Learning lifelong language skills
The study of world languages at Breck begins with our earliest learners and progresses through graduation. As the first school in the state of Minnesota to offer Chinese instruction beginning in preschool, our World Language curriculum is known for its extensive course offerings, international travel, and in-depth instruction. Our students are learning more than a language; they are learning an appreciation of the world around them.
As a department, we are educators who either hail from different countries and cultures or who have spent extensive time living in and learning about different countries, languages and cultures. We are curious about the world and invested in sharing that curiosity with students. We teach languages because it not only opens doors to other cultures and experiences but it also sets the stage for students to have deep and meaningful opportunities in both their personal and professional lives after their education at Breck is completed.
The World Languages Department sees the world as a rich landscape to be discovered, where our classrooms become a platform for students of all levels, including native speakers, heritage speakers, and students from immersion backgrounds, to develop not only their language skills but also their intercultural competencies. These objectives entail that our teachers follow research-informed practices in language acquisition, develop meaningful and practical curricula, and create or select authentic material that enhances students’ curiosity in discovering our world.
Ultimately, our mission is that students who go through our World Language program will learn more than a language; they will also learn how to take risks, develop empathy, see the value in other people’s perspectives, and navigate our global societies as independent and lifelong learners.
My time in the French language department was one of my most positive experiences at Breck. When I first started Breck, there were no options for students like myself who were lucky enough to attend a language immersive elementary school or who had a parent speak the language at home. Breck changed this by creating an immersion language and culture class for students like me. Not only did this class give me the chance to improve my French language and grammar skills with a teacher from France, but it went beyond simply learning French to learning in French; we studied French history, culture, and government all in a foreign language. It was an incredible opportunity to have this type of class available at the high school level and it more than prepared me for college!Maggie Johnston '18, Dartmouth '22
Breck's World Languages department offers entry-level programs all the way through expanded opportunities to improve language fluency, guided grammar and vocabulary expansion embedded in the curriculum, increased sophistication of communication and writing, and global perspective development.
Breck international trips provide opportunities for our students in grades 11-12 to travel abroad to appreciate and immerse themselves in the languages and cultures they’ve been studying as well as to serve overseas local communities.
Trip locations vary each year. Past trips include China, Colombia, France, Morocco, Panama, and Spain.