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Is three years of a foreign language enough?

Sasha HuSasha Hu Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
I'm trying to decide if I should take one more year of Chinese class. Technically, I've take three years (8th grade Chinese class is considered high school credit). I don't like the teacher, and there's only one teacher. I would only take it if it's completely neccessary to get into college, but I'd rather not be miserable. Would only taking three years of a foreign language hurt my chances?

Replies to: Is three years of a foreign language enough?

  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 41,111 Super Moderator
    edited December 2017
    It depends. If the college recommends 4 years, then you will not be competitive with three years. If the college only recommends 2 or 3 years, then you're fine.

    Note that even for colleges that recommend 4 years, not taking 4 is not an automatic rejection. There are valid reasons why one does not continue, although an AO will roll his/her eyes at an excuse such as "I don't like the teacher."
  • Sasha HuSasha Hu Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Well, she's a horrible teacher who has been in trouble with the school administration multiple times. Unfortunately, she has tenure so the school hands are tied. I've been "self-teaching" Chinese myself. I can probably put up with the class if she was actually taught the class, but her behavior and her lack of teaching is a major problem.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 41,111 Super Moderator
    edited December 2017
    Again, regardless of your target colleges, you can make whatever decision on course selection you want, but you need to own it and accept the consequences. Your explanation will not fly with colleges, and no GC will back up your one-sided statement. A simple google search will reveal strategies of how to overcome a bad teacher. Strategies that will almost be universally regarded as bad include:
    • Giving up
    • Absolving yourself of responsibility

    Be prepared for college and life beyond, however. There may be bad professors who teach the only section of a class required for your major and there may be bad bosses. On job interviews, few will accept that you did not learn a skill because of a poor teacher; the expectation is that you will find a way to overcome the obstacles. Good luck.
    Post edited by skieurope on
  • Sasha HuSasha Hu Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    OK, thanks!
  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 Registered User Posts: 1,054 Senior Member
    The other thing I would add to support taking the fourth year is that many colleges have a foreign language proficiency requirement to graduate. This level can vary between degree and college within a university. For example, when I went to school, if you wanted a B.A. in Political Science, you needed the fourth level. A B.S. in Math required the third level. A B.S. in Animal Science required none. The main ways to satisfy this requirement in using college or high school classes. To reach the fourth level, you have to complete either the 4th semester class in college or the 4th year in high school. You could get there by any path (4 HS, 3 HS+1 C, 2 HS + 2 C, 1 HS + 3 C, 4 C). I believe that the most difficult way of doing this is to mix HS and college. You don't want to have two years without a language and then try to walk into a 4th semester college class. Now, you may not need four levels of foreign language. However, I believe it is worth it to take the 4 in HS due to the flexibility it gives you when picking colleges/majors. This advice comes to you from someone who left German class, walked to one building to drop the class, and continued across campus to change colleges/major within the University. Three semesters of language in college would have crushed my GPA. I had another friend that was taking the 4 semester of Spanish in the summer. His motto was 'D = Done". He is successful enough to now have a building with his name on at the University.
  • WaterborneWaterborne Registered User Posts: 231 Junior Member
    edited December 2017
    I would not recommend continuing for a fourth year unless you plan on majoring in something that requires it as most people will rarely use Chinese. You can just do something else to make up for it. If the teacher is bad, take the class dual enrollment, independent study for credit if you can with a different teacher, and/or online.
This discussion has been closed.