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What should I do?

liam24liam24 2 replies1 threads New Member
Hey everyone, I am going into my Sophomore year and I think I may have screwed up. My parents didn’t let me take an A period this year which means I couldn’t do a foreign language. I took Spanish for 2 years in middle school but I hated it so I want to try a different one, but if I have to I will continue. I realized recently that most top colleges require 4 years of a foreign language, but I only have 3 years left of high school. I planned on taking 3 years of Japanese and being done with it, but will I not be considered for those colleges that require 4 years? I also saw somewhere that colleges prefer that you complete 3 years of a foreign language BEFORE senior year, is this true? I might be able to skip from Japanese 1 to Japanese 3 if I study over the summer, but would this not count as an extra year? Should I take Spanish 2 and struggle through because I skipped a year?

Thanks in advance.
6 replies
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Replies to: What should I do?

  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6665 replies2 threads Senior Member
    Why did you hate Spanish? Why do you think that you will like Japanese better?

    One advantage I see with Spanish is that there are a lot more Spanish speakers in the US. Depending upon where you live this might give you a chance to practice outside of school. Also, there are Spanish language TV shows and I am guessing that there are probably Spanish shows on streaming services such as Netflix (I do not look for them because I do not speak Spanish, but I have found a few good French movies on Netflix).

    In my experience, learning a foreign or second language is a lot easier if you get an opportunity to use it outside of school. I eventually needed to do this in order to do okay in French, which was not a strong subject for me at all.
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  • liam24liam24 2 replies1 threads New Member
    Now that I think about I think the main reason I hated Spanish was because of the teachers. But if I took Spanish 2 next year, would it look bad that I skipped Freshman year in Spanish? And would it count as 4 years as long as I got to Spanish 4 Senior year?
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6665 replies2 threads Senior Member
    "would it count as 4 years as long as I got to Spanish 4 Senior year"

    My understanding is yes, it does. I have heard of a few cases of students who got to Spanish four in their second year of high school and didn't take any more Spanish, and it still counted. Others however might be more expert than I on this subject (I have rather limited experience with language requirements).

    If you are going to take one year off from Spanish and then get back to it, I would try to have some exposure to Spanish in the mean time. Watching TV shows or movies or speaking with Spanish speakers might help you quite a bit. I am familiar with some intensive French courses that can be taken over the summer, and I am assuming that something similar exists in Spanish although I could not say where.

    Hopefully others can chime in.
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 30858 replies198 threads Senior Member
    edited July 11
    I don't know of any place that specifically requires 4 years of foreign language. They might prefer it, but that's a different thing.

    How many years of Japanese does your high school offer?

    Chances are that next year will be online. Will one of these languages be taught with the greater number of hours of live classes?

    Compared to Japanese, English and Spanish are the same language - you read that correctly, not just related but the same. That is how big a difference there is between learning Japanese and learning Spanish if you are an English speaker. If you really, truly want to learn Japanese, go for it. Not many high school students in the US have the opportunity to do that. :) On the other hand, if you just want to get through your foreign language requirement as quickly and painlessly as possible, Spanish is probably the better option.

    There are scads of Learn Language X videos on YouTube, and lots of free Learn Language X websites out there. Google around a bit, watch a few videos, see what you think.
    edited July 11
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  • liam24liam24 2 replies1 threads New Member
    My school teaches up to Japanese 4 I believe.
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  • SuperfrogFanSuperfrogFan 67 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Hey @liam24 :) iirc for most schools, the requirement was 2 years of FL. However, I do remember my high school counselors saying that if for instance you take Spanish 1 in middle school, then to meet the minimum, only Spanish 2 would have to be taken in high school, and the 2 years is met. However, it is correct that 3-4 years is preferred. If you end up taking the AP Japanese test then it would probably count for college GenEd requirements, if the score is acceptable. In my case, I took Spanish 1 in middle school, 2-4 in High School, and I really wanted to take AP Spanish 5. But I had a schedule conflict, so instead I worked with students in the class and teacher to study for the AP test. My score gave me 6 hours of college credit.

    If you are passionate about Japanese, then it is (imho) very doable to skip Japanese 2 if you apply yourself over a summer.
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