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BISHOP McNAMARA HIGH SCHOOLA Catholic, Holy Cross, Coeducational, College Preparatory School for Grades 9-12

Modern & Classical Languages

Bishop McNamara High School Students visit Spain as part of the Spain Exchange program

               Students visit Spain as part of Spain Exchange Program​​​​

Bishop McNamara students are involved in a full cultural immersion teaching them 

  • to learn another language

  • to gain insight into native users of the language

  • to garner respect for the people who are native users of the language

We teach World Languages at Bishop McNamara through a Communicative Language Teaching process where we integrate the four skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking using a top-down methodology, additionally focusing on culture, allowing the students to process language as naturally as possible.

The MCL teachers are always looking for that "extra" that makes the difference between us and other foreign language programs. We do our best to give our students different activities using multiple approaches that allow them to acquire the necessary skills to understand the language and the culture.

The goals of the Modern & Classical Languages department are aligned with those of the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages.

Through their study of a language or languages at BMHS, students will learn (where applicable) to speak, listen, read and write in Arabic, American Sign Language, French, Latin and Spanish in a teacher-directed class.

Two consecutive years of one of the in-class languages offered by the MCL department are required for graduation. Students who demonstrate ability, interest, and commitment are encouraged to take three or four years of one language and/or try a second language after fulfilling the basic requirements. See each course description for more information and prerequisites.


Introduction to Honors Arabic

Did you know that Bishop McNamara High School is one of the few schools in the DMV area that offers Arabic language classes? Did you know that Arabic can open many job opportunities here in the US and internationally?  Our students put together a video to help you explore Arabic at BMHS. Take a moment to watch and contact if you are interested.

Honors ASL 3 Video for
National Deaf Awareness Month

Bishop McNamara High School Honors ASL 3, in support of National Deaf Awareness Month created this informational video as part of their class.
The purpose of Deaf History Month from March 13 - April 15 is to increase awareness of deaf issues, people, and culture, and to enhance the BMHS community's knowledge of deaf people their culture and language. Deaf History Month, by design, spans three key events impacting the deaf community that occurred in American history.
  • March 13 - 1988 Deaf President Now movement succeeds. King Jordan becomes president of Gallaudet University.
  • April 8 - Gallaudet University founded. President Lincoln signed the charter in 1864 establishing a college for the deaf. This event is known as Gallaudet Charter Day and is usually marked with a luncheon and awards program at Gallaudet University.
  • April 15 - American School for the Deaf, the first public school for the deaf, opens in 1817.  

The students in the class were Kennedy Atwater, Isabella Franklin, Liatu King, Brianna Lester, Maya Moody, Drake Murphy, Anthony Powell, Logan Smith, and Quentin Vickers.  

Liatu King was the SIGN MASTER FOR THE CLASS.  Isabella and Liatu were the producers and directors of the video. Mrs. Phyllis Ballenger was the executive director, reviewing the students work and giving suggestions. Thank you to Mr. Matt Buckley for assistance with video.