The goal of Emma Willard School’s Language Department is to guide our students to become competent listeners, speakers, readers and writers of languages other than English.
With a strong grammar foundation and plenty of time devoted to speaking, Emma graduates draw upon their competency in French, Chinese, Latin or Spanish to continue on to higher level language coursework in college. We also boast a number of graduates who put their language skills to use not only in their majors, minors and study abroad programs, but also in their careers.
We emphasize the cultural nuances necessary to gracefully navigate interactions with native speakers. In studying the cultures in which the languages have arisen, we examine both historical and current cultural phenomena. The global nature of Emma Willard’s student population enhances this examination as students become familiar with different perspectives both in target language countries and in the various cultures represented within the classroom.
As students gain linguistic and cultural competence, we are able to explore in greater depth the literature of the various target language countries. We start with shorter works as early as level one, and the readings increase in length and complexity as students progress to higher levels.
At Emma Willard, we view language study as more than a means to acquire a tool. We design our language classes to give students a safe opportunity to take risks and make mistakes. As a result, students learn to be resourceful in communicating without English. The coping skills that result from this uncertainty transfer to other academic subjects and life in general. The language faculty share a commitment to conducting class in the target language, personalizing the experience for students, and creating an authentic linguistic and cultural environment in the classroom. The language hallway resounds with chatting and laughter, because we value creative and joyful self-expression.
French III students took a field trip to the Clark Institute in Williamstown, MA earlier in the month. After a guided tour of the exhibitions, the art director spent time with students and answered their questions. Students are now exploring one specific piece of art from the museum that struck them and are preparing presentations for the class.
The Fall/Winter 2023 edition of Emma Willard School’s Signature magazine highlights several aspects of the Emma experience. From experiential learning to our deep historical roots and our profoundly dedicated faculty, we explore and celebrate some of the unique aspects of living and learning on Mount Ida.
Students from Madame Sabatier's French IV class were able to Zoom with students from Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Guangyu Hao is a Chinese language instructor at Emma Willard and joined the school in 2022. Ms. Hao is also the adult advisor to the Asian Student Union (ASU) and assistant coach for swimming and diving. Before coming to Emma, Ms. Hao worked as a Chinese language lecturer at Columbia University and New York University in New York City. We asked Guangyu four questions about her role at Emma Willard.
The Spring 2023 edition of Emma Willard School’s Signature magazine focuses on aspects of academic excellence on Mount Ida. We explore the College Counseling process, get a peak into our students’ STEAM pursuits, and hear from a student/alum collaboration.
Download our course catalog for more details and graduation requirements.