SMCS World Languages
World Languages Offered: German, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish
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 are key to future success.
Other Languages at 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.
The Confucius Classroom
St. Mary Catholic High School is home to one of fewer than 100 Confucius Classrooms in the nation. The program is designed to foster cross-culatural 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.
The instructors of each of the three world languages offered at St. Mary Catholic Schools realize the value of experiencing a native-speaking culture firsthand, so international travel at the high school level is encouraged.
In 2014, 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. For the past several summers, 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, Chinese language students traveled to Beijing, Shanghai and X’iang, China to experience Chinese culture, history, language and food. Additional trips are scheduled.
Other Languages at Middle School
With this early exposure to two world languages, when students enter middle school, they have had enough experience to either choose the language they would like to continue, or to begin learning German. All languages are offered at this level are taught every other 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 will take a literacy class. Many students who do not take a world language need help with reading informational text, study skills, organization, writing skills, and research skills. The literacy class will help them better understand reading material that is assigned in their science and social studies classes. The literacy class may also help prepare them to study a world language later in their academic career.
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 freshmen.
Other Languages at the Elementary Schools
Each semester, SMCS elementary schools alternate the instruction of Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of the classroom instruction for fourth and fifth grade students. While at the elementary campuses, the Chinese and Spanish teachers also spend time with the younger students, introducing them to simple vocabulary and interesting aspects of Chinese and Spanish & Hispanic cultures, such as Chinese New Year and the Day of the Dead.