Languages as Part of a Liberal Arts Curriculum

The Second Language Section at the Laboratory School began work on a program to expand the Japanese program into the elementary school. While teaching the language in the early grades, researchers will look at how language learning interacts with early reading and writing, how languages relate to each other, and how students can learn to be citizens of the world through the cultural studies that are an inherent part of language learning.

One of the basic tenets underlying CRDG’s research program is the belief in a thorough liberal arts education for all students, which leads to the corresponding goal that all students graduate ready for college and citizenship. For this reason, the Laboratory School’s core curriculum has always included second language study for all students. Today, the tremendous changes in the way the current generation of students interacts with the world give the study of languages and the cultural learning that comes with it a new dimension and importance. The Second Language Section’s exploratory work with language learning in the elementary grades responds to this changing climate and need.