Experiencing Passport Day in Sixth Grade to Select a World Language

Español, Français, Latin, and 普通话—these are the four world languages offered for study in the Middle School at MICDS. When entering seventh grade, Rams experience “Passport Day,” a day where rising MICDS seventh-graders watch videos created by our world language teachers and students to learn about each of the four languages. After Passport Day, they rank their top three preferences and explain their interest in each one.

“The study of world languages is very important to our JK-12 curriculum,” said Patrick Huewe, JK-12 World Languages Department Chair. “It is vital for preparing students for life beyond our campus—for leaning into our Mission of meeting the challenges of this world with confidence and embracing all its people with compassion.” Language study prepares MICDS students for the opportunities and challenges they will face in an increasingly global 21st-century world. We value all of the languages we offer because each has inherent qualities that foster cognitive development, cultural awareness, global competency, and communication skills.

This week, Passport Day fell on Tuesday. Our current sixth-grade students and rising seventh-graders joining us in the fall viewed the videos below for an overview of each of the four languages offered at MICDS: Spanish, French, Latin, and Mandarin Chinese. Check out the videos!

Mandarin Chinese Video

French Video

Latin Video

Spanish Video

Passport Day was a fun learning experience. I was able to learn about the different languages and their cultures,” said Sanjay Malhotra ’28. “I love how we get to choose which language we want to do, so we learn the language we are passionate about. I am very excited to learn a new language because it expands my vocabulary, and I love learning about the culture of the places the language is spoken. For example, in Spanish class we learned about Hispanic people and their culture. We got to learn about famous Hispanic people and even watched movies about Spanish culture. I enjoyed Passport Day very much!”

Other students shared about which languages they selected and why:

Passport Day was a new experience for me, and overall, it was a cool experience to see all of the different languages. I learned a lot. For example, in Mandarin/Chinese, the figures actually sometimes correlate to the actual word in Chinese. I chose Spanish, so I’m excited to learn even more things because I am probably going to do Accelerated Spanish so I can still be where I left off.” —Ahmed Ansari ’28

“My top preference is French. It would be fun to learn that language and it would be very cool to travel to France someday.” —JP Senneff ’28

“I ranked Latin as my top language choice to take in 7th grade. I chose Latin because I would like to expand my vocabulary and I have always found Latin interesting. I think it would be really cool to learn the roots of words and be able to learn new words. Also, my brother Yash Malhotra ’25 currently takes Latin, and he thoroughly enjoys it. He tells me about his Latin classes, and they sound very interesting. I also would like to learn Roman mythology. I have read books such as Percy Jackson and The Heroes Of Olympus which are books about Roman and Greek mythology. Overall, Latin seems like an amazing class that I would learn a lot in.” —Sanjay Malhotra ’28

“The language that is my top preference is Spanish. The reason being is that I’ve taken Spanish for a long time, since pre-school even. I find the culture so pretty and captivating, the global learning trips in the Upper School seem so fun to me, and I would be able to assist others if they are struggling or just don’t understand. I’m very familiar with the language and I could learn more.” —Savannah Garrison ’28

“I ranked French as my top choice. I am a ballet dancer, and ballet terms are largely based on the language of French. I think that I’ll really enjoy learning how to read and write in French, and learning to read French poetry seems especially exciting.” —Johanna Orwick ’28

“I’m ranking Spanish as my top language choice because I believe it’s a really good language. Knowing Spanish well will be a very good skill to have as I plan to travel to Mexico later in my life.” —Kevon Phillips ’28

Rising seventh-graders will make their final language selections by the end of the month. Prior to seventh grade, students learn Spanish at MICDS as their world language. At the seventh grade level, some continue with Spanish while others select new languages of Latin, Mandarin, or French.

Huewe added, “Committing to studying a specific world language for multiple years can be a difficult proposition. They are all relevant and valuable for the linguistic benefits that each represents and the rich cultural heritage that students will experience when selecting Mandarin, French, Latin, or Spanish as their language of study for the next four years. Passport Day’s intent is to bring into focus for students which unique language and cultural journey they will choose to explore.” Learn more about our world languages and global learning opportunities here.

We can’t wait to see which world language selections will be “stamped” onto our seventh graders’ schedules for next year!