Students have freedom to speak any language
March 20, 2017
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Taking a language is mandatory, but students have the freedom to choose between a variety of options: Spanish, French, German, Latin, and American Sign Language (ASL).
The choices are hardly overwhelming, but students take languages for reasons ranging from random to personal.
“I took French because I didn’t want to take Spanish, and I thought it was a pretty language and would be interesting to learn,” said sophomore Kyrsten Smith.
Other students are more pragmatic, viewing language classes as a break from a difficult work load.
“I already speak Spanish because my family is from Peru, so taking Spanish for three years to graduate was an easy ‘A’,” said junior Daniel Elinan.
Students must take three years of one language, or two years of one language and another two of another. However, this doesn’t mean that students have to take three to four years of language classes in high school. In some cases, students began language classes in 8th grade. Some did so out of true passion for the language.
“I take ASL and I think it is really interesting. I think being exposed to different languages and cultures in high school is important; it helps educate you,” said sophomore Brooke Ehlers.
However, there are many students who are against making languages mandatory in high school. They believe that students should have the choice of whether to do so.
“I don’t think that taking a foreign language should be necessary to graduate because it depends what you want to do when you’re older,” said Frondoso.
But there are still those who believe that their foreign language education will greatly help them in the future. Students often consider their dream jobs to help them decide what language class they will take in high school.
“Because of taking ASL in high school, it has made me take an interest in continuing ASL in college to become a translator,” said Ehlers.
Ehlers is not the only student who has been positively impacted by taking a language. Doing so allows students to expand their horizons and explore a new culture and way of interacting with others.
“I believe it is good to challenge yourself by taking another language, especially when it’s so different from the language you already know,” said Smith.