What language did you learn in HS?

dDave

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#11
I can't help but notice there are so many more options in schools outside of the US and there is more of an emphasis on learning different languages. Unfortunately in the US our public school system is a massive failure for so many reasons, but that is the subject of another thread.

I took Spanish because the only real options were Spanish and French and the French teacher was horrible. I figured it would be easy since I already spoke Spanish and it could help me expand my vocabulary. It was pretty easy and I did learn some in that class, so overall is was a good experience.
Why do they allow students that already speak fluently to take Spanish? Isn't that kind of a waste of time.

One thing that I just realized is that many of my classmates sucked at English. Wouldn't it have been time better spent if they had received extra help reading, writing, and speaking the English language instead of trying to teach them a completely new language?

I agree though, the US public school system is a massive failure. Something needs to be done about it soon.
 

idisrsly

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#12
I guess your second languages would be like our third languages. <--- one upper over here. :lol:

All schools here make you do two languages, of which one must be English. So if you are in an English school, you would have to take another second language, and that language you take from like maybe 3rd grade to 12th grade. If you are in an Afrikaans school, like I was, you had to take English as well. That was just compulsory.

Then there are a few years in school, I want to say 7th, 8th and 9th grade that we had to chose a third language, which had to be an "African" language, like Zulu or Xhosa or whatever. I can't say anything in any of these language past the standard greeting, which is about the same for my French and Spanish.
 

Major

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#13
I can't help but notice there are so many more options in schools outside of the US and there is more of an emphasis on learning different languages. Unfortunately in the US our public school system is a massive failure for so many reasons, but that is the subject of another thread.
I wonder if it's because countries in Europe, for example, are in much closer proximity to each other.

I don't know what it's like in other places, but at my high school we were required to take at least two years of a foreign language. I don't see why it should be a requirement to take more than that. Most people in the United States never even leave the country. I think it's more important to educate them on math, science, English, and history. Foreign language is more of an elective, in my opinion. You should be able to learn it if you want to, but you shouldn't have to.
 

Sim

Registered Member
#14
I wonder if it's because countries in Europe, for example, are in much closer proximity to each other.

I don't know what it's like in other places, but at my high school we were required to take at least two years of a foreign language. I don't see why it should be a requirement to take more than that. Most people in the United States never even leave the country. I think it's more important to educate them on math, science, English, and history. Foreign language is more of an elective, in my opinion. You should be able to learn it if you want to, but you shouldn't have to.
It's true that the proximity plays a role in Europe ... we share a common currency, a common market and common political institutions with many other countries with different languages. So it's probably more benefitial to learn a foreign language here than in America.

On the other side, I think learning a foreign language is a very good antidote against small-mindedness. By learning a foreign language, you learn an entirely new way of thinking and to look at the world, beyond the own borders, and usually a lot about different peoples too.

I think it would be beneficial for Americans and other peoples too, if Americans cared a little more about the rest of the world than they currently do, knew more about it instead of clinging to the arrogant and provincial notion of being an exceptional people that's better than everybody else -- now of course, not all Americans do that, but not few seem to do. Ironically, the less these Americans know about the rest of the world, the more they believe they're superior and exceptional.

And then, from a pragmatic point of view, it'd make sense if Americans learnt foreign languages too. In many American states, there are considerable minorities of Spanish native speakers already, and this number is even going to increase in the future. And then, states like China will grow in importance and play an even more dominant role in the next decades, business with China will increase -- so there are several pragmatic reasons for learning Spanish and/or Chinese at least.
 

Major

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#15
I think learning a foreign language is a very good antidote against small-mindedness. By learning a foreign language, you learn an entirely new way of thinking and to look at the world, beyond the own borders, and usually a lot about different peoples too.

