Foreign Language Courses Help Life-Long Learning

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), April 18, 2001 | Go to article overview

Foreign Language Courses Help Life-Long Learning


Byline: Emily O'Keefe

Students at Grant High School are encouraged to take foreign languages-at least two years of Spanish or French, or a music course are required in order to graduate. Many students would take the courses anyway, however, as they have their own reasons for learning a language.

"An obvious advantage is travel," says senior Karina Arango. "Knowing French leads you to knowing more about French culture."

Arango's case is unique as she lived in Columbia until age 12. French is her third language.

" (The choice of a language) was easy," she added. "I already speak Spanish, so I decided to take French."

In addition to language courses, Grant sponsors trips to Spain and France every two years. The excursions take place during spring break and include important historical and cultural attractions.

Spanish teacher Sue Thompson says, "(In another country,) students get to put their classroom knowledge into practice. They use it for every situation and for survival skills. Pictures we see in books or movies come to life."

"It was a very eye-opening experience, and I encourage everyone to go to a foreign country if possible," says junior Carri Frola, who went to France with the school last year.

Meetings have already commenced for next year's trips.

Sometimes the choice of a language is a tough one for students. Many teens choose Spanish because more people in the area speak Spanish, but some choose French because they prefer it, or because the classes are smaller.

"I take Spanish because it is so often heard and Mexico is so close to the United States," says senior Sunny Ray. …

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