Weitere Sprachen (More Languages)

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Weitere Sprachen (More Languages)

Jeslyn Chou, Staff Writer

AHS offers four foreign language classes: Chinese, Spanish, French, and Japanese— but should there be more opportunities to learn other languages?  This article will cover the pros and cons of incorporating more language course options into our school, and students’ opinions of them.

After doing some research, I’ve discovered that there are many reasons as to why it could be beneficial for the school to provide more language classes.

  • More Diversity

With the integration of more languages in our school, there would be more opportunities to learn those languages. In addition, there would be an influx of new cultural interests throughout our school. Students could learn about the customs of other cultures, as well as how they communicate.

  • Encourage Travel

A reason preventing someone from traveling to other countries may be because of the language barrier. More language classes in school may encourage students to travel more in the future, and apply what they learned on their journey.

  • Job Opportunities

Having the ability to speak more than one language fluently can be a massive asset to your job applications. No matter what field you are passionate in, companies are always searching for people from different backgrounds, and your ability to speak multiple languages just might stand out to employers.

  • Cognitive Benefits

It’s been proven that studying a second language can help your brain with memory, problem-solving skills, critical thinking skills, and multi-tasking. Therefore, even if you don’t remember much from your language class, you will benefit as you exercise and improve your brain activity.

After reviewing the many positives of integrating more language courses, here are a couple of reasons from those that are against adding language options.

  • Forgetting Everything

With the addition of new terms every week, some may not be able to remember every single word. Even worse, students may even be at risk of forgetting what they learned as they graduate high school. Although this depends on the student, it can be pretty frustrating to spend  years learning something, and not being able to apply it in your future.

  • Cost of New Classes

With the addition of new classes, comes the addition of new teachers, supplies, and classrooms. While it seems like a good idea, it is can become costly for the school and it may be difficult to find new, qualified teachers.

To get some feedback on the question, I asked freshman Flora Huang about her thoughts on topic. She is currently taking Chinese and says that while it takes some practice and studying, it is worth it as she can improve her skills in her native language. In addition, she believes that the incorporation of more languages could be a great opportunity for students to “expand their horizons and encourage the learning of different cultures they may not be familiar with.”

Agreeing with Flora’s sentiments, freshman Jasmine Castro says that she would like a larger variety of languages to choose from. Because she must take a language for at least one year to graduate, she would prefer to spend that year studying something she likes, instead of a language she has no interest in.

With a more professional opinion, Ms. Yazmyn Valdivia, who teaches Spanish at AHS, believes that the school “should continue to provide a variety of language classes since we have to teach our students new languages that are used in today’s businesses.” In addition, she’d like to spread awareness for the many languages and cultures that around us. Not only would it be eye-opening for many students, but it’d also prove beneficial for students who want to work in jobs that require bilingual employees.  Ms. Valdivia continues to say that “it is beneficial for [the students] as new industries are growing and asking for new languages.”

All in all, there are many pros and cons to the addition of language classes at AHS. While it may be beneficial to offer more languages to students, it is still pretty neat that we are able to experience a new culture, right in the comfort of our own city!