The study of foreign language has always been a prominent focus at Canterbury School. The foreign language teachers in each school division work with the next to ensure the transition from each grade level and division to the next is a seamless journey for students.
All Lower School students take French class from Kindergarten through Grade 2. (French instruction actually begins at age 3 in the Early Childhood program.) In Grades 3-4, the students may choose to continue with French or begin instruction in Spanish. Both languages are taught all four years of Middle School and students may add Latin in Grades 7-8. In High School, Japanese becomes an addition option for study.
Students who begin learning a second or third language at an earlier age have an increased chance to achieve greater proficiency. Students are given the vocabulary and basic syntax necessary to communicate about their lives, family, school, personalities, food, sports, community, health, clothes, seasons, and much more.
The teacher speaks the language in the classroom the majority of the time. Through the use of props, visuals, picture books, and songs with movement and role playing, students experience the language in context. Students also are exposed to the culture of the language including art, music, history, and patterns of everyday life.