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At Whitby, we believe that the study and acquisition of world languages is an integral part of preparing students for global citizenship. Whitby students study Spanish beginning at the age of 18 months all the way through Grade 8. Starting in Grade 1, students also have the option to enroll in Mother Tongue language learning classes where they can immerse themselves in languages from French to Mandarin to Polish.
In small, student-centered, multi-age classes, students build their oral, aural and written communication skills, and explore the cultures of countries in which the target languages are spoken.
At Whitby, we believe that the study and acquisition of world languages is an integral part of preparing students for global citizenship. Whitby students study Spanish and may also study French or Chinese from 1st grade through grade 8. In small, student-centered, multi-age classes, students build their oral, aural and written communication skills, and explore the cultures of countries in which the target languages are spoken.
Within the context of the language class, students learn about geography, history, art, music, traditions and literature. Our advanced students also read literature in the target languages. The goal of the program is for students to acquire functional proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing and to develop a genuine interest in and appreciation for the language and the cultures in which it is spoken.
Whitby participates annually in the Montessori Model UN, a two day global education simulation experience at the United Nations that enables students in upper elementary and middle schools to learn about the operations of the United Nations and its role as the world’s largest international peacekeeping and humanitarian organization.
The program, which is built on a self-directed discovery model of learning, encourages cooperation and compromise over competition and emphasizes process as the most important outcome. In addition to learning about cultures, governments, and peoples throughout the world, Whitby students who attend the Montessori Model United Nations develop their written and oral communication skills, along with their aptitude for critical thinking and problem solving in real life situations.
Although we do believe that acquiring certain skills can help our students be more prepared for the diverse world around them, our global perspective philosophy is much more than that. At Whitby, we think that the true value in achieving a global perspective is found in learning how to view challenges, and the solutions to those challenges, from multiple points of view. Our goal is to help develop, in each child, the ability to recognize different perspectives or insights, which in turn helps them to become creative problem-solvers and more diverse thinkers.