R-MA students don’t just learn a language, they experience it. At this boarding school, foreign language teachers are either native speakers of the language they teach, or they have lived/studied abroad extensively; this enriches their classes immensely with firsthand information and personal experiences that include cultural and historical information that is not typically included in a textbook. The teachers use online news and cultural information sites for real-life language learning.
R-MA offers German, French and Spanish in the language curriculum. All of the foreign languages offered at R-MA participate in their respective National Foreign Language Honor Societies, with chapters on campus. Every language also participates in the National Exams each year where students compete for national awards. The foreign languages can accommodate a student’s study up through level six, and all of the languages include Honors, College and/or AP courses. In addition, several foreign language courses are offered during summer school, allowing for a full year of course work to be completed in only four weeks. Qualified German students can participate in a German immersion summer program that is offered every two years; this program includes three weeks in Germany and also provides students with a full year's credit for successfully completing the course.
The R-MA foreign language department provides cross-curricular instruction as well, by reinforcing:
- Math through exchange rates, metric system conversions, etc.
- Science through the weather and environmental conditions in discussing the geographical locations of each country.
- Social studies through geography and through the study of the history and cultural influences of each country.
- English through grammar lessons that are often reviewed in/related to English before being taught it in the target language.
- The arts through art, literature, and music being incorporated into the curricula.