News

Building Cultural Competence Through Language Learning
Posted 09/16/2019 08:00AM

In Whitfield’s World Language department, the primary emphasis of the French, Spanish, and Mandarin programs is oral proficiency. However, the language faculty also have the ongoing opportunity to develop Cultural Competence, one of Whitfield’s six Habits of Mind and Heart, in our students.

To practice their language skills while learning about other cultures, one of the year’s first units in AP Spanish Language and Culture, focused on travel. Students considered myriad aspects of travel including the popularity of ecotourism, how travel has changed through history, and the benefits experiencing countries and cultures different from our own.

During class discussions, students shared personal travel experiences, read about the Seven Wonders of the World, and researched the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage sites. Each student was asked to create a presentation about one of the 33 UNESCO World Heritage sites located in Latin America they would like to visit.

“Building cultural competency is fundamentally what this course is all about,” said World Languages Department Chair Cipriano Casado. “We use the topic of travel to discuss important questions like how we benefit when we see how other people live and how we show respect for other countries when we visit. The students are constantly comparing and contrasting their cultures with those of Spanish-speaking countries. I hope they come to understand that travel isn’t just about relaxing and entertainment—it’s also an amazing learning experience.”

  • © 2007-2015 WHITFIELD School
  • 175 South Mason Road
  • St. Louis, MO 63141
  • T: 314-434 5141

About Us

Whitfield School is an independent, coeducational college preparatory day school for grades 6–12.

Learn More »

Academics

Whitfield’s demanding academic program coupled with the support of a dedicated, world class faculty prepares graduates for both the college experience and life beyond.

Learn More »

Arts

Students who choose to engage in the arts at Whitfield, whether performing or visual, discover the nearly limitless possibilities for self-expression.

Learn More »

Athletics

The Warriors have claimed 33 state championships, earning multiple coach and player of the year awards, and sending numerous alumni to play at the collegiate level.

Learn More »

Student Life

Whitfield students are happy, healthy and engaged in their community. Working diligently both in and out of the classroom, they learn both the academic and the interpersonal skills that lead them to success in college and beyond.

Learn More »

Admission

Find out what makes Whitfield unique among St. Louis schools.

Learn More »

Giving

The culture of philanthropy has always been an essential part of the Whitfield experience. Whitfield is fortunate to have parents, alumni, alumni parents, faculty and staff, trustees, grandparents and special friends who consistently support our school.

Learn More »

powered by finalsite