Foreign Languages

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High School Prep

The study of Spanish and Latin effectively clarify the structure of western languages and are useful preparatory tools for higher education and the thinking skills that are required for more advanced exams and test taking.


Spanish is not a “foreign” language in Southern Arizona and proficiency in speaking and writing Spanish expands opportunities both for employment and recreation in our region and around the world. St. Michael’s School offers Spanish from Kindergarten through eighth grade.

Throughout the Spanish curriculum, students focus on developing accurate pronunciation using vocabulary and grammatical concepts. Native speakers build upon their knowledge of written and conversational Spanish through an accelerated heritage program.

Learning about Spanish speaking cultures is an essential element of the curriculum. Students learn about and celebrate various holidays including El Día de los Muertos and Las Posadas. They also study Spanish speaking countries to compare and contrast various customs and ways of life. Spanish club is offered to foster cultural appreciation.

Successful completion of our Spanish program is comparable to first-year high school Spanish. Students who continue learning Spanish in high school are most often able to place in advanced classes.

We believe that Spanish classes at St. Michael’s help to build a solid foundation for lifelong foreign language learning in a global world.


Latin is alive and well at St. Michael’s. Through daily instruction, students in seventh and eighth grade, develop a solid understanding of grammar, vocabulary, writing, and reading. Translating selections of Classical myths, Roman epics, and histories provide students the opportunity to apply grammar and vocabulary concepts while gaining insight into the roots of Western civilization.

Students use daily collaborations to analyze Latin words and quotes for meaning and connection to modern language and culture. They also work with vocabulary to explore Latin roots and English derivatives. Collaborative research presentations bring to life the culture and literature of ancient civilizations. Additionally, students spend one trimester planning Ludi Romani, a Roman day for all middle school to enjoy. The students design an authentic ancient market place and plan numerous events, including STEM activities highlighting engineering and scientific innovations of the ancient Roman Empire. They sell (for coins they have made) ancient wares and food, and delight the rest of the school with dramatic depictions of ancient stories. The day is culminated with chariot races. This is a ‘must see’ day.