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The Pennsylvania State Modern Language Association (PSMLA)
Merion Mercy's Language Department was recently awarded its third consecutive Golden Globe Award for Exemplary Programs by the Pennsylvania State Modern Language Association. The Language Department was recognized for this distinction after presenting evidence that our world language program meets or exceeds the high standards set to qualify. Merion Mercy was one of only nine schools in the state to receive the Golden Globe Award this year. It is an honor that the world languages program at Merion has held since 2015.
Merion Mercy Academy offers a rigorous four-year program in French, Latin, and Spanish. The Language Department believes that learning a new language opens doors to other disciplines and opportunities for personal growth. Students learn to broaden their global perspectives by respectfully engaging in dialogue about cultures and communities while sharpening higher-level thinking skills.
We encourage students to embrace all cultures and to apply their language skills with confidence. We value the ongoing process of language acquisition. We empower students to work towards proficiency and use their language skills to better the global community, with the belief that scholars who communicate effectively through language have a farther-reaching impact on the world.
The Language Department at Merion Mercy Academy provides an inclusive learning environment in which students develop language proficiency, celebrate cultural diversity, and forge lasting connections across disciplines. Intentional instruction encourages students to embrace their role and responsibility within the classroom and beyond as young leaders who live mercy and seek justice.
Department Goals (French and Spanish)
- Ability to understand French or Spanish when spoken at a normal speed within the range of the student's experience
- Ability to speak French or Spanish with native-like fluency on subjects within the range of the student's experience
- Ability to read French or Spanish with direct understanding without recourse to English translation
- Ability to write using authentic patterns of French or Spanish
- Ability to understand linguistic concepts, such as the nature of language and how it functions through its structural system
- Ability to understand, through the study of language, the contemporary values and behavior patterns of the French or Spanish
Department Goals (Classical Language)
- Demonstrate the ability to read and understand Latin at the student’s respective final class level (be that II, III, or IV)
- Acquire a greater linguistic awareness which will be most beneficial in understanding the student’s own language and in studying modern languages
- Increase the student’s mastery of English grammar and vocabulary
- Demonstrate the ability to derive clear and coherent thought from Latin language readings and to articulately express these thoughts in English
- Demonstrate an awareness of the similarities and differences between Roman society and culture and her own
- Demonstrate an appreciation for the greater cultural heritage that we have received from the ancient Romans
- Develop a logical and exact manner of thinking
- Demonstrate an empowerment to understand the fundamentals of all language
Students beginning a language are required to take at least two years of that language. Students are strongly advised to take at least three years. All students taking a language will need the signature of their current language teacher approving their selections. This requirement is for every level.
The modern language program at Merion Mercy Academy seeks to instill in our students a sincere appreciation and understanding of other peoples and cultures while incorporating three essential modes of communication: interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational. Language instruction begins first with the essential interpretive mode of reading and listening to the target language, which lays the foundation for the next stage of language acquisition, namely writing and speaking in the target language. Development of these skills allows for production of language in both presentational writing and speaking interpersonal communication. All A-level French and Spanish students participate in the National French and Spanish exams in March.
The classical language program seeks to develop an understanding of and appreciation for the richness and complexity of the Latin language. Though no longer spoken, Latin thrives in the classroom at Merion Mercy Academy as students discover its interdisciplinary nature through the study of Classical literature, history, culture, philosophy, mythology, and anthropology. Latin enables students to develop sharper critical thinking skills, discipline for organization and persistent study, and a true understanding of the importance of the liberal arts. All Latin students participate in the National Latin exam in March.