World Languages at GSA
Our World Language courses are rich explorations of language and culture that open doors to lifelong learning and career opportunities.
Language study builds cross-cultural connections and is just plain fun.
Every course opens students’ eyes to new, different ways of living through cross-cultural connections made in classroom visits by parents, teachers, alumni, and friends, as well students sharing their or their family members’ experiences in other countries.
Recent Spanish cross-cultural experiences have focused on Mexico, Panama, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, Peru, Spain, and the Canary Islands. Though many visits happen during “La Cultura Hispanica” week, others take place throughout the school year.
Recent French cross-cultural experiences have centered on Canada and French-speaking countries in Southeast Asia. One-quarter of Mainers are Francophones or have French-speaking family history, and many of our students are part of that community. French celebrations center on Mardi Gras and Bastille Day, celebrated locally in Castine, which has a sister city in France.
Food is a delicious medium for cultural learning. Students, family members, and teachers share recipes in class, and we’ve seen a unique take on Mexican food with visits from El El Frijoles.
It prepares you well for travel and study abroad ...
After two or three years of focused study at GSA, our students are comfortable making conversation in the language of study and are well-prepared for travel to a country where that language is spoken, or a semester or year abroad. A four-year Spanish student recently spent a year traveling in South America after graduation.
... for success in college ...
Our four-year programs of study in French and Spanish meet the foreign language requirements of very competitive colleges and universities, like Boston University and Skidmore. Four years of honors-level language study meet the requirements of the most selective institutions, like Bowdoin, Harvard, and Middlebury.
Students who have successfully finished one of our four-year programs have reported testing out of up to two years of college language courses.
... and for careers around the world, across the nation, and right at home.
For those who aim to live overseas, it’s important to speak the language, but even those who live in Maine use the language skills they acquired here to further their careers. GSA alumni who go to Maine Maritime Academy use what they learned in our classrooms during student voyages at sea, as well as in their careers after leaving MMA.
But even those who never leave Hancock County have incentives to learn Spanish or French. The last census reported that 17,000 Mainers speak Spanish, and about four times as many speak French. An increasing number of employers in the retail-service sector look for candidates with Spanish or French language skills to communicate better with these Mainers and with the hundreds of thousands of tourists visiting from other countries, chiefly French speakers from nearby Canadian provinces.
Our FacultyNancy BuckinghamSpanish, Department Chair