Foreign language broadens students’ views

Catalina Forister, Staff Reporter

Studies have shown that foreign language education in a classroom has numerous benefits for students, and high school teachers do their part in backing up those studies every day. 

For example, it has been proven that students that have taken at least one language course perform better on SAT and ACT exams compared to the performance of students who have taken no language courses.

However, Spanish teacher Alison Hatjakes feels that in addition to improving overall academic performance, language is also important in the bigger picture, and she tries to influence her students’ perspectives outside of the classroom on a daily basis as well. 

“Making world languages an important part of school helps students see that the world is a lot bigger than what they’re experiencing,” Hatjakes said.  “Studying any language helps people communicate with what’s around them and express themselves as well.”

A Spanish packet displays the function words and vocabulary to use within the classroom. Hatjakes believes that knowing multiple languages is beneficial to students.

In addition to foreign language broadening a student’s view of other cultures and the world around them, Hatjakes emphasizes that speaking cohesively in a second language can help with basic communication skills as well. 

“I think that a lot of times people don’t know how to communicate even in their own language,” Hatjakes said. “People, when they’re talking, are often just waiting for the other person to stop. It’s not always that give and take: I’m listening to ideas, I’m analyzing ideas and we’re adding to each other. I think that being in the flow of language communication on a daily basis and really trying to understand each other is important across the board.” 

In conclusion, foreign language has been proven to have numerous benefits for students, and foreign language teachers take those studies the extra mile.