Should Students Be Required to Take Foreign Language?

Rachel Sheline, Reporter

Students in the Griffith Jr. and Sr. High School are required to take 2 years of foreign language for a Core 40 diploma or three years for a Core 40 honors diploma. The question is, should students be required to take a foreign language? Kailey McCarron, an eighth-grade student says, “It is very hard to catch up. Sometimes, I fall behind and don’t do my homework. Then I don’t know how to do the work. I’m worried I’ll fail the work and my class. I do think it’s good for students to take it. I feel that if you take it at a younger age, it will be easier to remember through the years.” This brings up a valid point. Should foreign language start at younger grades?

Almost 559 million people speak Spanish. Of those, are there any that learn anything from high school? To help answer that question, Amanda Ramos, a graduate of Griffith High School in 2017 says, “Spanish helped me learn my pronunciations better. When people are speaking in Spanish, I understand them more. Overall taking Spanish was worth it for me.” While maybe the few years they get to learn won’t teach them all the language, most students did enjoy taking the class.

Foreign language teachers have come and gone from Griffith High School. Luckily, Mr. Ford has returned, and he says, “Teaching Spanish allows understanding a different culture.  The Spanish language is used a lot in our country, and it helps you communicate with others. Students have difficulty training their brains to think in the “Spanish language”. They must separate their mechanics of English from the rules of Spanish.”  When asked what he thought about junior high students taking Spanish classes, “Spanish allows junior high students to get a head start on high school.” In the long run, it seems that completing a foreign language in junior high or high school has a lot of benefits. earning a diploma, testing out of college classes, and having knowledge and ability to speak another language fluently are just a few.  Completing Spanish in junior high helps free up the student’s schedule in high school to take more classes that interest them. Students do need to spend the necessary amount of time on this class. It shouldn’t be taken lightly. But in the end, it will help set you up for success in the future.