School should change language program

Ashley Chase, Editor in Chief

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Currently, the language program for LISD has students begin learning a variety of languages starting freshman year, with the only language class provided outside of high school being a year of Spanish in eighth grade. However, there are other schools that not only provide opportunities for learning languages throughout middle school, but they offer a wider variety of options such as German and Chinese.

The school should expand its linguistics program to provide a wide variety of language classes throughout the middle school curriculum.

By allowing students in middle school to take multiple years of a language before they even reach high school, the school would be giving students the opportunity to get a large portion of their required credits for graduation out of the way before they even start high school. Students who want to pursue multiple languages would be given the opportunity to do so at an early age and other students would be able to take these classes early and have more freedom with their schedules later in high school, giving them the flexibility to focus on other studies or extracurriculars.

Also, providing students with a wider range of languages to learn at a young age will enrich students learning. Only providing students with exposure to Spanish is limiting their potential to find a love for the culture of other languages. Many students may wait until high school to pursue a language they love or only end up taking Spanish to get it out of the way quicker in middle school and then regret it later on. By exposing students to a variety of languages, they will be more likely to choose something they will enjoy, or at least succeed at, and get something beneficial from the course rather than just the credit.

Some people may say that having middle schoolers learning languages for high school credit is putting too much pressure on students and crowding out necessary core classes. However, by having students get a head start on their high school credit, middle schoolers will have an easier transition into the rigors of high school classes and be able to more evenly distribute required high school classes over a longer period of time.

Overall, by expanding the range of languages covered and extending classes teaching them back into middle school curriculum, students will have less stress in high school, be exposed to a large variety of cultures and languages, and be better prepared for high school. One way for the school to begin implementing this is to allow students to take Spanish all years of middle school and allow them to take any language offered at the high school level their eighth grade year.