The study of world languages and cultures is a crucial component of a BWL education. We offer the choice of French, Spanish or Japanese language study, giving students the international communication tools they need to assume future leadership roles with great confidence and flexibility. The department's rich curriculum teaches classes as early as Lower School, continuing throughout Middle School, ending with three years of foreign language study required for graduation. Advanced Placement courses in foreign language also are taught in the Upper School to eligible students.
An academic approach is enhanced by extracurricular activities that encourage the use of foreign-language skills. Annual trips abroad are also offered by the Overseas Study Program, in which Middle and Upper School students travel to various countries such as France or Spain, where the language of study is the primary mode of communication. This combination of talented teaching by proficient faculty and language - immersion in foreign culture produces confident, well - spoken students. Their enthusiasm and discipline to master a foreign language becomes evident in every area of learning.
Grades are based on speaking skills as well as on student conduct, cooperation, effort, mutual respect, preparedness and attitude. Classroom and field work are complemented by homework assignments, oral presentations, group work, skits and projects. Students have access to foreign media resources through the BWL library. Technology further advances the study of foreign language with the videotaping and recording of students in class to provide them with the opportunity to observe and trace their own progress. The cultural resources available in New York City in combination with the intimate BWL class- room atmosphere assist in the development of necessary skills.
Special events highlighted by world languages at BWL include Latin America Day, a cultural celebration that exposes students to a deeper understanding of the rich and diverse geography, history and culture of Hispanic people. The BWL Commons is also a frequent setting for meals and conversations that take place exclusively in a foreign language. From the classrooms of the Lower School to the fascinating overseas destinations visited by Middle and Upper School students, the World Language Department at BWL imparts a global knowledge which will benefit students for their entire lives.