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High School Foreign Language Classes: Are They Worth it?

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High School Foreign Language Classes: Are They Worth it?

http://www.masters-education.com/teaching-a-foreign-language/

http://www.masters-education.com/teaching-a-foreign-language/

http://www.masters-education.com/teaching-a-foreign-language/

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I have heard many students say their foreign language classes are not important. Some say it is unnecessary and does not do enough to help them learn another language; they would rather focus on the classes that really matter. How true are these statements? Are language classes more beneficial than these Whitman students think?
I can see where people are coming from when they put the needs of other classes above their foreign language classes. They might not be interested in the language that they are learning. To them, it could just be another obligation in order to graduate. Some are very interested in the language itself, but may not find the high school classroom environment to be the best place to learn it. Sophomore Meghan Kramer says that learning a language is “a good thing, but in high school, you’re not immersed enough to really absorb the language.” Foreign languages do not come easily to everyone. It makes sense that some may not find a language class worth all of the studying and memorization.
Learning another language might be difficult for some, but overall the benefits are definitely worth it. Sophomore Rabia Gondal says that foreign language “helps to connect people of different cultures, bring people together, and embrace different languages.” Learning another language helps to link you to another culture, you can find out a lot about the traditions of other people. It makes you well informed and more open to accept the values of others. Not only does language enhance your cultural knowledge, but studies have also shown it can improve your brain functioning. A study at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital was conducted to find out the changes your brain can go through when learning a language after infancy. The study deduced that learning a second language later in childhood “stimulates new neural growth and connections among neurons in ways seen in acquiring complex motor skills.” Mrs. Bunnell, a foreign language teacher at Walt Whitman, says that “beyond learning the actual language, the knowledge helps with your memory and improves your study skills and brain functioning.” So not only do languages help you connect with others culturally, but they also help you neurologically and can improve your memorization and study skills, helping you with your other classes.
It is an amazing feeling to start understanding another language. It feels great to be able to listen to music and sing along knowing the meaning. It is incredible to start understanding something that you could not before. It overall makes you feel accomplished.
Foreign language classes in high school, or at any age for that matter, are most definitely worth it. What makes it even better is that this course is free to you. Take advantage of that; learn something. Trust me; you will not regret your decision to pay attention in class once you start to understand another language. Even if learning the language in class may be difficult for you, take the class anyway. Who knows, it could help you a lot later in life. You may not realize it, but being taught a foreign language is benefitting you a lot. Do not take such a wonderful opportunity for granted.
Citation:
Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital Study: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130829124351.htm

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High School Foreign Language Classes: Are They Worth it?