With the geographical connection to Latin American countries, as well as the growing number of Spanish speaking people in the United States, fluency in Spanish is essential for interaction within the Americas. And with China’s economic, environmental, and political impact on the world on the rise, knowledge of Chinese language and culture is becoming increasingly important for anyone aspiring to be a global citizen. The mission of the World Languages Department, therefore, is to teach students to negotiate meaning across cultures as part of a foundation for responsible and capable global citizenship. The Department puts a strong emphasis on developing oral, written, and cultural proficiency through the study and use of authentic materials in context. Such exposure to language and culture advances students’ abilities to appreciate different ways of thinking and living. By integrating cultural topics and current events in class, as well as structured and informal interactions with native speakers, we explore the world from the perspectives of Spanish and Chinese speakers. All 6th and 7th graders study Spanish, and in 8th grade, students select pursuing a path in either Spanish or Chinese. Students coming newly to Vermont Commons in 9th grade should accordingly arrive with first year language proficiency in Chinese or Spanish, as high school world language classes begin at Chinese 2 or Spanish 2.