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World Languages

At Seattle Academy, world language study fosters global awareness, intellectual curiosity, and an understanding of the learning process. Courses in the World Languages Department emphasize communication and global perspective. All teachers in the World Languages Department strive to create a positive, dynamic learning environment where students continually develop their comprehension and production of the target language. The program begins in 6th grade with a study of components of Latin and English grammar as well as an introduction to the modern languages. Beginning in the 7th grade, students may choose to study Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, or French. In the Upper School, students may continue to study the language they chose in Middle School, or they may choose to switch to a different modern language.

Xiaolongbao, Please!




Mandarin Chinese 2 students complete a restaurant unit. Students study vocabulary and structures to use in a restaurant setting. For the final project for this unit, students go to a Chinese restaurant and film themselves interacting with the restaurant staff entirely in Mandarin Chinese.

Photo of Seattle Academy Upper School student in World Language Chinese class in 2023

Language Development Skills

All language classes stress communication, reading fluency, and the ability to produce understandable language in speaking and writing.

Photo of Seattle Academy student visiting a local museum for French class.

Local and Regional Experiences

Students visit local museums, attend films and plays, hear presentations from native-speakers, and attend regional cultural events related to the curricula. 

Photo of Seattle Academy Upper School Students on a Trip to Costa Rica

International Trips

The World Languages Department offers international trips. Recent trips included China, France, Costa Rica, and Britain (focused on Roman Culture).

Photo of a group of Seattle Academy students in World Languages Class

Language Foundations Developed

In beginning and intermediate classes (1-4), students build vocabulary and grammatical frameworks that allow them to navigate commonplace situations. Class work emphasizes speaking and listening skills, while homework deepens reading and writing. 

Photo of Upper School World Language at Seattle Academy 2019

Production and Comprehension in Advanced Courses

Beginning with 4th year honors classes, students work with abstract vocabulary and complex grammatical structures appropriate for their social and developmental maturity. Advanced classes require significant discussions, reading and writing in the target language including literary analysis, creative writing and research projects. 

Photo of Seattle Academy student in Spanish class.

Most High School Students Choose to Take Four Years of World Language

Beyond the three years of language study required for graduation, those who love learning languages are often able to study more than one language during part of high school. 

World Languages at SAAS FAQ