KIS offers a variety of AP options, three of the many being language courses: Chinese, French, and Spanish. Starting from middle school, KIS offers introductory classes to its students for these languages to inspire interests in learning a second or third language. Taking up a third language is a lot of commitment and work, but also a highly recommended choice. Most colleges require their applicants at least two years of foreign language study to be considered because that is how critical the study of languages are today. Personally, as an AP French student, I encourage everyone to pick up another language at some point in their life because not only is it a useful tool for jobs,but also because it’s a good skill to have in this 21st century that we live in today. The world is closely intertwined by improved technology and social networking, and who knows? The advantage of speaking an additional language may open opportunities and easy your vacation in perhaps, Beijing? Paris?
A few teachers and students from the language department were interviewed about this topic.
Do you think it is important for students to pursue a third language? Why?
“It is important, but not that necessary. Chinese becomes popular in Korea because of business and political relations between China and Korean, so a lot of students take this language and they think it is useful for their future.”
– Ms. Chen (HS Chinese)
“It is a richness to know another language. Using the learned language in the target country is a unique experience that we cannot have when using the lingua franca (English most of the time)”
– Mr. Tebti (HS French)
Why did you choose to learn a third language and why did you select that language?
“I took a third language, Spanish, because I wanted to learn about a culture that was completely different from mine. I chose Spanish rather than French or Chinese, because I saw a Taco Bell commercial with a little dog saying “Yo quiero Taco Bel!” which means I want Taco Bell. I love Taco Bell as well, so I thought, why not give it a try. Now, I don’t regret taking this language, because one day I want to travel out to Costa Rica and have fluent conversations.”
– Tae-Young Uhm (’17, Spanish III)
- Sounds sophisticated.
- I just love French since I started learning!
– Lina Lim (11, AP French)
There is also the question of continuing the language that the students chose at some point in their student career. In KIS, it’s not uncommon to see students drop their language course after one or two years, or in other words, before the AP level. This may be due to the increased workload or the loss of interest in the subject, but if it isn’t the latter, one should endure and trudge on.
Do you think it is important for students to continue to pursue their third language?
“Yes, if they don’t they will simply forget it (too many people experienced losing a language they learned after they stopped, no matter how hard they tried to work on it by themselves), which is too bad after all the hard work they provide to learn it.”
– Mr Tebti (HS French)
Here’s Ms. Chen’s final thought that might just convince you to take on the challenge that you won’t regret.
“Learning a language, you learn culture as well. You can be more open minded to view the things and people around you. Language is a tool, a powerful way to communicate with a different part of the world. Language helps to think differently.”
– Ms Chen (HS Chinese)
– Hyun Jung Choi (’16)