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Middle School Academic Departments

Modern and Classical Languages

The school's challenging foreign language program is begun in junior kindergarten and continues through the senior year in an effort to provide the cultural understanding which comes from communicating in a foreign language. Listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing are essential skills of the two modern languages, and cultural topics are stressed at each level. In Latin studies, emphasis is on grammar, translation, vocabulary, and derivative study. Students learn to relate the ancient language to contemporary English while studying classical history and mythology.
  • French 6

    This is the first part of a two-year sequence for French I. It is a skills based course that builds strong listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Students are introduced to grammar and vocabulary appropriate for this level and work independently, in pairs, and in small groups. A variety of materials are used to help students in their journey to become proficient and appreciate francophone cultures.
  • French 7

    This is the continuation of the French 6 course. It is fast-paced and covers much of the material of a strong French I program. Strong listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills continue to be cultivated through the use of a variety of materials, and students continue to learn about francophone cultures.
  • French 8

    Prerequisite: French 7
    French 8 is the second half of a two-year course sequence begun in the seventh grade and concluded in the eighth grade. This course will inspire a passion for learning as students continue to build skills in listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing French. Students expand their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary, enabling them to write and read longer sequences in French. Students gain an understanding and appreciation of cultural differences in areas of the world that speak French through themes explored throughout the year: pastimes, clothing, celebrations, and travel. This course uses supplemental texts such as Les Misérables, stories from Martinique in French and Creole, and Disney books, to bring more authentic language and history into the classroom.
  • Latin 6

    6th grade Latin students will be introduced to the language, culture, and civilization of ancient Rome. Students acquire the vocabulary, grammar, and translation skills that will allow them to read, understand, and translate a variety of simple Latin stories. These skills prepare students for future Latin study, deepen their understanding of the English language, and provide a unique window into the ancient world. Latin students delve into the history and culture of the ancient Romans through stories, the Latin 6 language field trip, and a variety of creative writing and art projects.
  • Latin 7

    7th grade students continue to strengthen their Latin skills, while deepening their understanding of many areas of classical culture, including mythology, history, geography, and art. The focus is on building vocabulary and basic grammatical forms, while reading and composing short stories. Students also have the opportunity to expand their knowledge by competing locally and nationally through state and national Latin conventions and several certamen events.
  • Latin 8

    In order to help Latin students boost their skills and prepare for future study, translation and composition skills are the focus for the 8th grade course. Using games, projects, and dialogues, students gain familiarity with the language and learn about daily life in ancient Rome. Students continue to have the opportunity to expand their knowledge by competing in state and national Latin conventions and several certamen events. At the course’s conclusion, students have a solid foundation of basic Latin grammar, a strong vocabulary, and a greater appreciation of Roman culture, history and mythology.
  • Spanish 6

    The Middle School language program is robust, and sixth grade students will begin working through a Spanish level I high school textbook. The coursework will develop students’ understanding of foundational grammatical principles, including the conjugation of regular verbs in the present tense. While developing oral communication and reading and writing skills, emphasis is placed on practical conversation. The culture and geography of Hispanic countries are examined and celebrated.
  • Spanish 7

    The middle school language program is robust, and seventh grade students will pick up where the sixth grade class concluded. Students will continue working through a Spanish level I high school textbook. During the year, students will keep building their vocabulary and work extensively with verbs. Other grammar concepts will be introduced as students work on their verbal and written expression, as well as their reading and listening comprehension skills. Special attention is also given to Hispanic culture and nations.
  • Spanish 8

    This course picks up where the seventh grade class concluded, and students continue to develop grammar skills, increase vocabulary, and build cultural awareness. Emphasis is placed on expanding speaking and listening abilities. Students write short compositions in order to integrate concepts and begin to read articles and stories in Spanish. Upon successful completion of the course, students are well prepared for Spanish II in the Upper School.

Department Faculty

  • Photo of Nathan Andes
    Nathan Andes
    Language Teacher, Middle School
    Virginia Tech - B.A.
  • Photo of Joshua Bauman
    Joshua Bauman
    Associate Director of the Middle School
    Kenyon College, Gambier, OH - B.A.
    Johns Hopkins University - M.S. Ed
  • Photo of Daniel Lowinger
    Daniel Lowinger
    Middle and Upper School Language Teacher (Mandarin)
    Amherst College - B.A.
  • Photo of Denman McNear
    Denman McNear
    Middle School Language Teacher (Spanish)
    (703) 212-2924
    Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY - B.S.
    Babson College, Wellesley, MA - M.B.A.
  • Photo of Brandon Royal
    Brandon Royal
    Language and History Teacher, Middle School; Library Assistant
    École hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) - Specialized MBA (MHA)
    University of California, Berkeley - Toward Bachelor of Arts
    University of British Columbia - Bachelor of Arts
  • Photo of Melanie Streed
    Melanie Streed
    Middle School Language Teacher (Latin)
    (703) 212-2876
    Colgate University, Hamilton, NY - B.A.
    University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - M.A.
  • Photo of Laura Walker
    Laura Walker
    Language Teacher, Middle School
    Howard University, Washington, D.C. - M.A.
    Howard University, Washington, D.C. - BA
Age 3-Grade 12 coed Episcopal day school in Alexandria, Virginia


List of 3 items.

  • Lower School

    Age 3-Grade 5
    400 Fontaine Street
    Alexandria, Virginia 22302
  • Middle School

    Grades: 6-8
    4401 West Braddock Road
    Alexandria, Virginia 22304
  • Upper School

    Grades: 9-12
    1000 St. Stephen's Road
    Alexandria, Virginia 22304