SMCS World Languages

A modern, demanding world requires modern learning. The SMCS community is committed to inspiring students to become well-rounded citizens who will thrive in a global marketplace. The ability to understand other cultures and communicate effectively is key to future success.


World Languages – High School

At the high school, world language classes are part of the daily curriculum for those who elect to take them and are an important component of most college admissions requirements. SMCHS is pleased to offer a CAPP German class that enables students to earn both high school and college credits in upper-level German and 5th year Spanish is an AP class.

Global Education Achievement Certificate Program

SMCS is approved for the Global Education Achievement Certificate Program. This program ensures that students and staff are engaged in learning and supporting meaningful development of global competence. It promotes international leaning, global awareness, and cross-cultural connections across Wisconsin.

The following classes have been approved without stipulations:

  • AP Language & Composition
  • AP Literature & Culture
  • Contemporary Literature
  • English 9/Honors
  • Greco-Roman Mythology
  • World Lit (with encouragement to integrate non-European authors and themes)
  • Modern European History
  • Global Studies
  • Human Geography
  • AP Comp Government
  • Chinese Culture
The Confucius Classroom

St. Mary Catholic High School is home to a Confucius Classroom. The program is designed to foster cross-cultural goodwill by teaching about Chinese language and culture through classroom, community and cultural experiences. It is administered by the Confucius Institute at UW-Platteville, and supports the SMCS Mandarin Chinese program at all grade levels.

Since its establishment in 2013, the SMCHS Confucius Classroom has provided classroom materials and experiences, an artist-in-residence program and field trips to Chinatown and The Field Museum in Chicago, as well as several performances and dining experiences. In addition, the program has offered multiple seminars open to the public ranging from calligraphy and cooking to Chinese tea ceremony, etiquette and history.

World Travel

The instructors of each of the three world languages offered at SMCHS realize the value of experiencing a native-speaking culture firsthand, so international travel at the high school level is encouraged.

In 2015 & 2018, German students took a two-week trip to Europe where they visited Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and France and saw large cities, castles, a pilgrimage church, Dachau Concentration Camp and the Swiss Alps. In 2014 & 2019, Spanish students have traveled to the Dominican Republic to experience the culture, language and food of the island, and to engage in environmental service work. In summer 2017 & 2019, Chinese language students traveled to Beijing, Shanghai and X’iang, China to experience Chinese culture, history, language and food. Additional trips are scheduled.


World Languages – Middle School

With this early exposure to three world languages, when students enter middle school, they have had enough experience to choose the language they would like to continue, or to begin learning German. All languages are offered at this level are taught every day, and students in eighth grade who have completed both the A- and B-level of instruction may take a “for-credit” language class at St. Mary Catholic High School in any of the three languages (German, Mandarin Chinese or Spanish).

SMCMS offers three world languages classes: German, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. Sixth grade students experience all three languages. These classes are  every other day and taught on a trimester basis rotating between all three languages. There is some homework and assessments in these classes and students start to learn the basics of all three languages. Students will experience/learn the alphabet, entry level words, and verb forms in order to make an informed decision when they choose a language for seventh grade.

Students who do not take a world language in sixth, seventh and eighth grade take an instructional strategies class. This class provides an opportunity for students to improve their reading fluency, comprehension, written language skills and math skills.  Students with MAP scores below the 25 percentile in reading, language, or math and those who have a learning service plan (LSP) or an individual service plan (ISP) will be enrolled in this class rather than world language.

In eighth grade, many students have an opportunity to take a level I World Language class and receive a high school credit. If students wish not to take a level I class, we offer eighth grade World Language classes. Students who complete eighth grade World Language classes, may be able to test into level II as a freshman.


World Languages – Elementary Schools

Each semester, SMCS elementary schools alternate the instruction of Mandarin Chinese, German and Spanish as part of the classroom instruction for fourth and fifth grade students. While at the elementary campuses, the World Language teachers also spend time with the younger students, introducing them to basic vocabulary and interesting aspects of Chinese, German and Spanish & Hispanic cultures, such as Chinese New Year, St. Nicholas Day and the Day of the Dead.