The ability to speak a second language and to understand the cultures using that language has never been more important in our students' lives than today. Now, more than ever before, business is conducted at a multinational level and the demographics of our own country's schools, workforce, and neighborhoods are becoming increasingly diverse.
The study of French language, literature, and history helps student to understand other cultures as well as their own and to develop an appreciation of the variety of human experience and expression.
The French program offers courses in French, beginning in Junior Kindergarten and progressing through the Eighth Grade. Each student benefits from a sequential program stressing the humanistic aspect of foreign-language study. This is a proficiency-oriented program. The overall aim is to develop the ability of the student with a view toward the use of the language for communication. Language skills are developed along with knowledge of the culture of those countries in which the language is spoken.
During elementary school, the program provides an overview of the basic principles of French spelling, pronunciation, and grammar. As the students enter Middle School, French instruction focuses on oral proficiency and also helps students develop skills in listening, writing, and reading. By the end of Eighth Grade, students are prepared for French II or III at the High School level.
Research indicated that the number of years a student studies a foreign language has a direct correlation with high verbal SAT scores. Five years of foreign language study are associated with higher verbal SAT scores, as opposed to five years of any other academic subject. Reasoning ability, verbal intelligence, cognitive flexibility, and divergent thinking have all been demonstrated to improve through foreign language study. Research has also demonstrated higher aptitude for acquiring computer languages in students who continue foreign language study. As students become more familiar with the syntax and grammar of a foreign language, they apply this knowledge to login to artificial computer language as well.