Why it would be beneficial to offer classes other than Spanish for a foreign language

What happens when the only option for a language class is the one you already know how to speak?

Why it would be beneficial to offer classes other than Spanish for a foreign language

Peyton Mann, Reporter

Learning a different language can be challenging and rewarding, but for students who already speak the language offered, the same experience isn’t there. 

Many students are interested in learning about more languages and cultures. There’s about 6,500 languages spoken in the world today, and they are all unique. However, the most common spoken language in California – besides English – is Spanish. Therefore, not many schools teach other languages because Spanish is the most frequently used.  

This begs the question; are there other language classes Spanish-speaking students can take to grow their cultural and language knowledge at Enochs? The answer is no. 

There has only been one language class at Enochs High School in the past few years that students could take: Spanish. Though a majority of students are interested in learning the language, there are many who already speak it.

During high school, the idea of college is always being brought up to students, and there are specific classes they need to take in order to be accepted to the school of their dreams. Taking a foreign language is not required to graduate high school, but two years are required to go to a state university (3 years recommended for UC).

If there is only one foreign language option, students are automatically required to take that language in order to fulfill their college admission requirements.

At Enochs, since Spanish is the only option, students have to take it whether they know it or not. This frustrates some of the kids because many believe they don’t need to be re-taught the language they grew up speaking, especially when it’s their first language.

Current Enochs high school student Mauriel Ochoa states, “I spoke Spanish before I spoke English, so when I got to high school I was a little disappointed to see that I was going to have to take a class on the language I already know how to speak.” 

 Not only do some students wish there were different language options, but so do teachers.

“I do wish there were more language opportunities for students in order for them to grow and learn more about different cultures,” says current Spanish teacher Miss Brown. This is affecting teachers as well, since they have students in their classes who flow through the lessons easily, while others prefer to go a little slower in order to understand the new language. 

Having more language classes may give students the opportunity to expand their worldly knowledge and could provide them with the option to choose which language they would enjoy learning about the most.