The Need for More Language Classes — OPINION

Offering more language classes in high school can contribute to an increase of bilingual and multilingual speakers.


Katie Birge

In one of the spanish classrooms, there are flags from different spanish-speaking countries. Spanish is the only foreign language class taught at AHS.

Katie Birge, Staff Writer

I have always wanted to learn french, but the Atlantic High School only offers one foreign language class. This has got me thinking, why? Why don’t some schools give kids the opportunity to learn multiple languages at a time? Why do some schools only offer one language to learn?

Learning a language during high school would be free. People would be more willing to learn a language for free compared to learning a language after high school and having to pay for classes. Sure, they could use an app but some people like me learn better from an actual teacher. Students would be more willing to learn a language they actually want to learn compared to just learning a language because it’s the only one their school offers. Thus creating more bilingual people.

According to Spanish in US Education | Panoramas only 20.7% of American adults can speak a second language. This is compared to 66% of European adults that can speak more than one language. I think this is because people are not choosing to learn languages in America. This is because the school they went to didn’t offer the language they wanted to learn. If schools don’t offer the languages students want to learn, kids may choose to not learn a second language at all. Again, resulting in less bilingual people.

Imagine the job opportunities for people who speak more than two languages. An example of this would be a flight attendant, according to Berlitz. A student who wanted to work for an airline that requires knowledge of a certain language would have to pay for classes to learn it. If they already knew they wanted to be a flight attendant while in high school they could’ve just learned the language then. 

Giving kids more options for languages to learn gives them more opportunities in the real world, and more motivation to learn it.