Online Exclusive: Taking new languages means new opportunities

Amanda Slud, Staff Writer

According to, 20 percent of Americans consider themselves bilingual, and the number is continuously growing. While applying for a job or even college, having a second language may help someone stand out. While traveling out of the U.S or even inside the country, knowing another language may let someone easily communicate with people.

Despite those positives, a debate of whether or not to continue taking a language course in high school continues. Taking a language can be a good thing because it increases knowledge and leads to bilingual communications. However it can lead to frustration, and might only be taken to fulfill a credit.

Taking a language has positives. Learning a language in school improves prospects for college admissions, increases career prospects, improves problem solving skills and helps to learn about new cultures. said, “Learning a second language can broaden your student’s ability to connect with and appreciate a different culture. They can further expand this connection by traveling or studying abroad.”

Students taking foreign languages not only learn the grammar and vocabulary, but also get a chance to learn about culture. “The reason I am taking Spanish is to become a better world citizen and learn about different cultures around the world. What I find most interesting is the community it builds and how I am able to immerse myself in the unique experiences of the extravagant Spanish culture,” sophomore Dylan Safai said.

Some people believe that they will not use a foreign language after high school so there is no point in even learning it. “I am currently taking ASL. I was never strong in Spanish in middle school. I enjoy ASL and I think it will be more useful to me than Spanish,” sophomore Emily Levine said.

A lot of colleges require at least two years of a foreign language, meaning students may stop taking a language once they have reached the requirement.

Some students would rather take classes that they enjoy more or think they will use those skills more. These students might take classes like ASL, finance, nutrition, computer science, or even an art class rather than a language.

Spanish and French teacher Christina Maass thinks all students should continue a language for all four years. “A lot of people just do what they need to do. For me, taking a language and quitting after two years is like cutting off a limb,” Maass said.

Maass thinks the most important thing about learning the language is travel. Students travel all around the world, and have social economic backgrounds that enable them to be in a position to travel. Maass said, “Some people don’t like it as much and stop after two years. This makes me sad because after two years you haven’t even learned the language. If you go to AP you are actually speaking the language. You leave AP and you can carry on a conversation.”