Foreign Language in MS

Taylor Garcia, News Editor

The sheer knowledge and cognitive benefits that people gain from learning a second language are numerous and useful. Therefore, some middle schools in our district are incorporating foreign language in to their curriculum, which allows students to begin high school in Spanish 2 rather than Spanish 1, granted they received a sufficient grade in middle school.

According to professor of speech and hearing, Patricia Kuhl, children under seven have an easier time learning a foreign language because they have less information in their minds and have the ability to learn another language through fun games and activities. Around ages 8 to 12 children lose the ability to reproduce new sounds that they hear, one of the abilities that make it so easy for them to grasp the foreign language.

Being that students are only exposed to foreign language in seventh and eighth grade, the threshold for heightened susceptibility has passed; however, this exposure will still be beneficial to them as they begin high school.

There are certain colleges that desire students to have four years of a language in high school. However, Julie Bortoli, counselor, said that colleges are more concerned with the highest level of the course the student took, regardless if it was taken in high school or middle school.

Students will take Spanish their seventh and eighth grade years which will equate to the entire Spanish 1 curriculum. By the time these students are juniors, they will have completed up to AP Spanish or Spanish 4, depending on what they chose to take. As a senior they will have freed up a space in their schedule to take a class they may not have been able to take while simultaneously obtaining four years of foreign language.

All things considered, this new system should be helpful to incoming freshman and future high schoolers.