The mission of the Language Department is to nurture meaningful communication, develop cultural competency, and promote multilingualism and multiculturalism.
The advantages of being able to communicate in another language include increased adaptability and mental acuity as well as acting with empathy and an open mind. Learning another language advances the development of skills essential to academic, social, and personal growth.
Modern language courses at Walker’s foster language acquisition by emphasizing meaningful and authentic communication in all three communicative modes: interpersonal, interpretive and presentational. Modern language instructors deliver rich, compelling and comprehensible input in order to maximize engagement with the target language across all three modes. In this way, learners will develop confidence and fluency communicating in the target language.
Latin courses naturally focus primarily on the interpretive mode of communication. All language instruction is guided by pedagogical standards that enable language learners to set linguistically appropriate goals, identify areas of growth, and track progress. Learners will come to understand that language and culture are intertwined and interdependent, but that a shared language does not necessarily represent a shared culture. Through knowledge and appreciation of the geography, customs, history, and literature of the regions where the target language is or was spoken, learners gain cultural as well as linguistic competency.
Walker’s language classes are learner-centered and collaborative, and designed to maximize engagement and meaningful communication. The interests and needs of learners constantly inform the curricula, which are designed to be relevant, dynamic, and responsive. In this way, language classes enhance learner agency and curiosity. From collaborative storytelling to the discussion of current events or classical literature, learner questions and contributions are at the heart of the learning environment. Finally, the Language Department is committed to creating learning environments that are inclusive and respectful of all the diverse characteristics of learners’ identities and experiences.