This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing to use this website, you consent to our use of these cookies.
Academic Program

World Languages

About the Program

Archer’s Chinese, French, and Spanish classes serve as gateways to global competence. As students advance through their studies, they not only build their linguistic and cultural capacities, but they examine, understand, and engage a variety of peoples, texts, and cultures with the ultimate goal of taking action globally to cultivate a more just and sustainable world.

Walk into an Archer World Language class and you will observe students speaking and writing in the target language, actively constructing their learning. Input is necessary for students to learn but this does not come in the form of rote exercises or disjointed lists of vocabulary; instead, new concepts are presented as problems for students to solve. Language is obtained and constructed through a process of “meaning-making” and then honed through application to engaging and relevant tasks. Written, audio, and video materials are authentic, coming directly from places on the globe where these languages are spoken, and integrated purposefully into the curriculum. Units are conceived around final performance tasks where students apply what they have learned to real-life situations. These do not occur solely within the walls of the classroom; students dialog with native speakers virtually and in person, participate in concerts and film festivals in the target language, visit museum exhibitions, engage with penpals, host foreign students in their homes and even travel abroad to practice their skills, deepen their understanding and make connections. Most recently, 20 students traveled to France and Belgium to participate in our teacher-designed Archer Abroad course on Environmental Sustainability in the European Context.

Archer students and teachers have distinguished themselves nationally and internationally for their achievements in world languages. Students have earned numerous medals in the National French Contest and on the National Spanish Exam, completed the most rigorous levels of the HSK Chinese exam, and earned scholarships from the United States Department of State to study abroad. Teachers have also won awards and they present regularly, nationally and internationally, on best practices in language instruction, recently in Boston, Chicago, Italy, Tunisia, and Canada. On a programmatic level, Archer’s program has been named a “National Exemplary Program with Distinction” by the American Association of Teachers of French, one of only 3 in the United States in 2023.

Kisa R. '18

"I like that the world language program encourages us to speak in the target language during class. It was really hard at first but I have a better grasp of the language because of it." 

List of 4 items.

  • Introducing World Languages

    All 6th grade students take a modern world language course that gives them an introduction to Spanish, French, Chinese, and coding, as the language of technology. Seventh grade students choose the language they will study for the next two years: Spanish, French, or Chinese.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    What languages do you offer?
    Chinese, French, and Spanish

    When do Archer students begin taking a foreign language?

    All 6th grade students begin in Language Foundations. The next year, 7th grade students may choose to continue in Chinese, French, or Spanish.

    How many years of foreign language are required?

    Archer requires three years of foreign language in the Upper School, but four years are highly recommended.
  • Program Highlights

    • Classes are conducted primarily in the target language, and lessons empower students to build confidence by speaking in the language whenever possible.
    • Lessons are designed to support and stretch students’ skills.
    • Cutting-edge digital tools encourage students to practice and apply their new language skills.
    • Technology allows our students to connect with native speakers across the globe through ePals, Skype, and Twitter.
    • Classrooms and community activities bring the language to life. Shared cultural celebrations, student-generated videos, and cultural outreach all add to the richness of the experience.
    • Students write in and about their target languages in songs, poetry, magazine articles, fairytales, creative writing, travelogues, scripts, and more.
    • Our teachers are passionate about language learning and cultural competency and they incorporate a wide variety of teaching techniques to support students’ learning.
    • Faculty are lead learners who are trained in ACTFL's Oral Proficiency Interview techniques and skilled in incorporating authentic speaking tasks and assessments at every level.
  • Technology at Work

    Technology is an integral part of the World Languages program. Classes use:

Department Chair

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Travis Nesbitt

    Travis Nesbitt 

    World Language Department Chair

Course Offerings

List of 23 items.

  • Language Foundations

  • Chinese 1A

  • Chinese 1B

  • Chinese 2: Standard and Accelerated

  • Chinese 3: Standard and Accelerated

  • Chinese 4: Standard and Accelerated

  • Advanced Study: Chinese Language & Culture

  • French 1A

  • French 1B

  • French 1

  • French 2: Standard and Accelerated

  • French 3: Standard and Accelerated

  • French 4: Standard and Accelerated

  • Senior Seminar - French Language and Culture Through Cinema

  • Advanced Study: French Language and Culture

  • Spanish 1A

  • Spanish 1B

  • Spanish 1

  • Spanish 2: Standard and Accelerated

  • Spanish 3: Standard and Accelerated

  • Spanish 4: Standard and Accelerated

  • Senior Seminar - Spanish Language and Culture Through Cinema

  • Advanced Study: Spanish Language and Culture

The Archer School for Girls admits students of any race, color, religion, national and ethnic origin, sexual orientation or other legally protected status to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national and ethnic origin, sexual orientation or other legally protected status in its hiring or in the administration of its educational policies and programs, admissions policies, financial aid programs or other school-administered programs. 

The Archer School for Girls’ mission is to educate students in an environment specifically designed for girls. As such, the school will consider any candidate for admission who identifies as a girl. Once admitted to Archer, all students in good academic standing who abide by Archer’s code of conduct and who meet requirements for graduation will be eligible to receive an Archer diploma, regardless of any change in sexual identity or other legally protected status.