Montgomery Bell Academy’s Foreign Language Department offers four to five year courses in Latin, Chinese, French, German, and Spanish, and a one year course in Classical Greek. All students who enter MBA are required to take two years of Latin, with study beginning in the 8th grade, or in the 9th grade by students who enter MBA in the High School. All Latin courses count as high school credit and appear on the student’s official school transcript. Scores from Latin I taken in the 8th grade are not included in the High School GPA. Graduation requirements include the two required years of Latin, followed by either a third year of Latin or two years of a modern language in addition to the two required years of Latin. For students entering at the tenth grade or later, the Latin component of the requirement is strongly encouraged but not mandatory.
: The Classical Languages program comprises of five levels of Latin (Latin I - Latin V-Honors) and one section of Classical Greek. Latin is at the heart of MBA’s classical education. The principal goal of every Latin course is directed at reading and understanding Latin with precision and nuance, allowing students to enter into the stream of ancient thought that still flows through our own culture. In the early years of study, the MBA Latin curriculum focuses on readings that allow students to assimilate new grammar and vocabulary while progressing along a timeline of Latin literature from its earliest Roman authors through the medieval and Renaissance eras. In the upper level classes, students deepen their engagement with ancient literature through a variety of authors, genres, and perspectives, and they should be prepared to read and to interpret Latin confidently at the college level. A college-paced year of Classical Greek is also offered to seniors who have been successful in their Latin courses. All students take either the National Latin Exam or the National Greek Exam in the spring.Modern Languages
: The Modern Languages program is comprised of four languages: Chinese, French, German, and Spanish. The goal of the Modern Languages program is to develop interpretive and communicative proficiency in the language, in accordance with the proficiency standards established by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). For all 1st
year modern language courses, the grade in the first year is calculated by counting the first semester average once and the second semester average twice, on the premise that much of the first semester is spend in learning very basic elements and how to study the language. Students in French, German, and Spanish also take their respective national language exam every spring.