right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
1 DAY until our COVID-19's impact on admissions webinar, tomorrow at 3:00 pm ET. REGISTER NOW and let us know what questions you have and want answered.
Check out our newest addition to the Student Lounge. Go to the "STUDENT HERE: Ask Me Anything!" and connect with fellow students who can answer your school specific questions!
Most of the decisions are in by now. Connect with fellow students and share support for those who didn't get the best news.

FAQ: Foreign Language

245678

Replies to: FAQ: Foreign Language

  • startingsoonstartingsoon 45 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Quick question about foreign language requirements ... My daughter will be a junior next year and is trying to decide between a third year of a foreign language or AP Govt. She could wait and take AP Govt during her senior year, but she absolutely LOVES politics/government/history and Is excited about the idea of taking AP Govt during an election year. Unfortunately, to fit it into her schedule, she'd need to drop her foreign language. She's not really sure where she wants to go to college, but it will probable be an LAC for political science/history with the hope to get a DC internship at some point. Which do you think would be a better choice for her?
    · Reply · Share
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 42534 replies460 threads Senior Member
    Does she have any opportunity to volunteer on a campaign of interest, perhaps in a candidate's local youth group/through a college student group/with a 'get out the youth vote' organization? That'd be WAY more interesting both for her and her admission odds, than AP Gov. And she'd still be able to take Level 3 of a foreign language (which is likely to be important at most LACs where political science is strong).
    · Reply · Share
  • startingsoonstartingsoon 45 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Great point, MYOS1634! I think that's exactly what she'll do! Thanks!
    · Reply · Share
  • bearpantherbearpanther 695 replies12 threads Member
    Our family is struggling with the decision on whether to continue with Spanish for my 9th grader. He is currently taking Honors Spanish 2 after taking Spanish 1 in middle school.

    He normally takes higher level classes and he has always done very well. Just brought home 3rd quarter report card with a C in Spanish. His other subject grades are all A's.

    He hates Spanish, and he cares little to do the work. The class has caused a lot of stress for him and our family because it is a constant battle to get him to put in the slightest effort for something he so strongly dislikes.

    He has little idea of what he wants to study in college, though his favorite classes are usually History, Math, and English. He has not started thinking about specific colleges, either.

    He very reluctantly registered for Spanish 3 next year (I initially encouraged it due to what I read here even with all the fighting), and he is already dreading it. My instinct now is that we would all be much happier if he dropped it and did something else with that period.

    Realistically, what opportunities is he truly losing by quitting language after 2 years?
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 81056 replies728 threads Senior Member
    Realistically, what opportunities is he truly losing by quitting language after 2 years?

    You probably need to look up several colleges to see what their foreign language admission and graduation requirements are. Consider a few of the following types of colleges:

    * In-state public universities from the flagship to the less selective local ones.
    * Popular private universities among students in your area, from a range of selectivity levels.
    * If out-of-state public universities are affordable, some of the more likely ones.

    Remember that foreign language graduation requirements may be higher than admission requirements; taking a higher level in high school may allow taking fewer foreign language courses at a college with a foreign language graduation requirement, due to starting in a higher level course.

    Is it Spanish in particular that he dislikes, or is he likely to dislike a different foreign language (which he can reach level 3 in if he starts next year)?
    · Reply · Share
  • bearpantherbearpanther 695 replies12 threads Member
    Thanks @ucbalumnus, I think it is Spanish specifically he dislikes. Unfortunately his only other option at his school is French, which I think would be very similar (though he could go back to level 1 and start fresh, I suppose). He does have some interest in other languages, like Russian, Latin, and Japanese, and I can see him taking language classes in college. He has even self taught himself the Russian alphabet.

    However, we live in a pretty rural area and I don't see him enrolling in an online language class or community college now just to get the credits in.

    I really think, looking back, that he should have been in regular Spanish 2. Going from the slow teaching pace of Spanish 1 over 2 years in middle school into a situation where the class is 90% taught in Spanish I think was too much. I don't think he has retained much of anything he was supposed to learn this year and I think the low test scores are indicative of that.

    I will look at a few types schools as you recommended, both for admission and graduation requirements.

    I already checked out my alma mater, and they require 3 and recommend 4. Does that mean an otherwise stellar (hypothetical) application gets tossed in the garbage because a box isn't ticked? Like, don't even bother applying without 3 years of Spanish?
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 81056 replies728 threads Senior Member
    If it says "required", that presumably means do not bother to apply if you do not have it. Sometimes, there may be alternative means of fulfilling such a requirement (e.g. SAT subject scores, AP scores, or college courses in a foreign language, though they obviously require sufficient knowledge of a foreign language).

    If it says "recommended" or "expected", that presumably means that applications without it are accepted, but chance of admission is likely to be degraded.
    · Reply · Share
  • bearpantherbearpanther 695 replies12 threads Member
    I spoke to his guidance counselor today, She said she'd had quite a few students who dropped language after 2 years for a variety of reasons and not a single one had been shut out of college---that they had all managed to get into "good schools".

    She did concede that "top schools" would have an issue with it but on the whole, said it was better for him to focus on classes he liked and did well in than stress over a 3rd year of Spanish.

