Language Department Philosophy
In keeping with the Jesuit tradition of education at St. Ignatius College Preparatory and in accordance with our school's statement of philosophy, the language department has as its goal the development of "men and women for others" through a creative and dynamic language program. Toward this end, the Spanish, Latin, French and Chinese courses offer rigorous training in both linguistic skills and cultural knowledge so that the ability to communicate goes hand-in-hand with an appreciation of the human condition of the native speakers of these languages.
Since language is the essential tool of communication, the emphasis of our program is to develop the five basic skills of language: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and translating. Students will be able to express their ideas conversationally with accuracy and fluency, write coherent and well-developed prose, or translate a passage from the target language with an accurate grasp of structural patterns and an appropriate range of vocabulary.
Language is also a symbolic expression of peoples' perceptions and interpretations of reality. Only by crossing the language barrier is one able to fully comprehend the thinking of other peoples, because language carries, reflects, and molds cultures, thoughts and ideas. In addition, exposure to a second language challenges the students to reflect on themselves (i.e., their habits and values) in relation to other people. In this way, the St. Ignatius language program supports the progress of our students toward becoming "men and women for others."