Learning languages broadens bonds


Audrey Strembicki

Students work hard in their foreign language class. Photo by Audrey Strembicki.

Clare McCoy, Reporter

For some, language classes are just a requirement for graduation, but for those who continue on to the higher courses – it’s their life. Whether it’s Spanish, French, or ASL, learning a second language elevates your brain and changes your perspective on the world.  

Languages open your mind to new experiences; it’s a way to connect to other people in a very special way. Learning new things allows you to be unafraid of the unknown and it allows you to utilize a part of your brain that is often left unused. Language barriers impede communication, so breaking down the barriers can change your world.

Since the United States has been described as a melting pot, many foreigners find a home here. Knowing a language can make something that’s very scary for people a little more friendly. Just imagine being new to a country, possibly having fled from a less than desirable life, hearing the language you speak would make everything so much more comfortable. Outside of immigrants, being able to understand or use ASL can be crucial in situations where a deaf person cannot communicate with hearing people.

The classes are even helpful for people who already know the language, as they can use it to develop their grammar and become more fluent in different dialects, like someone from Mexico getting to learn Spanish from Spain. Being able to connect with more people from the same or similar cultures, can brighten the world of those who may feel alone at school. On top of connections they might make, for people who know a language more than English, having a class like that may give them an advantage, especially if they struggle in other classes. It’s a way to not only learn more correct grammar and speaking, but also give a boost to someone who might really need it.

The language program at Oviedo High School is also full of teachers with passion; it’s these teachers alone who take their love for other languages and transfer it to their students. For courses like French, Victoria Huffman has her students for 4 years (if they choose to continue), so the connections she makes with her students are truly unique. 

These classes are unlike any other subject, the energy of the atmosphere allows students to learn differently. For many, the language program is a home for them and no matter what they pursue, these skills can stick with you forever if you let it.