Foreign Languages

F

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.

Testimonials

  • "Buxton has given me the freedom to be the person I want to be, make the art I want to make, and learn the things I want to learn. At Buxton we learn not only in the classroom, but in the community. We learn how to be good to each other and how to support each other. Buxton has so much to offer students, both inside the classroom and outside of it."
    Sadie
    Sadie Great Barrington, MA
  • “At Buxton you get to focus on what you want to be learning; whether it is social skills or in-depth studying- you learn to take responsibility of your education.”
    Francis Magai
    Francis Magai Troy, NY
  • “Living your education means to not only learn things, but to use what you learn in your everyday life.”
    Naima Nigh
    Naima Nigh Mexico
  • “To me, living your education means to be independent, to take charge, to not be afraid of asking for help, to learn from your peers, to love to learn, to take what you have learned from a loving environment and take it into the world.”
    Kat Hallowell
    Kat Hallowell New Hampshire
  • “Your education is more than just your time in class, it’s your life as a whole. Learning is not limited to a teacher teaching you something in a classroom.”
    Cynder Johnson
    Cynder Johnson Missouri
  • “To me, at Buxton, it’s not boundaries that you make, but the ones you break through.”
    Roy Malone
    Roy Malone New York, NY
  • “At Buxton, I can choose what I want to do with my education. I can design my own path and invest my time studying topics that I’m really interested in.”
    Nora Mittleman
    Nora Mittleman New York, NY
  • “At Buxton you can experience your intellectual development in a community that accepts your perspective of the world.”
    Ben Nigh
    Ben Nigh Mexico
  • “I felt instantly at home when I stepped on the campus. At Buxton, we are in school 24/7. We learn things in the classroom, but we really learn valuable things outside of the classroom. We learn how to work with others and respect each other’s spaces. Our education surrounds us and we learn new things everyday.”
    Emily Woodside
    Emily Woodside Albany, NY
  • “I chose Buxton over public school because I think I function better in a smaller environment. You’re able to get to know students and faculty on a deeper level, which is rare.”
    Charlie Starenko
    Charlie Starenko Williamstown, MA
  • “Students should be happy when they are learning. They should not feel like studying is a burden to them. You learn things from your living space and environment - you are learning every second you are living.”
    Jiayi Cao
    Jiayi Cao China
  • “Buxton has shown me that it is possible to forge close bonds with teachers as well as students. It also gives you the ability to try new things in an environment where there is no judgment.”
    Kristhal Ayala
    Kristhal Ayala Puerto Rico
  • “I chose Buxton for a small community-based education with focus on the individual as part of the world at large, along with the learning settings.”
    Katie McAvoy
    Katie McAvoy Boston, MA
  • “I love the atmosphere and how tightly knit the community is. At Buxton you take what you learn in the classroom and use it in everyday life - you learn from the world around you and see how you can make it better.”
    Cheyanne Williams
    Cheyanne Williams Boston, MA
  • “At Buxton you bring your education into everything you do, and learn important, relevant things that you can utilize all the time.”
    Rebecca van der Meulen
    Rebecca van der Meulen New Lebanon, NY
  • "In the last year, Buxton has become my home. It has provided me with a place where self-exploration is encouraged in and out of the classroom. I have made unbreakable bonds with faculty and my peers."

    Aurora
    Aurora Albany, NY
  • "To me living your education means enjoying it to the fullest. Do the things that make you uncomfortable, like activities, clubs, or sports you wouldn't normally participate in. Like the saying goes, "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take."

    Adrian
    Adrian Boston, MA
  • "Buxton has given me room to fully realize what inspires me and the resources to create it. The next big grade is no longer a constant worry. I have more space to be and do what I want."

    Lola
    Lola Williamstown, MA
  • "Buxton has given me the freedom to be the person I want to be, make the art I want to make, and learn the things I want to learn. At Buxton we learn not only in the classroom, but in the community. We learn how to be good to each other and how to support each other. Buxton has so much to offer students, both inside the classroom and outside of it."

    Sadie
    Sadie Great Barrington, MA
  • “A sense that everybody matters, that you are in a community where everyone can make a difference and reach their full potential, where you are interdependent and you work together, and most importantly where you understand that you can do whatever you want to do and whatever it is that you do, you have got to make a difference. I think that, more than anything, defines my experience at Buxton.”
    Peter Shumlin
    Peter Shumlin Governor of Vermont, Buxton Alumni

Live your education at Buxton

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