Language is the heart and soul of a culture, how we communicate and function as a society is based on spoken and written word. There are many different languages spoken globally, and some of those are taught here at Oak Park.
Oak Park offers in school modern language classes such as French, Spanish and German and with Launch, there are some more options such as Japanese.
There are many advantages to learning a foreign language, being able to communicate with more people to having a credit most colleges require.
But, I don’t think it should be a required class and right now it isn’t at NKC Schools, unless you’re going for an honors diploma.
But, these diplomas are often pushed for. They’re a challenge and it’s an honest goal to strive for, putting more students in these classes.
However, these classes aren’t easy As and they take time and effort outside of the classroom walls to truly succeed in them, which not a lot of students are willing to do.
“I really don’t think it is necessary to take a foreign language, and I think there are some students that have absolutely no interest in it,” said foreign language teacher Jill Weatherly.
With the select few languages offered and the challenges that come with these classes, it can be hard to connect with the student body and the diverse interests. Learning a new language also takes a lot of attention, which can be hard with other classes and activities students have to do.
Junior Lillian Smith, who’s in French IV believes it should be a required credit, she said “knowing other people’s languages, it helps you connect with other people. I also think it’s just a fun class, it’s not super hard.”
There are benefits to taking a modern language class. The opportunity to learn a new language with the help of your peers is not something to overlook, and most colleges are looking for some of these credits. Learning a new language connects you closer to the world and opens new doors for learning and communication.
Engaging in learning a new language and culture as a high school student is no easy task and for it to payoff, the student has to be committed and actively interested. So to require it would simply hold students back, even considering the benefits.