Foreign Languages


oreign language study at Buxton enables students to hone their understanding of the subtle and complex relations among the world’s peoples. In the course of this effort, we present opportunities to foster an appreciation of cultural and literary traditions and increase awareness of both historical and current issues facing the countries and societies in which the target language is spoken.

In the beginning courses, topics are divided into short segments and the focus is on basic skills and vocabulary acquisition. At the higher levels, students concentrate on understanding and expressing complex ideas while continuing to study grammar and to increase their use of idiomatic expressions. Group projects encourage students to learn from each other and to understand that they have a personal responsibility for contributing to the class effort. Extracurricular arts activities such as performing songs in a second language, the creation and production of foreign language videos and plays, and the presentation of creative writing are strongly encouraged.

French IV

While including a review of grammar, is an exploration of French culture expanding from the 17th century to today. Through an in-depth study of novels, plays, poetry, music and movies, students will be exposed to some of the most creative minds that have shaped French culture and captivated the eyes of the world. Within the year, students can find themselves anywhere from enjoying the aristocratic comedies of Jean Baptiste Molière, to learning about the realities of marginalized, Parisian youth presented through Mathieu Kassovitz’s masterpiece La Haine. Frequent compositions, connected to the source material, will refine written expression. Comprehension and oral expression will be facilitated through exclusive communication in the target language.

Spanish I and II

Introduce beginning students to basic reading, writing, and listening skills using a variety of methodologies. Emphasis is also placed on discovering the richness and diversity of Hispanic culture. These courses are designed to provide the students with basic and intermediate grammar so that they can engage in conversation about daily life in different speaking styles, to develop a general knowledge about Spanish culture, and to introduce students to Hispanic literary texts from both sides of the Atlantic.

Spanish III

The course relies heavily on the workbook Revista as a resource for grammar review, reading comprehension and composition skills. Occasional presentations and projects allow the students to focus on those aspects of the history and culture of the hispanophone world that they find of particular, personal interest. Frequent use of multi-media supports oral and audio skills. Language immersion is fairly constant at this level.

Spanish IV

Centers around the book Cinema for Spanish Conversation. This text uses contemporary Spanish-language films to inspire dialogue and encourage investigation into some of the most pressing themes confronting Spain and Latin America. Some of the topics studied include immigration, revolution, dictatorship, gender roles, and family. The films are often screened without subtitles, and class discussions are also conducted primarily in Spanish. Careful attention is still paid to grammar and vocabulary building in this course.

Spanish V

Continues to inform the grammatical sensibilities of the students, delving at last into the finer nuances and quirks of the language. The course is centered around the discussion and analysis of contemporary literary works by Spanish and Latin American authors. Composition and oral proficiency are heavily emphasized, through in-class essays, research papers, presentations and group projects. This course is conducted completely in Spanish.

French I and II

Stresses basic language skills with emphasis on reading, writing, and conversation and offer glimpses into the cultural life of the French-speaking world.

French III

Presents an intensive grammar review along with an introduction to modern French prose. Written expression is stressed through frequent compositions. A full-length novel or play is read during the last term.

Russian I (2019-2020)

This year-long course will introduce students to the basics of Russian Language. Students will learn how to read and write in Cyrillic. Grammar and vocabulary will be focused on helping students make and understand simple conversations about their families, academics interests, and daily lives. We will also explore Russian geography and Russian culture (history, society, politics) throughout the academic year.
The course is limited to students who have already met their language-sequence requirement.


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    Hollis Lane San Francisco, CA
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    Cynder Johnson Missouri
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    Roy Malone New York, NY
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    Nora Mittleman New York, NY
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    Ben Nigh
    Ben Nigh Mexico
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    Emily Woodside Albany, NY
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    Jiayi Cao China
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    Lena Meginsky
    Lena Meginsky Northhampton, MA
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    Kristhal Ayala
    Kristhal Ayala Puerto Rico
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    Katie McAvoy Boston, MA
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    Cheyanne Williams Boston, MA
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    Rebecca van der Meulen New Lebanon, NY
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    Peter Shumlin
    Peter Shumlin Governor of Vermont, Buxton Alumni

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