English Helps Students Become Successful /Why 4 Years Of Foreign Language Benefits Your Future

Denise Venegas and Andrew Rodriguez


Growing up in a Spanish-speaking household, I have become accustomed to constantly communicating with those around me in a mix of languages. Yes, I can speak English well and excel in the subject, however, it didn’t come naturally to me. Throughout my primary years of studying in an elementary school, I struggled with understanding my peers and teachers because I was so advanced in my Spanish that I never bothered with English. It wasn’t until the age of seven that I was able to improve my English.

Imagine taking away two years of English from students who struggled the same as I did, especially since there are many students coming to study in America from other countries. I understand that it opens more opportunities in the business world to speak another language aside from English, however I find it more important to continue developing our English skills. Not only is English necessary for basic communication in American schools, it also helps students achieve in their core subjects needed for graduation. The fact that a foreign language is only required for two years speaks for itself. You only need to learn the basics of another language that you aren’t going to use for the rest of your life.

Practicing another language should be considered more like a hobby rather than a mandate. It’s important to recognize that there are many students who come from different backgrounds and speak various foreign languages at home. Living out your life in America without being at least proficient in English will be very difficult not just in society, but in the workforce. For example, most, if not all, American jobs require a high school education which includes four years of English as a class. I get that English isn’t the only language spoken in America, however, it is the most widely used around the world. With this in mind, why shouldn’t we focus on increasing our English education?

As someone hispanic, I resort to speaking Spanish when I’m around a certain crowd. This may be relatable to those who speak foreign languages with family or friends, yet, when it comes to profession, English is our language. This is significant because we spend so much time building up our English vocabulary throughout our K-12 years and it takes time to use those skills to our advantage. So why should we be robbed of our English education?

It is very different to compare American education with that of another country, especially based on the fact that we have no specific language besides the English we are taught in school. For this reason, continuing our path for four years of English in high school is far more beneficial than taking four years of a foreign language.



English Helps Students Become Successful 

English: you either love the subject or hate it. The fact that pretty much everyone who goes to Selma High can speak, read, and write in the language is fantastic. However, if everyone can speak, read, and write in English, why do we need to take an English class every year we attend Selma High?

I find it beneficial to take four years of a foreign language instead of four years of English. English should still be a required course, however, it should only be for two years instead of the normal four.

It is impossible to learn a language in two years. I myself am a language connoisseur. I have been learning French for three years now, which in turn has given me the ability to read, write, and speak like a kindergartener. That, obviously, is unimpressive, which makes my point.

We need time to learn a new language, which cannot be accomplished in two years. I feel that if we made the foreign language requirement to four years, we would see dramatic results in our students’ abilities to comprehend language. 

Learning another language also helps students out when they apply for a job. Being bilingual is a huge advantage and you even get more benefits than a monolingual person would.

One of the main reasons why I feel learning a second language is important is because the United States isn’t just an English-speaking country. Sure, English is the de facto language, but it is not the official language. There is no official language in America because America is so diverse. Think of the city we live in. We are a melting pot of Mexican, Filipino, Punjab, Arab, Korean, Chinese, and Native American. I even hear multiple languages being spoken when I walk down the halls. A blend of English, Spanish, Arabic, and Punjabi echoes throughout the halls and it’s refreshing to hear such diversity. I feel that we suppress students’ abilities to learn new languages because we just assume that since we live in America, everyone automatically speaks English, which isn’t the case. 

European countries require students to learn more than one language at a time when they are young, so they become bilingual, trilingual, or even multilingual by the time they graduate high school. Which is why most European people can speak at least two languages fluently; English, primarily, is their second language.

I think the biggest take away about being multilingual is being able to communicate and enjoy different cultures. I enjoy reading in French and in Italian because even though I may not understand every single word, I am still able to get a taste of different cultures and how they see the world from their perspective.