World Languages and Social Science


In today's world, knowledge of multiple languages and cultures is more important than ever before. John Hersey High School’s World Language program offers study in French, Mandarin and Spanish, all of which can be useful in a variety of careers including international affairs, business, commerce, medicine and hospitality.

At Hersey, our language courses provide both, offering in-depth study of language as well as opportunities to participate in diverse cultural experiences. In the World Language program, students learn to:

  • understand, appreciate and communicate with people from other countries and cultures
  • expand their opportunities for communication in real-life situations such as travel and future employment
  • better understand their own language and increase their ability in reading, writing and mathematics. 

In fact, some interesting studies have shown that:

  • Students enrolled in second language courses tend to achieve higher on the Verbal section of the PSAT than peers not enrolled in any second language instruction (Milewski & Sawtell, 2006).
  • Students tend to outperform their monolingual peers on the English and Mathematics sections of the ACT (Olsen & Brown, 1992).
  • There has been evidence of a dramatic gap in SAT scores when comparing students with only one year of world language instruction and those with three or four years of instruction (Cooper, 1987).

Hersey recognizes the dedication and hard work of students who commit to learning a world language. Eligible students may become members of National Honor Societies, the Société Honoraire du Français, the Delta Epsilon Mu, and the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica after successfully completing three semesters of a world language.

Additionally, more and more universities are looking for well-rounded students and generally require two or three (some even four!) years of a world language prior to being admitted to their university. The acquisition of a second language can be useful to students in their daily lives during and beyond their high school years.  Millions of people in the world speak more than one language; at Hersey, students have the opportunity to add to that number.

The John Hersey High School Social Science Department takes great pride in helping all students to realize their potential as thinkers and participants in a diverse democratic society. All students experience a rigorous, content-rich core Social Science curriculum that aligns its skill components to the ACT College Readiness Standards. All students are encouraged to challenge themselves to grow and achieve at their highest possible academic level.  In addition, our elective programs provide opportunities for students to develop their own interests, academic proficiencies, and authentic life skills in fields such as Sociology, Public Service, the Legal System, Psychology, Government, Economics, and History. Each student is unique, but at John Hersey High School, all students receive a Social Science education that prepares them not only for academic growth and success, but also for democratic citizenship.