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Should I take another foreign language if I am proficient in Spanish?

Megan0008Megan0008 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
I am going to be starting my freshman year in college this fall. During high school, I completed 5 years of Spanish (standard level IB Spanish). However, I am interested taking a French class in college. This wouldn't be required since I have taken enough years of a foreign language during high school but I am wondering, would taking French be worth the cost and time?

Replies to: Should I take another foreign language if I am proficient in Spanish?

  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 40,282 Super Moderator
    edited June 2016
    It depends on the college and your goals to a certain extent.

    If you are going to a top university and are paying anywhere near full freight, I'd say the ROI is very very low. Language acquisition courses are often taught by grad students Not that there's anything wrong with that, but if I'm going to a university, I'd want to get as much exposure to full professors as possible. Additionally, this is generally 6+ semesters where you are unable to take another class because you are taking French. If you really wanted to learn French, your money is better spent on a summer immersion program.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,774 Senior Member
    Beginner level courses in common foreign languages are also commonly available at community colleges, so the ROI of using the limited schedule space you have at a four year school is questionable from that standpoint.
  • cameraphonecameraphone Registered User Posts: 378 Member
    It really does depend on your goals. If you plan on using French, then by all means. But personally I wouldn't take classes I don't need, as that's time and money lost if you take classes you can skip out on.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 39,654 Senior Member
    First, Spanish SL is unlikely to excuse you from the foreign language college graduation requirement.
    Second, intellectual curiosity is a good thing and having a fairly strong Spanish background will help with French, but taking just one semester wouldn't teach you enough; you could take the Beginner's sequence, (Level 1 and 2) then go abroad, and you'd have a pretty good level in two languages, something that's valuable. It depends on your goals, but that could be useful (many grad programs require some knowledge of French, whereas Spanish is more useful if you want med school, unless you can switch to Haitian/Creole French or have an African focus. Having both can be useful in an International Business context, International Relations...)
    Third, since it'd be an easy class (both because 1st semester content is typically simple and because you've had Spanish before) you could take French 1 to balance out your 1st semester schedule, but there the downside would be it's unlikely to fulfill a graduation requirement - although top universities consider that you shouldn't choose your 1st semester classes thinking of graduation requirements, but rather take what you're interested in, as most classes will "count" in some way.
    Fourth, it depends whether you come in with many AP credits recognized by your university, and thus have space for classes to take (one end of the spectrum) or are in Engineering (basically no space in the sequence of classes at all, the other end of the spectrum).
    Fifth, it depends whether you're on financial aid, and how much a year you pay.
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