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How important is 3 years of spanish?

nitnatnitnat Posts: 225Registered User Junior Member
edited September 2013 in Parents Forum
All of your advice on your brilliant kids wanted here. How many years of Spanish would you recommend? Took Spanish l honors in 8th, and Spanish ll honors as a freshman. Do you think she needs a 3rd year as a Sophmore? Do colleges actually count 8th grade Spanish? Wants to study law and does track and cheer. Thank you kindly in advance.
Post edited by nitnat on
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Replies to: How important is 3 years of spanish?

  • HalieHalie Posts: 575Registered User Member
    2 years are required for most schools, and they like to see 3, so I'd say yes.
  • momrathmomrath Posts: 4,854Registered User Senior Member
    nitnat, this is a frequent topic on CC, so you might do a search to find more opinions. Basically there are two issues here: What you need to get in and what you need to graduate after you matriculate.

    For admissions, most colleges recommend 3 years of the same foreign language. This is not carved in stone and is quite variable by college. If you choose not to take a language, a lot depends on what you do take instead. But be forewarned, the other applicants, especially at highly selective colleges will be language adept.

    Then the second consideration is what you need to get OUT of college. Some colleges have specific language proficiency requirements; some do not. Those that do will require you to test in or out of continued language study. They often use the SAT or AP scores as determining factors or they administer their own test. If you don't place out, you will have to take college level language.

    Other colleges have NO language requirement (or no requirements at all for anything).
  • atg4everatg4ever Posts: 214Registered User Junior Member
    Believe it or not, financial aid also comes into play for this question. For example, some states have differing levels of aid eligibility depending on the course load taken in HS. In some cases, 3 years is considered minimum for ACG or state sponsored programs
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 38,366Registered User Senior Member
    Most schools recommend (and some require) that the student complete Spanish (or French or Latin...whatever) THREE...not TWO. In other words, they want the student to complete the proficiency of the Spanish THREE. I would say that your student should complete Spanish THREE.
  • MarathonMan88MarathonMan88 Posts: 1,321Registered User Senior Member
    Late in the sophomore year is too early to start closing doors, and not taking a third year of Spanish could be a potential strike against your S or D at some of the highly competitive schools. Is there a compelling reason to stop language study after two years? It'll also probably mean starting over at the beginning level in college if there's a language requirement.
  • mathmommathmom Posts: 23,684Registered User Senior Member
    I'd highly recommend taking three years of Spanish, too many colleges want to see it. Some would prefer to see four. In addition quite a few colleges do have language requirements, though there was a recent thread about the number of colleges that don't have language requirements.
  • Lafalum84Lafalum84 Posts: 7,535Registered User Senior Member
    Most elite colleges want 3 years of a language, state schools want a minimum of 2. The important thing here: YEARS OF FOREIGN LANGUAGE TAKEN IN MIDDLE SCHOOL DO NOT COUNT. So far as a college is concerned, your D only has ONE year of Spanish right now, regardless of her completing Spanish II Honors.

    We are having this same argument with DD right now. She's a sophomore in Spanish 3 and does not want to take Spanish 4. Her Guidance Counselor told her that not taking a third year of high school Spanish would put her at a disadvantage, and strongly recommended she sign up for Spanish 4 next year. GC said colleges do not count courses taken in middle school.

    So to me, there is no question your daughter needs to take Spanish 3 and probably 4 as well, depending where she wants to go.

    Also, most colleges do have a foreign language/culture requirement as part of their curriculum, some simply require a number of semesters, others require students to get to a certain level of proficiency. If your D has to start over at the beginning level of a language in college that may mean she has to use up some valuable electives on language that she might prefer to have available for other classes.
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Posts: 16,977Super Moderator Senior Member
    crossposted with Lafalum84
    Took Spanish l honors in 8th, and Spanish ll honors as a freshman. Do you think she needs a 3rd year as a Sophmore?

    The Spanish l honors in 8th grade does not count unless it is on the high school transcript. In NYC it is not unusual for kids to take this level spanish and take the state proficiency exam where the results show up on the high school transcript.

    Your child should take the 3 years of spanish at the high school level and take the SAT II in the language. In addition if they take AP spanish and get a 4 or 5 on the exam, they could end up actually meeting their foreign language requirement in college.
  • mominvamominva Posts: 2,333Registered User Senior Member
    Nitnat,
    The only reason your child should not complete Spanish III, IMO, is if she wanted to start a new language in grade 10 that she will continue through grade 12.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 38,366Registered User Senior Member
    >>YEARS OF FOREIGN LANGUAGE TAKEN IN MIDDLE SCHOOL DO NOT COUNT. So far as a college is concerned, your D only has ONE year of Spanish right now, regardless of her completing Spanish II Honors.>>

    Depends on the college. BOTH of my kids took Honors Spanish 4 as high school sophomores. AND both of them never took Spanish in 11th or 12th grade. AND both of them got into (and attended) colleges that required three years of foreign language and recommended 4. The key was that they had completed Spanish FOUR.

    I'm not saying that ALL colleges share this view, but EVERY school both of my kids applied to agreed that they had completed their recommended HS foreign language requirement. BUT we did call, and we did ask. AND both of my kids had a sense of the schools they were at least thinking about. If you have a question about this admittance requirement, call a few schools and ASK THEM. My guess is you will get a variety of answers. Some will say that completing Spanish 3 counts the same regardless because the student has taken the course that is third year proficiency. Others may want all 3 years of the foreign language to be taken during the HS years. Ask a few colleges. The 13 we dealt with accepted that Spanish 4 completed in 10th grade fulfilled their requirements...but not every school may feel the same.
  • owliceowlice Posts: 3,225Registered User Senior Member
    Don't know about elsewhere, but the Latin I class my son took in middle school was a high-school level course and shows up on his high school transcript as a high school language credit. (The high school math he took in middle school shows up on his high school transcript as high school credit, too, and counts toward high school diploma requirements.)
  • nitnatnitnat Posts: 225Registered User Junior Member
    Great advice, so happy to found this site!...I did not know that 8th grade Spanish I Honors will not transfer for college. Thanks again so much! Keep the posts coming...
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Posts: 33,779Registered User Senior Member
    I agree with Thumper.
    For instance my older daughter began Spanish in middle school after two years of Latin so in 8th grade she took Span1 and continued through Spanish 5 in high school. Given that the strongest academic record that is APPROPRIATE, will give you broader choices upon graduation- I would recommend to continue taking the language if offered.

    Her sister however, attended different schools and in middle school had " weaker" language offerings. While in middle school, she took languages alongside high school students, when she changed schools for 9th grade, she was obligated to start with Spanish one. She took through Spanish three as a junior, albeit junior year the class was taught by substitutes ( who are not certificated in Spa) and so for senior year, she did not feel prepared enough to take AP Spanish which was the next class. But still on her transcript three years of Spanish.
    Unless there is a dyslexia ( and then I would suggest ASL for a language), go for as much language as you can handle. it's good for more than getting into college. :)

    Inspiring Stories: Bridges to Understanding
  • ryeryex3ryeryex3 Posts: 10Registered User New Member
    when you say three years of a language, does that mean three YEARS, like freshman, sophomore, junior years? or through LEVEL 3? because i am finishing level 3 as a sophomore and i'm not taking level 4 junior year, i have my graduation requirements and i don't really like spanish anyways. but i would take level 4 if it would be better for my application.
  • MidwestMom2Kids_MidwestMom2Kids_ Posts: 6,673Registered User Senior Member
    In my opinion it is very important to take a year of Spanish III.
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