I think it would be beneficial for Americans and other peoples too, if Americans cared a little more about the rest of the world than they currently do, knew more about it instead of clinging to the arrogant and provincial notion of being an exceptional people that's better than everybody else -- now of course, not all Americans do that, but not few seem to do. Ironically, the less these Americans know about the rest of the world, the more they believe they're superior and exceptional.
I think that is better achieved by learning world cultures and history. At my school we were only required to take two years of history, and one had to be U.S. history. That just doesn't seem right to me. One year isn't enough to learn about the rest of the world.
 

AnitaKnapp

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#16
In my school, we didn't have to take foreign language at all, it was optional. My school only offered French and Spanish.

I was on the advanced track, so I was required to take 2 years. I took one year of Spanish, then ended up dropping the advanced track along with a few other classes my senior year, because I was working full time and going to school and couldn't handle everything. My family was poor so I pretty much had to start working as soon as I was of legal age.

I didn't really learn anything for that whole year. We pretty much conjugated some verbs and did paragraph translations. It didn't really stick with me and I didn't know how to form a sentence at all. I did learn a little bit of Spanish from some Mexicans that used to come into my store. They loved talking to me and would teach me a little bit of Spanish each time they came in. It was fun. I learned enough to small talk with them, but that was all. I can't remember anything anymore, except mean things like chinga tu madre.
 

Vidic15

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#17
Only two languages were offered, Italian was offered throughout the whole highschool years, Greek was only Year 8 which I found stupid because you won't learn much in one whole year. I did Italian and Greek, I loved both classes but learning another language under those circumstances wasn't the best, I would love to expand my knowledge on both languages. I know a few words from both but not the best.
 

dDave

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#18
In my school, we didn't have to take foreign language at all, it was optional. My school only offered French and Spanish.

I was on the advanced track, so I was required to take 2 years. I took one year of Spanish, then ended up dropping the advanced track along with a few other classes my senior year, because I was working full time and going to school and couldn't handle everything. My family was poor so I pretty much had to start working as soon as I was of legal age.

I didn't really learn anything for that whole year. We pretty much conjugated some verbs and did paragraph translations. It didn't really stick with me and I didn't know how to form a sentence at all. I did learn a little bit of Spanish from some Mexicans that used to come into my store. They loved talking to me and would teach me a little bit of Spanish each time they came in. It was fun. I learned enough to small talk with them, but that was all. I can't remember anything anymore, except mean things like chinga tu madre.
We were required to take 2 years as well. I definitely quit after 2 years though. No sense in torturing myself, right?

I learned more Spanish working in fast food than I did in school. I guess that's what happens when some of your coworkers are from Mexico and only speak Spanish.

Only two languages were offered, Italian was offered throughout the whole highschool years, Greek was only Year 8 which I found stupid because you won't learn much in one whole year. I did Italian and Greek, I loved both classes but learning another language under those circumstances wasn't the best, I would love to expand my knowledge on both languages. I know a few words from both but not the best.
That's strange Aleks. I wouldn't have expected either of those to be offered in a high school. Are there Italian and/or Greek speakers generally around your part of the world? Do people in Australia speak any languages natively other than English (I want to say French but I'm not sure)
 

Vidic15

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#19
We were required to take 2 years as well. I definitely quit after 2 years though. No sense in torturing myself, right?

I learned more Spanish working in fast food than I did in school. I guess that's what happens when some of your coworkers are from Mexico and only speak Spanish.



That's strange Aleks. I wouldn't have expected either of those to be offered in a high school. Are there Italian and/or Greek speakers generally around your part of the world? Do people in Australia speak any languages natively other than English (I want to say French but I'm not sure)
Well, 6 years ago, we had a lot of Greeks and Italians and I can see why it was offered through High School and Elementary school. Now, not so much because there a lot of Asians and Arabs here now. There would be an outrage if schools started pushing those languages to be learned in High School.
 

AnitaKnapp

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#20
I learned more Spanish working in fast food than I did in school. I guess that's what happens when some of your coworkers are from Mexico and only speak Spanish.
That is so true. I learned more Spanish from my customers than I did from Spanish class.
 
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