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Garrett Estes

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Nearly every Etowah student takes at least two years of one of the foreign language classes offered: German, Spanish, French, or Chinese.  Many have mixed feelings on the importance of the taking a foreign language and whether it is something they will use later in life.

Though it not a graduation requirement, students are more than highly encouraged to take a language.  However, some students feel that learning one of these languages will not be useful; they may not plan to attend a four-year university or do not want to seek out a career that will require the use of a second language.

Language is only required for admissions to a four-year university in Georgia, but pretty much any state, and it does not matter if that was taken in middle school, as long as it is on their high school transcript and is the same language for 2.0 credits in total[. . .] It is true some, really only competitive colleges, prefer three years of language, but I have found this to also be very dependent on the school,” Taran Smith, counselor, said.

Most colleges in Georgia require students to take a foreign language class and take at least two years of a foreign language; other colleges do not require it, but students may be looked upon more favorably if they do take a couple years in a language class.  

“Students should take a foreign language in high school because it teaches them different ways to learn information, especially since you have to do some of your own research to study,” Evan Blalock, sophomore, said.

However, even if students do not plan to go to college, there are a number of careers where knowing one can be helpful. Many professions or majors that involve some level of travel or interaction with people make this skill useful.  Translators, diplomatic agents, and interpreters all require a strong grasp of multiple languages which high school language classes can help to build.

“First of all, it makes you far more well-rounded.  You will be able to understand your own language much, much better, and secondly you will increase your chances of employment significantly,” Lukas Faber, German teacher, said.

Students should speak with their counselors or foreign language teachers if they have questions or concerns about taking a foreign language.