The World Languages Department offers courses in French, Spanish, Chinese, and Latin. In order to satisfy the requirements for graduation, students must pass a third-level foreign language course. New juniors who cannot fulfill the requirement due to placement, or who have studied a language other than those offered at the Academy, must pass as many years of language study as possible in one language while at KUA. Courses for new seniors, postgraduates, and international students are arranged individually in consultation with the Academic Dean.
The goal of French, Chinese, and Spanish courses is twofold—to develop proficiency in the four language skills, listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing, and to foster an appreciation and knowledge of other languages and cultures. Our modern language offerings target students for whom French, Chinese, or Spanish is a second language. We therefore require native speakers of French, Chinese, or Spanish to study a new language while at Kimball Union. The goals of Latin courses are to develop proficiency in reading, translating, and interpreting the Latin language, to build English vocabulary through the analysis of Latin roots, and to foster a knowledge and appreciation of the cultures of the ancient Greeks and Romans and their influence on the modern world.
The department uses an interactive, communication-based approach, incorporating text, classroom practice, literature, video, and computer laboratory work. Our computer laboratories offer all students additional practice with listening comprehension, speaking skills, and vocabulary acquisition. Teacher-chaperoned trips abroad are offered to provide students the opportunity to experience different cultures firsthand. Students are also encouraged to participate in homestay and foreign exchange programs.