The goal of the Modern World Languages Department is to foster a lifelong appreciation and awareness of other languages and cultures and to prepare students to interact in a multicultural world. We recognize that SSIS students come from a variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and that each student has different learning styles and needs. Our objective is for our students to become critical thinkers and independent learners, and we therefore provide them with the linguistic tools needed to manage unfamiliar material, both written and spoken.
Students must complete the required number of years of study in the same Modern World Language in order to graduate from SSIS. SSIS offers programs in Mandarin and Spanish two of the most widely-spoken languages in the world. In addition to Mandarin and Spanish, IB Korean is offered at SSIS as a IB Language A course and self taught.
Students with no previous experience in Mandarin or Spanish, or who have completed only one year of study in these languages in middle school, enroll in level 1 in ninth grade. Students who have completed two or three years of Mandarin and Spanish in middle school enroll in Level 2 in ninth grade. High school students transferring from other schools enroll in an appropriate level determined by an oral and written placement evaluation.
Please Note: Students will be placed into an appropriate level of language class according to the prescribed sequence of courses available at SSIS. For example, students who complete HS Spanish 1 will be placed in HS Spanish 2. In rare cases, students who demonstrate exceptional circumstances (such as completing an intensive language program over the summer) may be permitted to sit a placement test for a higher level. The Mandarin and Spanish courses offered at SSIS are not designed for students who use Mandarin and Spanish at home.