grade students collaborate in divisional assemblies to share their passion for languages and cultures.
See how our Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 Spanish and Grades 4 through Grade 12 Latin and Madarin programs align with the ACTFL Proficiency Scale here
In the World Languages and Cultures program, students are exposed to Berwick’s curricular initiatives: STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math), MESH (Media Literacy, Ethics, Sociology, and History), and JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion).
Language learning affords students the opportunity to develop and further critical academic skills that are directly applicable to other areas of study. The cognitive effort involved in processing a new language teaches students how to apply those processes to other classes. The continual building upon previously learned material is a powerful tool that helps students know how to improve their study skills.
All students are required to complete a language (Latin, Mandarin, or Spanish) through the third level.