Rigorous study of one modern language (French) and one ancient (Latin) is a staple of the Classical Academy curriculum.
In addition, the Classical Academy offers optional afterschool immersive Modern Hebrew language instruction.
Each of the languages is introduced as key to the aesthetics, beliefs, customs, and viewpoints of a different world. Connecting intimately with studies in literature, poetry, history, and theatre, our language program ensures that students are graduated from eighth grade having journeyed far and wide across the three thousand years that separate us from the origins of the Western tradition: knowledge of Latin makes them at home in Classical Antiquity; the study of French opens doors not only to present-day Europe, but also, just as importantly, to a treasure-trove of classical western literature. Superimposing study of French onto the study of Latin allows our students insight into the historical undercurrents pulsating across millennia in Western texts and speech. They are enabled to discern how Latin influenced and continues to influence Romance languages (as well as English), and how, while emulating the Latin works, French (and English) created its own, very different aesthetic canon.
The Classical Academy language program progresses at a dynamic yet thorough pace, eschewing the current tendency to extend mastery of the basics over many years. Study of French begins in kindergarten and continues through grade eight with rigorous study of grammar, vocabulary, and syntax geared toward not only conversation but also literature and poetry. Latin is introduced in fourth grade, with grammar covered in the course of a year and a half and drilled and reviewed regularly thereafter. By seventh grade, students work through rudimentary classics such as Caesar’s Gallic Wars, select Odes of Horace, and Book IV of Vergil’s Aeneid. This early and intensive beginning ensures that students embark on their study of language while their minds and memories are yet at their most supple and retentive: intricacies of grammar, vocabulary, and syntax, which may seem intimidating to an older student, are absorbed by younger children with significantly more ease.