World Languages

Our Modern Languages Department helps students develop fluency in language skills and a greater appreciation for other cultures. We believe that learning a new language should be meaningful, fun, and useful beyond the walls of the classroom. Our students have opportunities each school year to practice their language skills in authentic settings through community service travel to Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic during Field Course study. We also have a long-standing twenty-year relationship with a school in Nevers, France. In alternating years WMS students and French students participate in an exchange program for two weeks. We know that we are reaching our teaching and learning goals with students when we see them pursing foreign language study and travel in their LASR projects, during summer vacations, through collegiate study, and professional post-graduate work.
  • French I

    In the first year of French, students encounter the language through speaking, reading, writing and listening, learning a number of common vocabulary words and basic grammatical principles. Students are encouraged from the very beginning to speak and to listen to the language through student-teacher interchanges, group work, music, film and in-class presentations. Regular homework assignments and frequent journal writing in French I focus on the reading and writing of the language. Students at every level of French instruction are encouraged to participate in our annual French exchange program, as it allows students to expand their speaking and comprehension skills with native speakers of French.
  • French II

    The second year of French instruction begins with the reinforcement of previously learned concepts, with the ultimate aim of engendering within students a more comprehensive grasp of French language and culture. Through student-teacher interchanges, group work, music, film and class presentations, students acquire increased proficiency in the language. Greater emphasis is placed at this level on pronunciation and inflection, as well as on improving students’ grammatical skills. (Prerequisite: French I.)
  • French III

    This course reinforces the speaking, reading, writing and listening skills acquired in French I and French II, even as new material is taught. Most of the instruction is conducted in French, and students are expected to speak French as much as possible during class. Students learn a great deal of new vocabulary, as well as sophisticated grammatical concepts including several complex verb conjugations. In French III, students are introduced to French literature, reading such engaging texts as Le Petit Nicolas. Students expand their French cultural literacy through music and film, and complete a research project concerning a francophone area. (Prerequisite: French II.)
  • French IV

    This course reinforces the speaking, reading, writing and listening skills acquired in all previous French courses. All instruction is conducted in French, and students are expected to speak only French during class time. In French IV, we encounter a great deal of new vocabulary while reviewing all previously studied grammatical concepts. Students read French literature and work on a variety of different French-oriented projects in this class. (Prerequisite: French III.)
  • French V

    This course is offered to students who demonstrate a high level of written and spoken French. Cultural projects, along with regular readings from prominent French authors, help students continue to expand their knowledge of French and the francophone world. Writing assignments often are paired with grammar lessons, allowing students to fine-tune their communication skills. Students have opportunities to customize the curriculum as well as to prepare for the SAT Subject Test and the AP Exam. (Prerequisite: French IV)
  • Spanish I

    This course introduces students to the Spanish language, building a vocabulary of common terms and instilling comprehension of basic verb tenses and grammatical structures. Students take their initial steps toward mastery in reading, writing, speaking and listening to conversational Spanish. Through textbook work, supplementary readings, creative projects and field trips, students gain an appreciation of the language, life, history, geography, and culture of Spanish-speaking people. 
  • Spanish II

    Expanding upon the knowledge acquired in Spanish I, this class facilitates students’ ongoing mastery of the fundamental language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking). Students are introduced to comparative linguistics through the culture, values and aspirations of the Hispanic world. In Spanish II, students will be expected to complete one project per semester on a cultural, bio-regional, historic or creative topic of their choice. (Prerequisite: Spanish I.)
  • Spanish III

    In their third year of Spanish instruction, students achieve intermediate-level proficiency in the four language skills. Supplementary project work and classroom presentations enhance students’ exposure to the culture and history of Spain, Latin America and Hispanic North America. Spanish III classes are primarily conducted in Spanish; by the end of the year, students have learned and reviewed most of the grammatical structures within the Spanish language. As in Spanish II, students in this course are expected to complete one project per semester on a cultural, bio-regional, historic or creative topic of their choice. (Prerequisite: Spanish II.)
  • Spanish IV

    Students in this course experience increased immersion in Spanish language and culture. Material is thematically and linguistically integrated to provide a review of the main structures of the language. Students study the ethnic origins of Hispanic culture in Europe and the New World: religion, family and traditions, revolutionary movements of the twentieth century in Spain and Latin America, education, and urban life. Students in Spanish IV read works by Hernán Cortés, Ana María Matute, Jorge Luis Borges, Juan Rulfo, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Nicolas Guillén, among others. We also sample art from the pre-Columbian era, including Goya, Picasso, and Lam in this course. (Prerequisite: Spanish III.)
  • Spanish V

    This course is offered to students who have completed Spanish IV and have demonstrated a desire to achieve fluency in Spanish. Students primarily study literature by Spanish-speaking authors in this course. Supplemental writing assignments help students perfect their Spanish grammar and improve their vocabulary. Verbal skills are practiced daily, as students are expected to communicate with the teacher in Spanish throughout the year. Each student completes several projects designed to improve his or her understanding of Hispanic cultures. Students in this course have the opportunity to customize their curriculum, as well as to prepare for the SAT subject test and the AP test in Spanish language. (Prerequisite: Spanish IV.)
At The White Mountain School we believe that true education should do more than inform; it should inspire. Courses here, while aligned with a college preparatory curriculum, extend beyond the classroom and into the world around us. Here students master their Spanish on our annual international service trip, practice forest stewardship as they help to manage our 240 acre campus property, and learn to measure slopes in advanced algebra while designing their own trail projects.

Our teachers know that in every interaction with a student there is a chance to motivate, mentor, and challenge; they teach here because they truly want to share their lives and passions with young people. These components of our academic program balance rigor and relevance as we prepare our students for college and, ultimately, for lives beyond formal academics.



371 West Farm Road  •  Bethlehem, New Hampshire 03574  •  603.444.2928
Founded in 1886 and set in the beautiful White Mountains of northern New Hampshire, The White Mountain School is a coeducational college-preparatory boarding and day school for students grades 9-12/PG.

Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy as to Students
The White Mountain School admits students of any race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability 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, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

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