The Department of Modern and Classical Languages offers the opportunity for students to learn Latin, French, and Spanish while also becoming familiar with the cultures of those who communicate in these languages. Such knowledge provides our students with the ability to connect with others from different countries and backgrounds in our multicultural and highly interactive world. 

Course Offerings

  • French 1, 2, 3, Honors 4
  • Spanish 1, 2, 3, Honors 4
  • Benilde Spanish 1, 2
  • Heritage Spanish 1, 2
  • Latin 1, 2, 3, Honors 4
  • AP Latin
  • AP French Language and Culture
  • AP Spanish Language and Culture
  • Honors Readings in Spanish

Course Requirements

Students are encouraged to go beyond the two-year requirement to be more fully equipped to take their place in our increasingly global society. For De La Salle Scholars, we require three consecutive years of language study. To advance to the upper levels of our language courses, students must show their proficiency by achieving a B average in the courses from level two forward.

Extracurricular Opportunities

National Honor Societies: Outstanding students may be nominated for and inducted into the French, Latin, or Spanish honor societies. Many of these students then serve as peer tutors for underclassmen. These honor societies also offer the opportunity to earn college scholarships.
Language Clubs: All are welcome to join St. John’s language clubs, where students from every class level gather for service, educational activities, cultural celebrations, and the sampling of international foods.
Spring Break Trips: The Modern and Classical Languages Department sponsors international spring break trips, designed to allow students to perfect their language skills and experience Spanish, French, or Greco-Roman culture. All St. John’s students may join these trips, capacity permitting.
Service Opportunities: Advanced language students have opportunities to serve others using their second language. Some join the Amigos de las Americas program, volunteering up to eight weeks of their summer break to perform service projects in Spanish-speaking countries. Others use their language skills to volunteer with local parishes and other community centers.
Exchanges: The language department has close ties with Lasallian schools in France and Mexico. These partner schools share our mission and grant us a greater awareness of the worldwide Lasallian network of which we are so grateful to be a small part. Our goal for these cultural exchanges (as well as our study abroad trips) is that our students return home from these trips abroad inspired, confident, and more connected to the world around them. We hope they grow in their understanding of servant leadership and deepen their appreciation of multicultural collaboration, understanding, and empathy.

Languages Faculty

List of 10 members.

  • Photo of Marlene Aguilar-Nahas

    Marlene Aguilar-Nahas 

    Department Chair, Modern and Classical Languages; Honors Spanish 4, Heritage Spanish 2
    202-363-2316 x1924
    José Matías Delgado University - B.A.
    The University of the West Indies - B.A.
    The University of the West Indies - M.Phil.
  • Photo of Victoria Berasaluce Guerra

    Victoria Berasaluce Guerra 

    French 1, Spanish 2
    202-363-2316 x1925
    Universidad de Buenos Aires - M.A.
    Universidad de San Andrés - B.A.
  • Photo of Randi Butler

    Randi Butler 

    French 2, 3, Honors French 4, AP French Language and Culture
    202-363-2316 x1930
    University of Arkansas - B.S.I.B.
    University of Arkansas - M.A.
  • Photo of Amy Kemper-Moore

    Amy Kemper-Moore 

    AP Spanish Language and Culture, Benilde Spanish 1, 2
    202-363-2316 x1928
    College of Saint Benedict/St.John’s University - B.A.
    American University - M.A.
    Georgetown University - M.S.
  • Photo of Irene Murphy

    Irene Murphy 

    Latin 1, 2, 3
    202-363-2316 x1926
    Loyola University Maryland - B.A.
    Catholic University - M.A.
  • Photo of Dan Pier

    Dan Pier 

    Spanish 2
    202-363-2316 x1826
    University of Notre Dame - B.A.
    Harvard University - Ed.M.
  • Photo of Stephen Salkeld

    Stephen Salkeld 

    Spanish 3, Honors Readings in Spanish
    202-363-2316 x1976
    Johns Hopkins University - B.A.
  • Photo of Taylor Sims

    Taylor Sims 

    Spanish 1, 2
    202-363-2316 x1931
    Appalachian State University - B.A.
  • Photo of Paola Toquica

    Paola Toquica 

    Spanish 1, Heritage Spanish 1
    202-363-2316 x1961
    Universidad de La Sabana, Colombia - B.A.
  • Photo of Mariela Yohe

    Mariela Yohe 

    French 1, Spanish 2