World Languages

The Hudson School recognizes the importance of learning multiple languages in a globally focused economic and social world and prides itself on the quality of its language program. Our curriculum is very adaptive, and we add courses to meet students’ interests. All modern languages are taught as immersion courses, and all teachers are highly qualified in and passionate about their respective language.

Requirements for Graduation: Each student is expected to become proficient in at least one modern world language. We require 3 years of the same language, or two years with a third year of Latin.

ESL placement for international or exchange students is determined during the admissions process, and takes the place of a world language. 

We currently offer:

  • American Sign Language (Elective Only)
  • French
  • Japanese
  • Mandarin
  • Spanish
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)

HS encourages students to visit other countries through internal or external programs.The school has hosted individuals and students groups from several countries. These trips offer the opportunities to understand, appreciate and respect the cultures and traditions of the countries visited and provide an authentic experience in the target language. Our school has ongoing exchange programs with France and Spain.

Our students participate in the annual Japanese festival held by the United Nations International School. Students celebrate the cultural holidays such as the Day of the Dead. Our language classes have marched in the German-American Friendship Parade and regularly excel in poetry competitions.

The ASL courses cover aspects of vocabulary, ASL syntax, idioms, sentence structure, the Five Parameters and mechanics of Hand Shape for Glossing and translation, ASL Story and ASL Poetry formats, and Deaf Culture awareness, in order for students to participate confidently in a conversation with native and fluent users of the language. Courses also focus on the history, development and establishment of ASL as a cohesive, evolving and accepted language.

The French upper school program is designed to give students the opportunity to become proficient in French and to develop their skills to an intermediary (3 years) or high intermediary (4 years) level. The program focuses on the three modes of communication: interpretive, interpersonal and presentational, preparing students to understand French on a variety of topics and to interact orally and in writing. Reading, listening, speaking and writing skills are developed simultaneously. Cultural information is also integral to the course and students nurture an appreciation and awareness of the cultures of France and the French–speaking world.

The Japanese courses offer students the unique opportunity to learn the Japanese language and traditional and modern Japanese culture. For example, students learn how to compose haikus in Japanese and present their haiku with Japanese brush writing style. Through the Japanese courses, students gain an awareness of Japanese language, culture and people. Besides regular classwork, students are challenged to participate in performing art activities such as creating a movie or dance, applying their knowledge of the language to various conversation forms. In addition, students are introduced to the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), which is widely recognized all over the world to demonstrate Japanese proficiency.

The Mandarin curriculum focuses on developing student familiarity with, and comfort in, speaking and writing the Chinese language. In order to facilitate learning we introduce the Pinyin system which employs the Roman alphabet to write Chinese. This frees the student to concentrate on pronunciation and communication skills. Students begin with simple sentences and evolve to in-depth conversation and essay writing. Chinese cultural traditions and history are woven into the fabric of the classes. Students are expected to make presentations to enrich the learning experiences of their peers, while focusing the skills necessary to demonstrate proficiency and communicate in the Chinese language.

The Spanish curriculum has been designed to provide students with the opportunity to study the language and culture of the Spanish-speaking world. We develop students’ proficiency in the three modes of communication, covering all skill areas. Our students hone their understanding of Spanish through comparisons with English and Latin. Students acquire an appreciation for, and an awareness of, other cultures through carefully chosen materials and topics. We create opportunities for the students to use Spanish outside the classroom, such as international trips, visits to restaurants and museums, and theater performances.

In ESL, we learn about the English language and American culture through a wide variety of activities and exercises, with a focus on communication, both written and spoken. Mechanics and vocabulary are essential to the class, as well as class discussion and presentations. Students also have support for assignments for other classes from the teacher and classmates. Our goal together is to develop the ability to write and speak more effectively and precisely in English, while gaining confidence, command, and ownership of the language.