The central aim of every language course at Stanford OHS is fluent communication in the target language, including both oral communication and the accurate comprehension and translation of written texts. In the case of ancient languages, emphasis is placed on understanding written texts, though speaking and listening may be used to facilitate this goal. Each course also exposes students to the culture associated with the language they are learning, including that culture’s history, artifacts, customs, values, and literature. Students are expected to use their increasing knowledge of another language and culture to sharpen their interpretive and analytical techniques, communicate in their native language with greater complexity and precision, and deepen their understanding of their own cultural background as it exists within a broader global and historical context.
In order to allow students to achieve an exceptional degree of fluency, language courses at Stanford OHS are rigorous, move at an accelerated pace, and meet up to four times a week for live discussion sections. Stanford OHS offers four-year course sequences in Mandarin Chinese, Latin, and Spanish that culminate in preparation for the AP exams.