Academics
Upper School
Academics

Language and Culture

Our Vision

The Berwick Academy Department of Languages and Cultures is committed to promoting linguistic and cultural competence through a Pre-K – grade 12 approach. 
We recognize that “to study another language and culture gives one the powerful key to successful communication: knowing how, when and why to say what to whom.” (National Standards for Foreign Language Learning, 1996, p.11) We strive to develop proficiency in the four skills (speaking, reading, writing and listening) of the target language in order to instill in our students a global mindset, cultural awareness and communicative abilities.

Upper School Philosophy

The mission of the Upper School Department of Languages and Cultures is to provide students with a rigorous program wherein they can dedicate themselves to gaining proficiency in at least one other language (Latin, Mandarin, or Spanish), while also acquiring knowledge of other countries, their cultures and a broader understanding of the world. In modern language classrooms we stress the target language as the means of teacher-student and student-student communication. We integrate the four language skills into our activities and assessments, and strive to make language-learning accessible for students of all backgrounds and abilities. Our language classes include relevant and engaging activities such as interviews, presentations, small group work, games, skits, research, recordings, projects, and viewing of films. We strive to provide real-life contexts for students as they negotiate meaning. Aside from our academic courses, we offer international travel opportunities, Honor Societies, a Foreign Film Club, a school-wide Language Day, National Exams/Competitions administration, and also support study abroad experiences.

All students are required to complete a language (Latin, Mandarin, or Spanish) through the third level.
Berwick Academy, situated on an 80-acre campus just over one hour north of Boston, serves 600 students, Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. Deeply committed to its mission of promoting virtue and useful knowledge, Berwick Academy empowers students to be creative and bold. Berwick strives to graduate alumni who shape their own learning, take risks, ask thoughtful questions, and come to understand and celebrate their authentic selves. Founded in 1791 and rooted in a tradition of college preparation, our culture of innovation prepares students for a complex and dynamic world.