R-MA students don’t just learn a language, they experience it. At this boarding school, world 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 traditionally offers German, French and Spanish in the language curriculum. All of the world languages offered at R-MA participate in their respective National World Language Honor Societies, with chapters on campus. Every language also participates in the National Exams each year where students compete for national awards. The world 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 world language courses are offered during summer school, allowing for a full year of course work to be completed in only four weeks.
In the fall of 2018, R-MA expanded its language curriculum, offering Arabic through a virtual classroom experience. This class is scheduled into the regular classroom day; participating students report to a conference room and interact with their instructor as they do in any other class.
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.
Since a very high percentage of the top American colleges and universities require three years of one language or two years of two foreign languages for admission, R-MA requires the same for its Advanced College Prep Diploma. At R-MA we offer a language seal to recognize advanced language students who complete four years in one language or a combination of five years in two languages.