St. Ignatius

Course Catalog: Language Department


St. Ignatius offers four languages, other than English, which fulfill graduation requirements: French, Latin, Mandarin, and Spanish. Students are required to study two years of the same language. With the exception of Latin, second-year language is taught almost entirely in the target language. It is the goal of the department to ensure that after completion of the second year, students are able to communicate in the second language at the intermediate level (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Proficiency Guidelines) and to employ a broad understanding of the countries where the language in question is spoken. First-year students must complete level 1 in order to take the level 2 course. Second-year students must meet Level 3 criteria for enrollment (a minimum semester grade of C and/or teacher approval), in order to take the level 3 course. Third-year students must meet level 4 criteria for enrollment (a minimum semester grade of C and/or teacher approval), in order to take the Level 4 course.

Honors and AP students are expected to take a more active role in their language studies than students in regular college preparatory classes. Honors language courses are designed to challenge students who have actively participated in class, mastered the grammar and vocabulary presented in the previous level, and demonstrated the ability to advance more rapidly than the average college preparatory student. Students will work at a faster pace to increase oral proficiency on a variety of topics, expand their vocabulary, read selections appropriate to honors/AP level students and improve their writing skills. The course materials are designed to stimulate and perfect students’ conversation skills including pronunciation, accent, and rhythm. Students in honors classes are on track to complete the college level Advanced Placement course in their fourth year of the language.


All students interested in Honors and Advanced Placement courses must meet the following grade minimums in order to be considered eligible for an Honors or AP course:

  • for Level 2 Honors — a minimum semester grade of A- in level 1or 1 accelerated
  • for Level 3 Honors — a minimum semester grade of B in 2 Honors or a minimum semester grade of A in regular level 2 
  • Level 4 AP — a minimum semester grade of B in level 3 Honors, or a minimum semester grade of A in regular level 3 or a minimum semester grade of A in regular level 4 plus current level 3 or current level 4 teacher recommendation and written/oral placement exam by Language Department Chair and current AP teacher

Students must maintain these grade minimums for two semesters.