Skip To Main Content

World Languages

Acquiring a world language at St. Mary’s encourages students to learn a language beyond the instructional setting.


Language learning is a core component essential in the education of every student by developing essential 21st century skills. As a required component of the IB programme, students are 

  • encouraged to gain competence in an additional language with the long-term goal of multilingualism

  • enabled to develop lifelong learning skills and 

  • encouraged to develop an awareness and understanding of the perspectives of people from other cultures. 

Language Acquisition Studies

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Mandarin Chinese


Language Acquisition Goals

Our Language Acquisition curriculum supports the five goals of World Readiness Standards for Learning Languages:

COMMUNICATION: Communicate effectively in more than one language in order to function in a variety of situations and for multiple purposes.

CULTURES: Interact with cultural competence and understanding 

CONNECTIONS: Connect with other disciplines and acquire information and diverse perspectives in order to use the language to function in academic and career related situations

COMPARISONS: Develop insight into the nature of language and culture in order to interact with cultural competence.

COMMUNITIES: Communicate and interact with cultural competence in order to participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world.

Exposure to world languages begins in the
Early Education Program (EEP) and continues
through Lower and Middle School.


Every student in Lower School is introduced to Spanish. At this stage, students develop receptive and productive language skills while they learn to comprehend and respond to spoken and visual language. All students in Grade 5 are introduced to additional world languages and receive instruction in Mandarin Chinese, French and Spanish. This approach provides students both exposure and experience in order to make an informed decision when selecting their language for their Middle School years.