Friends Academy Recognizes National Language Award MedalistsWritten by Margaret Pegno
On Monday, May 23 following the morning assembly, the Friends Academy World Language and Cultures Department (WLC) celebrated students who received a National Language Award for the 2021-22 school year. Each year, language students take an exam in their chosen discipline – Spanish, French, or Latin – and are recognized for their outstanding performance with either a Gold, Silver, or Bronze Medal.
At Friends Academy, faculty help their students approach language fluency in a unique manner by interlacing and embedding a deep cultural understanding as well. In addition to building proficiency in the oral and written use of a second language, students study the literature, culture, and traditions associated with the communities where that language is spoken. “This deepens self-awareness, promotes greater empathy and international understanding,” explained World Languages and Cultures Department Head Polly Duke. Just as importantly by combining language and culture, Friends students are able to sharpen their analytical ability in order to ascertain deeper truths; and to provide a solid foundation for further study.
“As a language and culture program within a Quaker school, we educate students beyond their intellects,” shared Dr. Duke. “ Our students’ moral, emotional, and social growth takes place when they move beyond the self to try to understand and communicate deeply with those from different languages and cultures,” she added.