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How many years of a foreign language do you need?

out of the boxout of the box Posts: 18Registered User New Member
edited March 2010 in High School Life
DD is a junior, and is considering dropping her foreign language after year 3, and picking up another newly offered language. She would need to continue that new language next year, and would then be taking one less AP. Is this a good idea????!!!!!
Post edited by out of the box on
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Replies to: How many years of a foreign language do you need?

  • HonorsCentaurHonorsCentaur Posts: 1,665Registered User Senior Member
    Generally 3 is minimum for top unis, but really 4+ is the ideal option.
  • ansaransar Posts: 2,071Registered User Senior Member
    My school requires 2 years in the same language to graduate, so 2 :p

    But yeah...for college, you want 4+.
  • AeroEngineer3141AeroEngineer3141 Posts: 3,607Registered User Senior Member
    Most colleges require 2 high school years of a foreign language. Three is fine if you can justify it. Four is ideal.

    Idk, substituting a language with another language this late in the game is kind of like regressing. If she's aiming for a top school, it might just be better to go all four years and take the other language in college.
  • tmanneopentmanneopen Posts: 1,647Registered User Member
    Sorry to hijack the thread, but it completely relates. I've taken latin 1 and 2 so far in high school and took latin 3 over the summer (no grading, just talking with the teacher, going over the work, etc). I'm taking two sciences this year because AP Chem won't be offered my senior year, and I love chem. I plan on taking Latin 4 and possible Latin 5 my senior year (they might be taught in the same class). Would this be ok for top unis such as MIT and Cornell?
  • happycowloverhappycowlover Posts: 335Registered User Junior Member
    We (Class of 2010) need 2 credits while the underclassmen and future underclassmen need 3. I took 4 since I loved French so much.

    Why is she dropping the FL? It'd make more sense for her to complete it then go on to another FL is she like.
  • hatersunitehatersunite Posts: 1,189- Junior Member
    I only did 2 years of language because I hate it. (through 3 though since I started at 2) I'm only looking at public schools though.
  • WartsandallWartsandall Posts: 14,151Registered User Member
    My school requires two, but I agree with some of the other posters, 4+ is ideal for top universities. ^^^I think that would be ok, especially if you get up to 5:) Latin isn't a typical language taken in high school so I think it would make you stand out more.
  • pyrozapyroza Posts: 1,354Registered User Member
    3 is plenty... no school requires 4, and I doubt that if you are a candidate for an ivy you would be rejected because you only took three years of a foreign language.
  • cryingcloudcryingcloud Posts: 88Registered User Junior Member
    My school requires two credits (essentially two years) of foreign language, which is generally the minimum expected by colleges.

    I would agree with previous posters -- that 2 years is average, 3 is good, and 4+ is the best. Of course, your daughter would have five years of language with her proposed switch, so that is good. I don't think she'll have any problems with foreign language as far as college applications go.

    To me though, your daughter's plan is somewhat counterintuitive. By junior year, it feels a little late to be switching languages. By level 3, you're just beginning to learn how to speak -- before that, it's all vocabulary and grammar (and you're not really ready for an AP course, either). To stop and move into a new language for only two years fixes it so that she won't achieve fluency in either, because 2 years at the high school level isn't much and certainly won't provide proficiency without significant self study. Even so, 2 years is definitely not AP prep and requires a sacrifice of another class.

    My suggestion would be for her to continue with her current language until the end of high school (so she can get proficient and possibly take the AP for college credit/placement) and then pursue the other one in college. Alternatively, could she take the second language as an elective? That's what I'm doing -- currently, I'm in Spanish 5 and French 3.
  • rocket6louiserocket6louise Posts: 3,391Registered User Senior Member
    i did two, but i can justify(dropped for AP Psych junior year, and a college class Senior year)
    plus i'm not applying anywhere fantastic
  • sofiesofie Posts: 608Registered User Member
    4 years of the same language for competitive to moderate colleges.
    County colleges dont really give a shat.
  • lemonelemone Posts: 976- Member
    three is enough, but four if you want a BS
  • livesforsummerlivesforsummer Posts: 428Registered User Junior Member
    2 is the min, but I reccomend at least 3
  • Salve!Salve! Posts: 1,551Registered User Member
    2 is usually the required for colleges, but some require 3. I would reccomend to take as many years of foreign language as you can (AKA 4).
  • Islander4Islander4 Posts: 1,529Registered User Senior Member
    In my state (New York), two years for graduation, three years for the state exam, and a four years for an AP course.
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