The Summit aims to produce high-school graduates with strong proficiency in French or Spanish. To do that, World Language Program exposure begins at age 2. In kindergarten, parents choose French or Spanish for study. If the child so desires, study of one of those languages could continue for the next 13 years. Students are introduced to Latin in sixth grade and can continue to study Latin through the 12th grade. Students can begin study of Mandarin Chinese in the seventh grade and continue that through 12th grade.
The World Language Program was the culmination of research by Summit educators looking to develop a best-practice curriculum.
Their aim was to define 21st Century foreign-language competency of students living in a global world. The program is designed to give Summit graduates a competitive advantage in foreign language proficiency when they reach college.
The Summit is one of the few schools in Cincinnati that offers Spanish and French as early as pre-kindergarten. Foreign language study is started at age 2 because young minds are able to absorb information at an incredible rate. Younger children can learn a second language easier because they are not as dependent on the first. Early learning also takes advantage of the developing brain and stimulates the development of neural connections, which explains the higher achievement rates of bilingual and trilingual students in areas such as Math and Language Arts. Research shows learning a foreign language at such an early age fosters a lifelong appreciation of communication, diversity and the English language.