creative curriculum
creative curriculum
learning by doing
Modern Languages

Learning a modern language and gaining insight into its culture(s) are important routes both to increased self-awareness, and to increased international understanding. Learning a modern language is therefore an integral part of a Putney education. Putney currently offers two modern languages, French and Spanish. The department’s primary goal is for students to become active and proficient at communicating in the new language. From the start, students are immersed in speaking, listening, reading, and writing; they learn by doing. In the process, everyone is expected to make mistakes, take risks, and gradually build skills for using a new language. Students learn about culture through readings, discussions, movies, visiting speakers, songs, and occasional trips. In both French and Spanish, classes are offered at six levels, with more advanced classes offered, as needed, either as tutorial courses or as additional classes.

To graduate, students who are native speakers of English must successfully complete either through level 3 of a modern language, or 3 years of modern language study at Putney. A student who arrives with only two years of a language that Putney does not offer (Latin or German, for example) will be required to study either French or Spanish for two to three years at Putney. Chinese 1 will be offered in the 2012-13 school year. Students who have not started a language sequence or ones who have completed a language sequence, may begin Chinese. Students currently in a language sequence must complete that sequence to the 3rd level before beginning Chinese. Allowance may be made on a case-by-case basis for any exceptions to this rule, at the discretion of the Language Department and the Academic Dean, in discussion with the student and family.

To view Modern Language courses offered in the 2016-17 school year, please visit our Curriculum micro-site


The Putney School | Elm Lea Farm, 418 Houghton Brook Road, Putney, Vermont 05346-8675
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