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Middle School World Languages

For our students, learning a world language is essential in gaining a broader, more balanced, and more nuanced view of the global community.

Learning Language and Culture

Starting in Middle School, we offer four languages from which students can choose: Chinese, French, Latin, and Spanish. With an emphasis on fostering real-world communicative skills and a deep understanding of linguistics, we give students the opportunity to develop an enthusiasm and excitement for language study that leads them to become inquisitive scholars of culture, history, and literature.


Students in sixth grade receive an in-depth introduction to world languages, studying three of the four languages offered at Seven Hills. All students take Spanish throughout the year, continuing to develop the basic linguistic skills introduced in Lower School Spanish. The course also provides students who are new to the language an opportunity to learn it.

In addition, most students also take one semester of French and one semester of Latin. The goal of these classes is to introduce students to the rich cultures and histories associated with each language, as well as to establish basic knowledge of vocabulary and elementary grammar, using engaging and interactive methods. In the spring of their sixth-grade year, students select the language they would like to begin formally studying in seventh grade.

Here students are introduced to the basic Chinese phonetic system and characters, as well as simple Chinese words, holidays, and daily conversation.

In this course, students may:

  • Become immersed in the Chinese culture through fun activities
  • Learn by practicing calligraphy, singing songs, creating crafts, performing skits, making food, and celebrating Chinese holidays

In their second year of Chinese, students continue to build a firm foundation in the language and the culture.

In this course, students may:

  • Learn more grammatical structures and longer dialogue
  • Use the Chinese language in a range of projects, such as dubbing a video, creating a video project, playing Chinese board games, and analyzing Chinese culture through documentaries

Here students are introduced to the fundamental components of the Latin language and the cultural and historical context in which it was spoken and written.

In this course, students may:

  • Learn the basic Latin vocabulary, morphology, and grammatical concepts needed to compose simple Latin sentences
  • Read adapted Latin texts
  • Explore aspects of the Roman world through history, mythology, and culture

Latin 8 builds on the foundation in basic vocabulary, morphology, and grammar and improves students’ ability to read and understand Latin texts and to compose in Latin.

In this course, students may:

  • Complete their exploration of the tenses and voices of Latin verbs
  • Master the remaining noun and adjective families
  • Consolidate their knowledge of Latin pronouns
  • Explore the history of the Roman Republic, examine daily life in Rome, and travel into the city through the eyes of an ancient Roman family

In French 7, students learn hundreds of new vocabulary words, memorize several verb conjugations, and learn basic grammar structures, all of which gradually builds their ability to communicate and understand in French.

In this course, students may:

  • Engage in guided conversations about themselves, their personal interests and activities, and their relationships with family and friends
  • Learn to read simple texts, listen to native speakers, and make new discoveries about the Francophone world

Students in this course continue acquiring new vocabulary and build on the basic comprehension and production skills they learned in French 7.

In this course, Seven Hills students may:

  • Continue to fine-tune their listening and reading skills
  • Gain a beginner’s command of speaking and writing skills
  • Examine the nuances of the language and study Francophone cultures

Spanish 7 emphasizes the four linguistic skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening through a variety of activities and group projects, promoting interaction in the language.

In this course, students may:

  • Study the grammatical points of present tense forms of the major verb groups and conjugations of irregular verbs
  • Learn thematic vocabulary, idioms, and expressions to describe people, ideas, and situations relevant to their lives
  • Explore cultural topics relating to Hispanic countries around the world through real-world texts and audiovisual materials

In eighth grade, students learn more vocabulary and verb conjugations, including the present and past tense forms of the three major verb groups, and continue to develop sentence structures.

In this course, students may:

  • Learn to add detail in providing simple descriptions of their lives, school, home, and friends
  • Build confidence in all areas, including interpretive skills, presentational skills, and interpersonal skills