World Language & Culture

Our students regularly benefit from the diverse parent and staff community of St. Edmund’s, who willingly share their own cultures, traditions, & holidays with our students.  
For example, students welcome the spring season by making Bulgarian Martenitsas with a parent to hang on the trees at the first sign of blossom, followed by a celebration of “Girl’s Day” from Japan with delicious mochi, which represents the grass, snow, and spring blossoms found during this time of year.  Over the course of the school year, students begin to see similarities among a variety of cultures and notice that our Core Values often lie at the heart of many practices and celebrations.
From a curricular standpoint, we offer students both a very broad exploration of world cultures and a very in-depth experience in learning a world language.

In Grades 1-4, students take a World Cultures class, in which they learn about four or five different countries or regions of the world. They study the people, the history, geography, economics, culture, and a general overview of the languages spoken there. By the end of their 4th grade year, our students have been exposed to cultures across the globe and have a general understanding of the differences and similarities between world languages.

In 5th grade, students select Spanish or French as their language concentration, and they spend the next four years intensely studying their chosen language. Highly conversational in nature, these classes meet daily and reinforce students’ ability to speak, read, and write in their language. Our young alumni tell us that they feel very well-prepared for the rigor of upper-level language classes in high school.

In addition to French or Spanish, St. Edmund’s students take Latin during their 7th and 8th grade years. Through their study of Latin, our students are taught to be discerning and critical of the spoken and written word, regardless of language.
Students in Grade 5 engage in 160 minutes of Spanish/French instruction each week, while students in Grades 6-8 have 200 minutes weekly.  7th and 8th graders participate in an additional 160 minutes of Latin each week.
    • St. Edmund’s Academy students scored well above the national average on the National Latin Exam, and two of our students received perfect scores.

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