Foreign Language


  • Instill in boys a respect and passion for the importance of international languages, helping them to become "citizens of the world"
  • Develop students' ability to use languages needed to perform world-class choral music
  • Help students better appreciate the grammatical structure of languages, including English
  • Provide students, through study of Latin, an introduction to the sources of language

PBA offers a distinct inspiration for the study of languages: our boys sing in many languages, and tour each summer to non-English speaking countries This presents a unique opportunity for cross-curricular learning. In addition, when we are traveling to a foreign country we make an effort to give the boys instruction in the language of that country. 

Spanish (4th-8th grade)

Spanish is taught by means of the Communicative Language Technique, in which an immersion classroom is the goal. Each class employs a variety of modalities—music, games, written practice, conversational modules, projects, and cultural exposure through audio-visual activities and art. Each class also centers on communication practice through individual, group, paired, and whole-class practice in the four foreign language skill areas: speaking, reading, listening, and writing. The cultures of various Spanish-speaking countries are examined by looking at art, music, history, and current events. 


Latin (7th & 8th grade)

Latin is frequently used in choral music. By studying Latin, we deepen each boy's appreciation of the music they learn, offering them a richer and broader musical experience. The Latin curriculum emphasizes both language and culture.  Students develop mastery of the Latin language by studying vocabulary, grammar, and the fundamentals of translation.  In the process, students gain a firm understanding of both Latin and English grammar.  Many of our graduates start in second year Latin at high school.