Language Immersion Programs
The World Languages department offers the students the opportunity to participate in programs that complement the academic curriculum with an invaluable practical experience in linguistic and cultural immersion.
These experiential programs are more than mere study-abroad opportunities. They are authentic opportunities for world exploration, ideological exchanges, service, and self-discovery. Focusing on Westtown’s Quaker philosophy of education, the programs are centered around the tenets of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship.
The goals of these programs are
- To build the language fluency of Westtown students
- To foster international understanding
- To build cross-cultural awareness
- To increase language awareness of the school community
For example, during a Senior Project in Puerto Rico, Upper School students spent two weeks partnering with classroom teachers in the rural town of Aguada. They served as co-teachers and helped to prepare students in the areas of English and Math for standardized testing conducted by the Puerto Rico Board of Education known as the Prueba Puertorriqueña.
In China, students toured major cities and landmarks and volunteered at local orphanages where they worked with small children in literacy and play therapy.
The Westtown en Cuba Program is perhaps the most ambitious and creative experiential and globally-minded program the department has created. It is a People-To-People Cultural and Linguistic Immersion Experience giving students the opportunity to interact with specialized public schools in Havana, Matanzas, and Cienfuegos.Read more below.
Every other year, students have the opportunity to visit Cuba and interact with specialized public schools in Havana, Matanzas, and Cienfuegos. They will engage in service with the Proyecto Comunitario Muraleando in Havana, a program similar to the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. They will also visit organic farms, nature preserves and the Cuban Quaker Institute for Peace. This program is dedicated to peace building and understanding among student communities in Cuba and Westtown.
Each year, 5th graders travel to Puerto Rico for one week for language and culture immersion, service projects in the community, and FUN! This trip takes place over spring break.