Foreign Languages: Classic and Modern
The teaching of foreign
languages forms a fundamental part of the StoneBridge curriculum. We believe
that becoming a literate person includes exposure to other cultures, other
customs, and other languages. The goal of studying language is essential to
achieve excellence in communication. Language mastery forms the basis of
excellence and achievement in any field of work. Introducing our students to
Latin and French in the primary level of learning actually "sharpens"
their capacity for mastering English.
Occasionally, parents have asked us about our purposes in teaching Latin and French in the lower grades. Primarily, we are interested in inspiring our students to appreciate the sounds of another language. In kindergarten through third grades, our curriculum is oriented toward conversational and oral technique. Latin and French classes become more technical and cover areas like culture, history, vocabulary, derivatives, grammar content, and readings in fourth through eighth grades.
Frequently we are asked why we chose French? In addition to the background and training our Founder received in French and the natural love for the beauty of the language, we feel that French plays an important role in American culture. The French language has greatly influenced English and brought with it a grace and variety to the Anglo-Saxon tongue. French explorers and French settlements in North America have contributed to the individuality of our great nation. The exodus of the Huguenots from France during the 17th and 18th centuries significantly affected North America. These educated middle-class Frenchmen journeyed here seeking religious freedom and they energized our nation with productivity and inventive prowess. Today, French is spoken throughout the world and recognized internationally. French is taught to every student from K4 through the sixth grade.
The classic language, Latin, has made a "comeback" in schools today. Although it has been labeled "a dead language," its effect on English has lasted for thousands of years. With nearly 60% of English vocabulary derived from Latin, it helps build the student's English vocabulary, reading comprehension, grammar, and writing skills. Knowledge of Latin also aids in the study of Romance languages such as French and Spanish. Our curriculum goals focus on an understanding of Latin by a study of vocabulary, English derivatives, readings, and simple translations. At StoneBridge we also establish the place of Roman civilization and culture on the Chain of Christianity. Primarily we use Latin as a tool to improve our English. Three years of a language are required for the Advanced Studies (college preparatory) Diploma.