    She did say he could start French next year if he wanted and he would still have time to get to French 3.
    · Reply · Share
  • MomofmrbMomofmrb 121 replies2 threads Junior Member
    My son dropped French after sophomore year because he was interested in other classes. It did not affect his college applications at all, because by the time he was done he'd finished "French 3' (thanks to 8th grade French counting). I'd check with the school websites of the colleges your child cares about, but for my guy, it didn't matter.
    · Reply · Share
  • bloxJacketbloxJacket 90 replies18 threads Junior Member
    I would personally recommend that people take a foreign language in highschool PERIOD. No debate. Our country is become so culturally-mixed that races are all intermingled and differing that learning a new language is a prime away to get through with your life in the future with ease. Personally, when applying to college I'll be bringing into the table my Spanish (4 years: Spanish 1, 2, 3, and A.P. Spanish Lang) and Russian (2nd native language: russian-immigrant parents). Although I know three languages, I'll still be minoring in Russian and Spanish in my university, along with probably learning a language like Dutch (hey there... don't judge! I LOVE Amsterdam in the Netherlands... Don't judge! haha).

    TL;DR: LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE. 110% BENEFICIAL. PROMISES GRANTED WITHOUT DOUBT
    · Reply · Share
  • awesomepolyglotawesomepolyglot 3881 replies69 threads Senior Member
    I recommend Duolingo to people who wish to study extra languages or aren't doing very well in language classes.


    Ugh, that sounds way too much like an add. And with my username, too!
    · Reply · Share
  • ManaManaWegiManaManaWegi 361 replies21 threads Member
    Would colleges be more interested in a speaker of a certain language?
    For example, does Arabic carry more "value" in admissions than Spanish?
    Is a language class worth anything on its own, without some sort of standardized test?
    · Reply · Share
  • citymama9citymama9 2502 replies142 threads Senior Member
    Best online high school foreign language classes if you can't take it at your regular high school? Trying to figure out which is better:Laurel Springs, Keystone, K12... Looking for something very engaging and well-regarded. Thanks!
    · Reply · Share
  • mayijia66flymayijia66fly 7 replies0 threads New Member
    Hi everyone,

    I'll be in Grade 11 next year and I am wondering if I should take Spanish 11 or not. I've 2 options:
    1. If I take Spanish next year, I will probably get something like an 80%.
    2. I can take a challenge exam on my native language instead and get the credit for Grade 11 foreign language. This allows me to focus more on several APs.

    Which one will Ivy Leagues prefer? If I take Spanish 11 and get a 80%, will it hurt my application? If I don't take it, will I meet the requirement or will they like taking my native language as a foreign language instead?

    Thanks everyone!
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 81056 replies728 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2016
    Re: #34

    Is "grade 11" foreign language the third level of high school foreign language?

    If you take the challenge exam in your native language, will you enroll in the next higher level course in that language in your high school?

    Did you attend English-speaking schools from elementary school, or did you have to learn English recently as a foreign (to you) language?
    edited June 2016
    · Reply · Share
  • mayijia66flymayijia66fly 7 replies0 threads New Member
    @ucbalumnus Hi, so in our school(Canadian) Spanish starts in Grade 9, so Spanish 11 should be the third level Spanish. If I take the challenge exam, I will not take any foreign language at all because there's no other option for foreign language. I didn't come to this English-speaking school until Grade 9. Thank you very much!
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 81056 replies728 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2016
    Prior to grade 9, you attended schools which primarily used a non-English language, and English was not normally used at home or in your daily life?

    Generally, highly selective universities want to see students learn a foreign language beyond what they learned at home or which they used daily in school or otherwise since elementary school. But there are plenty of unusual situations that do not fit the usual evaluation model (yours might be one), so it is not necessarily predictable how university admissions readers would see them, and different universities may have different views on such situations.

    (Also, a school in Canada that does not have French?)
    edited June 2016
    · Reply · Share
  • mayijia66flymayijia66fly 7 replies0 threads New Member
    @ucbalumnus Thanks! We have French here but since I came to Canada pretty late and they begin learning French quite early(elementary school) so it's quite impossible for to catch up with them. But thanks for your advice!
    · Reply · Share
  • PetulaClarkPetulaClark 625 replies8 threads Member
    Dilemma for my D2017 is that she went to public high school for Fresh and Soph. Foreign language not offered till Junior year, due to lack of teachers, but as HS was on block schedule, she could have gone through French 3 or 4 with no problem. Then she transferred to a private school for just-completed Junior year, where 6 to 8 course go year-round. She tried summer of 2015 to jump-start into French 2 by going to Middlebury Language Acad in Vermont. (Expensive, and I do not recommend it for someone who has never had foreign language.). She placed into French 1 with middle-schoolers and Freshmen and made an easy A. Will be in Honors French 2 as Senior. Our private HS requires 3 years but are making an exception here. Two years of language are fine for publics in NC but many LACs require 3 or even 4. Our college counselor has been excellent and will explain this in his letter to adcoms. But will this deficiency be a serious issue? we are looking at LACs ranked maybe 30 to 60 in USNews ratings. (Which I use only as a rough guide, as D's favorite is Reed, which won't play ball with them and winds up way down at 93).
    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35300 replies399 threads Senior Member
    All this needs to be considered based on how competive the target colleges are, for admissions.

    Wanting 3 or 4 years of foreign lang generally means foreign to you. When you stopp short, an elite can look to see what you replaced it with. It's one thing for a devoted, top stem kid to take post calc classes DE, find that has a legitimate sched conflict with lang. Not the same when a non stem just wants to rack up more and more AP, just for the count. And the most competitive are looking for hs level. Most hs don't show middle school records.

    Petula, she's likely fine. It was beyond her control.
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity