Blair language classes support energetic interaction as students work with each other and their instructors to learn to speak and write in Spanish, French, Chinese, and traditional Latin and Greek. Classroom immersion is key: Students pledge to speak only in the language they are studying for the duration of each class, a teaching tool that has become a hallmark of the language department’s philosophy.
The goal in each of the language areas is to encourage and develop a competent grasp of the language and expose students to a variety of cultural material, both historical and current. Our modern language program materials meet the National Standards and Guidelines provided by the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language. These standards were established in 1994 and updated in 1999 and cover the four Communication skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, as well as the additional Cs of Cultures, Connections, Comparisons and Communities.
Our classics courses focus on the art of close reading, fully appreciating the nuance of language, and introducing students to the achievements of ancient literature written by authors such as Caesar, Cicero, Demosthenes, Catullus, Horace, Vergil, Herodotus and Homer.
Blair language department faculty members have led a variety of international trips to destinations including Spain, Central and South America, Italy, Greece, France, China and Canada. Each teacher is supported in continuing his or her professional development through study and/or travel, and each of the modern language teachers is either a native or a near-native speaker.