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Languages

Interior Hero Photo

The goal of Emma Willard School’s Language Department is to guide our students to become competent listeners, speakers, readers and writers of languages other than English.

With a strong grammar foundation and plenty of time devoted to speaking, Emma graduates draw upon their competency in French, Chinese, Latin or Spanish to continue on to higher level language coursework in college. We also boast a number of graduates who put their language skills to use not only in their majors, minors and study abroad programs, but also in their careers.

We emphasize the cultural nuances necessary to gracefully navigate interactions with native speakers. In studying the cultures in which the languages have arisen, we examine both historical and current cultural phenomena. The global nature of Emma Willard’s student population enhances this examination as students become familiar with different perspectives both in target language countries and in the various cultures represented within the classroom.

As students gain linguistic and cultural competence, we are able to explore in greater depth the literature of the various target language countries. We start with shorter works as early as level one, and the readings increase in length and complexity as students progress to higher levels.

At Emma Willard, we view language study as more than a means to acquire a tool. We design our language classes to give students a safe opportunity to take risks and make mistakes. As a result, students learn to be resourceful in communicating without English. The coping skills that result from this uncertainty transfer to other academic subjects and life in general. The language faculty share a commitment to conducting class in the target language, personalizing the experience for students, and creating an authentic linguistic and cultural environment in the classroom. The language hallway resounds with chatting and laughter, because we value creative and joyful self-expression.

chinese class project

Chinese III had a special Experiential Learning Unit in May where students extended their knowledge beyond the language, explored traditional Chinese art, and applied their diverse skills in a fundraiser event.

audrey f award

Audrey F. ’25 was selected as a finalist out of thousands of Chinese students in the eastern part of the United States for a prestigious Chinese competition called “Chinese Bridge Competition,” or “汉语桥,” at the Chinese Institute In America hosted by the Chinese Consulate General in New York City. 

living language cover photo

Experiential Learning moves language learning beyond the classroom.

the clark

French III students took a field trip to the Clark Institute in Williamstown, MA earlier in the month. After a guided tour of the exhibitions, the art director spent time with students and answered their questions. Students are now exploring one specific piece of art from the museum that struck them and are preparing presentations for the class.

Signature Magazine Fall/Winter 2023

The Fall/Winter 2023 edition of Emma Willard School’s Signature magazine highlights several aspects of the Emma experience. From experiential learning to our deep historical roots and our profoundly dedicated faculty, we explore and celebrate some of the unique aspects of living and learning on Mount Ida. 

Download our course catalog for more details and graduation requirements.

Course Catalog

EW

Language Faculty

Gina Egan

Gina Egan

Language Department Chair, Spanish Instructor, Head JV Field Hockey Coach
Eloise Bererd

Eloise Bererd

French Instructor
Guangyu Hao

Guangyu Hao

Chinese Instructor, Asistant Swimming & Diving Coach
Charles LeBel

Charles LeBel

Spanish Instructor, Assistant JV Soccer Coach
Robert Matera

Robert Matera

Latin Instructor
Domenica Petulla

Domenica Petulla

Spanish Instructor
Manon Sabatier

Manon Sabatier

French Instructor