Learning Language

Studying a foreign language is proven to have many benefits, should be prioritized

Habla usted español?

Parlez-vous français?

If you answered Sí, Oui, Non or No to either of these questions, you’re probably among the students at Blue Valley who take a foreign language.

Or, you at least know basic questions in a foreign language, and probably how to say Bonjour or Hola.

But those of us who are actually enrolled in a foreign language class are definitely the minority of students.

And even some of us who are enrolled in these classes are only taking it for college credit or because it looks good on resumes.

Why has learning foreign language become an undesirable chore?

Maybe it’s because we live in America, and since we speak English, we expect everyone else to speak it, too.

Students in other countries learn their own native language, English and sometimes even an additional language. They don’t have a choice, it’s just what is expected of them.

People in foreign countries make fun of us because we’re just “silly Americans” who are ignorant, stupid and uncultured.

Besides the obvious benefits of taking a foreign language (like communicating with a whole other culture of people — or multiple) studies and an article by The Telegraph has shown that students who take foreign language “become more perceptive, smarter, build multitasking skills and better decision-making skills, are more able to fight off diseases like Alzheimer’s, improved memory and even get better at English.”

Oh, and in a study from York University in Canada, it is shown that students enrolled in foreign language score better on standardized tests. Because even though schools aren’t getting enough funding (thanks Governor Sam Brownback), we are still expected to perform well on standardized tests. And for those of you wanting to get into college, you will most likely end up having to take the ACT or SAT, so foreign language skills will definitely help you out there.

Before you whine and complain and say “But learning a whole other language is so much work and I’d rather just take a study hall and Snapchat my friends,” just remember that taking a foreign language is going to benefit you in more ways than one.

And sure, as tedious as conjugating irregular stem verbs in the past subjunctive and discussing new stem cell transplant methods in your second language can get, it will all be worth it in the end when you can communicate with different groups of people, gain many new life skills and open up new doors for yourself.