Is it ok to study my "first language" in high school?

<p>Ok. So technically my "first language" was Mandarin. But over the years I lost track of it and was nearly completely illiterate (English was by far my dominant language) and could not speak too fluently. I only truly started studying it once I entered high school. However, will colleges still look down at my studying a first language even if I had no reading/writing + weak-ish speaking abilities at the time of inception?</p>

<p>That's actually a fairly common situation--The UCs even offers a "heritage" track for Chinese speakers. I think you will be fine.</p>

<p>I think it makes a lot of sense if you spoke the language when you were younger and want to get it back- when you apply to colleges you might want to explain your situation in the additional information section just to make sure they understand you are legit relearning the language.</p>

<p>Yes, it is fine if you are truly learning the language and not just sitting in on classes where you have already mastered the material. </p>

<p>I agree about mentioning why you took the language in the Additional Info section, my kids both did that.</p>

<p>Yes it is perfectly OK to do this! How else do you expect to improve your language skills? Especially when it comes to reading and writing?</p>

<p>Totally fine :) I forgot my first language too. I used to speak my first language really fluently (but didn't know how to read or write) too. But they don't offer that language at my school :/</p>

<p>I support learning a language you don't know, what I don't support is people who know Chinese and go to Chinese school and whatever and take it for the easy grade, especially if they're getting weighted credit for it.</p>

<p>Seahawks506 -</p>

<p>Attending Chinese school (or Spanish school like Happykid did) doesn't give you academic credit or an AP exam score, or an SAT II score, or a CLEP score. There is nothing on a paper that is meaningful to a college/university admission committee or foreign language department placement committee. The only way heritage speakers have of demonstrating their command of that heritage language is by taking a class in high school or a nationally recognized exam such as the ones listed above. </p>

<p>To sit through a third or fourth or whatever language just to be able to say you have had the experience of studying a "language you don't know" is a waste of time. There is no specific merit in taking a "language you don't know". Languages should be studied with the intent of developing at least a minimum standard of fluency. Quite frankly, all too often language instruction in high schools doesn't meet that standard. If students can get academic credit for a language they already know, I say more power to them.</p>

<p>A good instructor will be able to balance the needs of both heritage speakers and language learners. If classroom activities and assessments are well designed, there is no reason to believe that a language learner will not be able to earn as good a grade as a native speaker. This really is no different than sitting next to a raving artistic genius in Art 1. Some students enter every classroom a bit ahead (or behind) others.</p>