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Yes? or… No?

Should Foreign Language Be Required in High School?
Yes, it should. - Alix Bennett

We live in a very, very small town—wait, no, that's wrong. We live in a small village. As of the 2020 census, we have a population of 1,233, making us too small to be a town. As someone who has lived here most of my life, I know just how restricting a small village can be towards the outside world, and in this day and age, that is shocking.

In our modern day, with all of our advances in technology, such as telephones, the internet, and all forms of travel, we are more connected to the outside world than ever. We are learning more about other cultures whenever we open up our phones. So why don't we encourage communication with the outside world?

Most schools in Europe require students to study not only a foreign language but two foreign languages. Which, to be fair, is partially because Europe is much more connected than us. But according to the World Population Review, ten of the fourteen countries ahead of us in terms of happiness are in Europe, with the other countries being (in order) Israel (which is strongly associated with Europe), New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. I believe part of this happiness is tied to their education.

By requiring foreign languages, we provide our students with several occupational opportunities to work in foreign countries or even just to vacation there. It also expands a student's job opportunities in general, as multilingualism is a very appreciated talent in the modern world of globalistic business practices. It gives an additional boost to college applications as well. Studies have also shown that bilingual students score better on standardized tests. And, honestly, in this day and age, we could use a bit more understanding of the world around us. There's a whole world of information at the end of our fingers, but some of it isn't in English. We should empower our children to bypass this boundary.

No, it shouldn't. -Michaela Fuller

If I am not going to speak the language... why do I have to learn it?

As a senior in high school I have taken a beginner Spanish class two different times. The first time was during my junior year on an online site called Apex, and for me personally I didn't learn anything in the two semesters that I took the class. The second time that I took a Spanish class was this year, but this time it was taught by someone at Lincoln Trail College through our synchronous classroom. Which, in a nutshell, is like a big fancy face time call, but for education purposes. I learned a little bit more during that class, but I still could not talk to you in Spanish in any way, shape, or form. I personally do not think that a foreign language class should be required in high school. There is no reason for me to know two languages at my age and especially where I live specifically. Therefore, I don't think that it should be required for me to take a foreign language class to receive my high school diploma.

On the other hand, I can understand how it could be beneficial for you to take a foreign language class in high school, especially if plan to further your education and go to college. Most college's, if not all, will require you to take a foreign language class. That being said, taking a foreign language class in high school will give you the upper advantage in that class.

To find a solution, I thought about how we could come to a compromise between the two sides of this argument. I think that high school's shouldn't require a foreign language class for a student to graduate and get their diploma, but I do think that it should still be encouraged as an elective. I say this because as someone who lives in a small town in Southern Illinois I don't really have the need to know a foreign language. On the contrary, in other places, Nevada as an example, there are many more people who speak Spanish, so I could understand that it would be more beneficial for students there to know that second language because it could be useful for them in their day to day life.

In conclusion, I don't think that a foreign language should be required to graduate high school, but I do think that it is important to have foreign language classes as electives.

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About the Contributors
Michaela Fuller, Author
I am a Senior this year. Initially, I took journalism because I didn't want to take English 4, but I love this class and how helps me stau up to date on everything going on in the school and the community. Plus, I got to write an article on my favorite subject, Taylor Swift!
Alix Bennett, Author
Hi! My name's Alix Bennett, and I like frogs (hence the frog hat🐸). I am currently a high school student here at Palestine High School as well as a dual credit student at LTC, and a summer volunteer at George Rogers Clark National Historic Park. I want to be an ecologist, as well as a writer and artist on the side. My favorite artist is Pidgin Dolls, and my favorite musicians are Penelope Scott, cavetown, and Skydxddy. I'm a Neopagan, which means my religion is based on natural cycles and the spirits thereof. My pronouns are She/Her. I'm a huge Pokemon and DnD fan, and I love learning about all kinds of things, such as frogs, insects, mushrooms, frogs, plants, geology, frogs, space, history, frogs, and other subjects. And also frogs. I like frogs. I want to be needlessly kind. If people can needlessly hate strangers, I can needlessly love strangers.

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