All Students Should Take a Language Class

Madelyn Crosby, Staff

Language classes are offered at middle schools and high schools, but that doesn’t mean that students have to take them. Language classes, like Spanish and French, should be required classes that students have to take in high school and/or middle school. 

Speaking a second language can open up new job opportunities that may not have been offered to you had you only spoken one language. People who speak multiple languages can have 10-15% higher wages than employees who only speak one language. If you speak multiple languages you may also be opened up to being a part of global companies. Bilingual military workers can earn up to $1,000 more a month than monolingual military workers. 

A large variety of colleges also require their students to have taken at least two years of a language class to be accepted. Taking a language can put students in a good place to get into a college that they would like to learn at. More prestigious schools may require students to take additional language classes to be accepted. Even universities that don’t require foreign language studies still recommend that students should study a language for 2-4 years. Students are more likely to be accepted into a college if they have learned to speak another language. Colleges like Harvard and Yale University require four years of a language.  

Taking a foreign language class in high school and middle school can open up student’s eyes to other cultures and parts of the world. Some language curriculum requires teachers to educate students on the culture of different places that speak the language. Taking a language can also demolish any bias that students may have towards a different culture. Many students get cultural information through rumors or untrue sources, but taking a language can show students the real beauty of other cultures. Learning about these other cultures also teaches students cultural tolerance. This will help students be more open and willing to learning about new cultures. 

“Foreign language instruction at any level should be a humanistic pursuit intended to sensitize students to other cultures, to the relativity of values, to appreciation of similarities among people and respect for the differences among them,” was stated in the President’s Commission on Foreign Language and International Studies, according to Teaching Culture: Beyond Language.

If students are required to take a foreign language class in high school then they will have the opportunity to get higher-paying jobs, get into better colleges, and they will be exposed to other cultures.