Students question world language requirements


Lamis Alnatafgi

Hinsdale Central offers up to four different languages, starting with the most popular, Spanish, then French, German, and finally Latin.

The topic of whether learning a new language is necessary or not is definitely up for debate, as students are picking their classes for next year. 

I personally think taking a language is important but four years of it isn’t totally necessary. I’m a senior and I dropped Spanish this year in order to take two different science courses that would help with my major in college. I don’t regret the decision I made because I was able to benefit from the three years I previously took Spanish.

“Taking a language will help you broaden your horizons, as well as help you connect with other people with different ethnicities,” said Ms. Maura Langevin, Spanish teacher. “Above anything, it’s getting to experience a new culture.” 

Learning a new language is shown to have several benefits in many different aspects. Not only does it look good on college applications but you are also more likely to get a better job knowing a second language, and surprisingly, studies have shown that it can improve memory as well as the ability to multitask.

“I would totally recommend that everyone takes four years of a foreign language,” said Annie Ness, junior who is currently taking Spanish and French. 

Ness said that students who are deciding which language to take should take Spanish because the program is more communicative and there are more opportunities for students. 

Lamis Alnatafgi
Many students take Spanish as their world language because of the structure and the opportunities they have.

Langevin said she thinks that students could benefit from taking a language at Central.

“Absolutely I would recommend taking a language for four years,” Langevin said. “In order to keep the building blocks going as well as build towards your language.”

Langevin believes it’s important to do at least four years because a lot of schools in other countries have students learn new languages from a young age which is why she thinks as Americans, we shouldn’t be limited to just four years. 

“I love taking two classes because foreign language classes are, in my opinion, the most fun,” Ness said. “We’re always playing games to help us learn the language and it’s a lot more interesting than say doing math problems all class.” 

Grace Fowler, senior who dropped French, disagrees.

“I don’t think it’s unnecessary to take a language at all in high school,” Fowler said. “For me personally [taking a fourth year of French] was not going to benefit me this year and there were other classes I was able to fit into my schedule that [would be] very beneficial towards my goals for college and my career.” 

Fowler said she thinks it should be a student’s choice in the end if they want to learn another language and if it will help them in their career later on in life.

Kiswa Malik, senior who dropped her German class, agrees with Fowler. 

“I decided to drop German this year because I realized I most likely wasn’t going to need it later on in my life like in college or the career I want to do,” Malik said. “I found taking a science class more important because that was going to help out with my credits for college.” 

Many students their senior year drop the language they’re taking to either switch to a different one or to take a different course. 

Since most colleges only recommend at least two years of a foreign language there’s nothing wrong with dropping a language and not taking it for four years, though it’s recommended by the school and the world language teachers.