Our goal is to make language accessible and enjoyable for all, with an emphasis on speaking. Our students go on to become global citizens in a world where cross-cultural communication and knowledge of another culture is a critical attribute.

In our department, all teachers collaborate daily. Such collaboration allows us to plan together and share experiences, successes, and challenges. We are extremely proud of the diverse activities, projects, and courses that have been created: research papers on WWII, poetry and literary analysis, anti-racism brochures, pen pal projects, debates, Socratic seminars, service projects in the Spanish speaking community, work with the “day workers”, etc.

Spanish teacher Bayard Nielsen's Spanish III Honors project, Day Worker Stories, was recognized as a globally engaged program by the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). You can read more about the project on their website here.

Fast Facts about the Notre Dame Modern Language Department

  • Travel around Bay Area, Costa Rica, France, and Spain 
  • Eat food from Spanish and French speaking countries throughout your four years!
  • Spanish I fuses an introductory language education with digital learning.
  • French I uses an unique approach to beginning French that combines fun and learning.
  • Take Mandarin I through our partnership with Middleburry Interactive Languages
  • Walk to the día de los Muertos altars at the MLK library with Spanish II and Spanish II Honors 
  • Be a pen pal with an elementary school student in Spanish II Honors
  • Take a workshop on French painters and then imitate Seurat's pointillisme, Matisse's collages, Monet's water colors in French 2
  • Create your own children's books about a French painter in French II Honors
  • Interview day workers at the Mountain View day worker center in Spanish 3 Honors
  • Create an anti-racism booklet based on Tahar Ben Jelloun's Racism Explained to My Daughter in French 3 honors
  • Visit Rodin’s sculptures at Stanford in French 4AP 
  • Learn about six different cultures through movies in Advanced Spanish through Culture and Conversation