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World Languages
  • World Languages

Harpeth Hall believes that the study of language plays an integral role in a college preparatory, liberal arts education. Students are encouraged to study a second language with the goal of achieving the highest possible level of linguistic and cultural proficiency. Therefore, in order to graduate, each student must complete three years of one language in the Upper School. 

Harpeth Hall believes that the study of language plays an integral role in a college preparatory, liberal arts education. Students are encouraged to study a second language and achieve the highest possible level of linguistic and cultural proficiency. Therefore, to meet Harpeth Hall’s graduation requirement, each student must complete three years of one language in the Upper School. The department strongly urges students to pursue language study through the 12th grade to achieve the highest level of placement and success at the university level.

Harpeth Hall offers Latin, Chinese, French, and Spanish. Studying Latin provides important insight into the early history and development of western civilization. The Latin curriculum at Harpeth Hall encourages concentration, logic, and reflection. Providing insight into the origin and effective use of English, students increase vocabulary skills in English and are prepared for the study of modern Romance languages, such as Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Italian. The study of Chinese, French, or Spanish helps foster mental discipline and analytical thought. Proficiency in a modern language is both an achievable goal and a valuable skill for a Harpeth Hall graduate. Most importantly, language study broadens one’s perspective and encourages a healthy, open-minded curiosity about the world’s many cultures and languages. The department’s philosophy is to use the target language in the classroom and to encourage its use whenever possible outside the classroom.

The world language program emphasizes a balanced approach to the cornerstones of language proficiency: reading, writing, speaking and listening to a foreign language while gaining insight into the culture in which it is (or was) spoken. By studying another language, the student acquires the measurable, practical skills that accompany world language proficiency, as well as something harder to gauge but no less valuable: an appreciation for another culture and a greater understanding of her world.

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