The ancient philosopher Plutarch said: "The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled." The Modern Languages Department at St. Mark’s strives to create a fire among the students; a fire that will provide them with the necessary light to see the opportunities ahead of them by learning a foreign language and the culture that goes along with it.
Foreign languages form an integral part of the education of today's youth. The ability to communicate with considerable proficiency in at least one modern foreign language is increasingly a necessity of contemporary life. It continues to be true that the study of languages changes one's perspective not only of different parts of the world, but also of one's own language and culture. At the same time, its study provides the opportunity to learn to appreciate differences and to be less ethnocentric.
Learning a foreign language involves learning grammar, vocabulary and the cultural structure behind them. In order to accomplish this goal, students must develop their aural, oral, visual, reading, and writing skills from the first day on. In more advanced levels students also develop critical thinking and analytical skills.
The aim of the Modern Language Department is to give students interesting and challenging instruction in the language or languages they have decided to learn, and to make them stronger students as well as more aware and tolerant of the cultural values of the people whose language they are studying.
In order to accomplish these goals, the Modern Languages Department has extensive technological support, which includes computers, internet and language lab. The Department encourages travel abroad. German students are encouraged to take advantage of our exchange program with our partner school in Germany. French and Spanish students are encouraged to take part in the school trips to Latin America, Spain and France. The Modern Language Department offers very diverse, interactive, and dynamic modern language pedagogy. All classes are taught in the target language.
Since 1998 St. Mark’s has had an exchange program with the Wittlesbacher Gymnsium. The Wittlesbacher Gymnasium is a university preparatory school that specializes in languages, modern and classical. It is located in the heart of Munich, which is simultaneously one of Germany’s most beautiful and traditional cities and one of its most modern and vibrant. Every year two students from St. Mark’s spend two weeks living with a family and attending school, and their exchange partners come to St. Mark’s for a two week visit. Both visits are timed to take place when the visiting students are on vacation, so they do not miss any classes at their home school.
Instituto San Pedro
For information on our summer program in Segovia, Spain:
Summer program where St. Mark's students visit China. During the trip, students try authentic Chinese food, practice the language, meet new people, and see a beautiful city. Most importantly, they are fully immersed in a unique culture much different than what they are used to.
- School Year Abroad
St. Mark’s students may choose to join School Year abroad for a year. To find more about the program, you can visit their website at http://sya.org/s/833/home.aspx.
- Also see Global Citizenship for all of our travel opportunities [click here]