The Demand for More World Languages at Lambert

Photo of Senora Hill taken by Hunter Dzerve on February 9, 2022.

Photo of Senora Hill taken by Hunter Dzerve on February 9, 2022.

English, Spanish, French and Latin are all languages that are taught at Lambert High School and used for students to communicate with each other and their teachers. Yet, in such an intensive school, more language classes would be expected. 

Currently, at Lambert, there is a wide diversity of people who speak languages ranging from Hindi to Russian, and these languages are an amazing part of their identities. However, many other people are missing out on the opportunity to learn these languages. 

The languages that are offered right now are Spanish, French and Latin. Spanish has the most classes, as you can take Spanish I, Spanish II, Spanish III, Spanish IIII, two accelerated Spanish courses, AP Spanish Language and AP Spanish Literature. In the French pathway, there is French I, French II, French III and AP French. As for the Latin pathway, students can take Latin I, Latin II, Latin III and AP Latin. 

Many students are pushing for Mandarin Chinese to become a language taught at Lambert. Second to English, Mandarin is the second largest language spoken in the world, so it makes sense that students would want to learn this language.

The only obstacle to starting Mandarin at Lambert is finding the right teacher. 

“The problem has been standing and it would not be a full-time position right away and we can’t offer part-time positions,” Señora. Hill stated. 

When Mandarin is initially added to the school, the classes wouldn’t immediately fill up, so the teacher would have to teach an additional class on top of teaching Mandarin.

The other language that is a candidate to be offered at school is American Sign Language (ASL). ASL is important for students who want to go into fields with people with impaired hearing. Unfortunately, the same problem of finding a teacher exists here as it does with Mandarin. 

Although only a few languages are offered at school, you can take a proficiency test in every language that is spoken at home. This is really important for students who speak these languages at home because they can put their scores on college applications.

“Students don’t always realize this, the proficiency test isn’t just an opportunity to, you know, skip languages or skip levels of Spanish or French,” Señora. Hill continued. “It’s really about giving students credit for the second or third language that they already speak at home.”

Students can also use the proficiency test to skip certain language classes and earn credits towards their graduation. Some students are able to skip classes all the way up until the advanced placement classes. 

Students should learn a second or third language because it develops their interpersonal skills, critical thinking and memory. Also, it adds to college applications and increases possible careers in the future. Aside from the academic reasons, learning a new language allows a person to learn about a new culture and explore a culture different from their own.