Modern and Classical Language

Bellarmine offers a course of study in five foreign languages: American Sign Language, French, Latin, Mandarin, and Spanish. We hope to convey, through exposure to other languages and cultures, the beauty of diversity, the creativity of humanity, and the joy of expanded cultural awareness.

With the understanding that language is the essential tool of communication, the focus of our program is on the mastery of communication skills. For French, Mandarin, and Spanish, the focus is on speaking, listening, reading, and writing. For American Sign Language, students develop their productive and receptive communications skills. Latin students focus on their ability to read and understand the language of the Ancient Romans.

In American Sign Language, French, Spanish, and Mandarin, classes are conducted almost entirely in the target language, starting as early as possible. It is our goal to ensure that after completion of the second year of study, students are able to communicate in the second language at a basic level and have an understanding of the countries and/or cultures where the language is used.

Students are required to study two years of the same foreign language in order to fulfill graduation requirements.


Bellarmine offers honors and/or AP level classes in French, Latin, Mandarin, and Spanish. Students driven to challenge themselves in their language classes will find our Honors and AP Program a valuable learning experience. Our honors courses offer a rigorous and challenging curriculum, and our AP courses are specifically designed to prepare students to succeed on the College Board Advanced Placement exams.

In the spring of each academic year, students in language class levels 2 and 3 will receive specific feedback from their current teachers regarding individual readiness for an honors or AP course. After receiving this feedback, students are free to decide whether or not to enroll in the honors/AP course.  If they do wish to pursue that option, they must follow the Informed Enrollment process of soliciting feedback from their parents and counselor, and secure counselor approval, prior to enrollment.