Low interest reverses creation of new classes

Given the school’s limited options for world languages, an increased demand for more variety in language classes led to a homeroom survey to gauge interest of other languages. After collecting data on interests for languages such as German, Russian and Japanese in December, it was decided that these courses would not be finding their way into the school curriculum.
Currently, there are only five languages offered here: Spanish, French, Chinese, Latin and American Sign Language. These limited options are what led to the consideration of adding new languages into the school’s course offerings.

According to world language resource teacher Anthony DeRosa, there were some interest expressed in the new languages offered in the survey, but not enough to have any of the languages offered for next year. “There was some interest in each, but no plans are afoot to offer them for next year or the foreseeable future. Of course, we may revisit the whole idea at some time,” DeRosa said.

A multitude of issues would arise from the new courses if implemented. The most prevalent issue is that hiring new teachers would be a necessity for the teaching of the classes. The only way to avoid this issue would be to shift teachers who happen to already know German, Russian or Japanese away from their subject. Interest for classes in the world language department would be spread even more than they already are, creating issues filing periods for teachers already in the department or for the new teachers.

Students reacted in varying ways to the possibility of having additional language options. While a select few were excited to have more options for world language that may be more tailored to their interests, the general consensus was that there was not overwhelming interest for any of these new languages. This eventually led to the decision that these classes would not be added as options any time soon.

A large concern is that none of these languages were offered on the middle school level when most students began learning another language, henceforth leading to decreased interest in high school. “I am not interested in any of those languages so I probably would not take them anyways,” freshman Zara Denison said.

World languages are not offered in any of the elementary schools feeding into the school. Interest in world language is not fostered at a young age in MCPS. A large portion of students only decide to take a world language in high school to fulfill the necessary requirements to graduate, ignoring the benefits that learning another language brings.

Some students do not recognize the importance of learning another language and gaining an understanding of another culture. “I think it would have been really cool to have had an opportunity to learn one of those languages in high school. It seems like a useful tool that would have been nice to learn now,” senior Ryan Wong said.

Matthew Lind

Back Page Editor

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