The Teen Appeal

Giving truth to Memphis youth

Activities make learning new languages fun

By Madison Woods (Arlington High School)

Trips like this one make learning languages more active and fun. Photo provided by Madison Woods.

Trips like this one make learning languages more active and fun. Photo provided by Madison Woods.

Because of technology and services like Google Translate, learning to speak a foreign language is not viewed as exciting as it was in the past. Some students take a language only in order to graduate. And after high school, many students do not take a language. But why is this?

“It’s just another credit,” said Kaigann Vargo, a 10th grader at Arlington High School, who is currently taking Spanish.

However, the Arlington High School French Club is trying to change the experiences of students having to learn another language. This year, the officers have been working steadily to plan events. They have already embarked on a trip to the zoo. They participated in a selfie scavenger hunt looking for animals with French clues. Additionally, during the year, they have different trips and French cuisine days scheduled.          

More than half of the French students surveyed plan to continue studying that language through college, wanting to become fluent and perhaps one day be able to study abroad.

Another thing that keeps students from being excited about foreign language is limited offering at many schools. Only a few offer anything besides Spanish, Latin and French.

“In college, I will be able to learn any language I want. It won’t be so limited,” said Patrick Wander, another 10th grader at Arlington High School.

Some languages have been dropped at schools because not enough students show a desire to learn different languages outside of the norm. German was dropped from Arlington High because only four people wanted to learn it.

While many students do not want to keep up the study of a particular language in high school, they still have the opportunity to take other different languages that range from Latin to Mandarin Chinese when they enroll in college and participate in the clubs that their colleges offer.

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