by Worth Beard
Part of the decision making process when choosing a high school is the amount of options and quality of options that you will have as a student of that school.
One of the departments of our school that a student should have a wide array of options in is the foreign language department, but in comparison to other schools in the city of Houston, St. Thomas falls short.
A majority of the schools that offer a multitude of languages are public schools. Seeing that we are a college preparatory institution, our school should be offering just as many, if not more, choices to the student body.
All of the languages that are offered are fine and dandy, and each have their own unique benefits in the long run, but the world is changing. The languages that we are offered also should change. All of the languages have their own advantages and disadvantages.
The school provides Spanish, French and Latin.
Spanish proves to be the most beneficial if you plan to live in Texas.
The ability to speak Spanish is very helpful when having and looking for a job in Texas. This is because some of our of citizens can only speak Spanish, and a majority of our citizens are fluent. Spanish is already known by a majority of our students. These students should be offered opportunities to learn other languages.
When applying for a job in generally Spanish-speaking areas of the country, the ability to speak Spanish makes you stand out amongst other candidates.
Next Latin. When discussing Latin the ignorant phrase, “Latin is a dead language” often comes into the conversation. A very small percent of the population might know Latin, but it is actually very helpful in various ways.
Latin helps students improve in test taking, specifically the SAT and ACT, which are very important when applying to college. When it comes to vocabulary and word knowledge, Latin can help to decipher the words meaning.
A language of love, French is only helpful to students when they graduate high school with the ladies.
All ladies secretly love a mysterious foreign man, so if you speak French you are set. The down side is that most students will not use, nor major in French in college.
Our school needs to offer more languages. With three choices there is not much to choose from, and most students end up taking Spanish. This is not because Spanish is a superior language, but rather it is the best choice out of three bland languages.
Furthermore, French and Latin do not offer an advanced, or AP course, like Spanish does. It is unfair that students who want to take an advanced language are forced to take Spanish. Also, students should be able to choose from a range of languages, regular or advanced.
One possible addition the language department could make, would be Mandarin, a dialect of Chinese.
China is a country with 20 percent of the world’s population. China is also rising to becoming the world power, with one of highest grossing economies in the world, meaning more US outsourced jobs to China. If students plan on entering the business world, a strong background in Mandarin will be beneficial.
Another addition to the language department should be Arabic.
Many of the students on campus have interest in the Arabic language, and can use it in many ways. Job opportunities in the middle east, ability to know the etymology of many words and simply the knowledge of a beautiful language all are reasons that the language should be offered to our students.
St. Thomas can benefit from having more languages at the school, especially with upcoming expansion of the school.
If the school offers more languages to the student body, we will stand out amongst other prestigious schools and be a top choice for most students.