Global languages set students apart

College admission offices are often surprised by applications from students at Albuquerque Academy, where transcripts carry a stunning variety of modern languages. Beginning as early as eighth grade, Albuquerque Academy students expand their horizons beyond more traditional languages by opting into a rotating group of offerings that has so far included Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Mandarin, Arabic, and Hindi. They proceed through a five-year sequence to college-level fluency. “Colleges just aren’t used to seeing these languages on applications,” says Language Department chair and program founder Rolando Villegas. “They really see our kids differently.” Villegas also notes that the global Language teachers, all native speakers, bring a priceless diversity of perspectives to the Academy’s language department. Albuquerque students and teachers are especially excited about the expanding menu of immersive student travel and exchange opportunities that has grown up around the program, providing students learning windows into an array of cultures and helping them become culturally, as well as linguistically, fluent to meet the demands of an ever-changing world.

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