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By Katie Pach
With each new year comes yearly class registration.
Every year, there are a few changes to the catalog of courses offered at Perrysburg High School, but this year there are some more notable changes. For example, in the 2015-2016 school year, students will have the options to take Mandarin Chinese and American Sign Language.
These additions beg the question, why is foreign language education important? Language education offers students the opportunity to expand their horizons and explore new cultures.
“It helps people be aware of other cultures and of the structure of their own language,” said Mary Hoak, University of Toledo German and French professor. “It enhances many fields by opening up opportunities that monolingual Americans do not have.”
[column size=”2/5″] [otw_shortcode_info_box border_type=”border-top-bottom” border_style=”dotted”] New courses next year
* Science and Sustainability
* Honors versions of Spanish I and II
* Chinese I
* American Sign Language I
* Print Media
* Intro to American Pop Music
* Intro to Engineering
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Professor Hoak brings up a good point. Bilingualism can be a great asset to students. Both in the business and personal spheres, speaking more than one language can expand opportunities.
Multilingual abilities allow people to communicate across cultures in a very direct way. Direct communication eliminates the need for translators and interpreters, allowing more direct human contact and a deeper immersion in foreign culture.
Students that weighed in on this conversation are in agreement with Professor Hoak.
“I wish they’d had it earlier,” senior Maddie Wagner said. She thinks because there are more options, students will be able to find something they are passionate about. That will make them more likely to continue a more extensive foreign language education.
“I think Chinese would be useful,” senior Scott Freeman said. “Obviously it’s a growing economy, and if people are planning on going into business it would be a good skill to have.”
Sophomore Brian Glasser is excited for the new opportunities as well. “I think they expand the horizons of learning for students.” he said. “It gives me an outlook into the world.”
Only time will tell how successful these new programs will be at PHS, but the addition of two new language courses (as well as several other additions to next year’s curriculum) is definitely an interesting step for the school district.
Head of the Foreign Language department, Melanie Lyons said, “I always think it’s good to offer as many languages as possible, however we do need the support of the administration to hire the right people for those positions as well as consider those classes a part of a rigorous curriculum.”
PHS has a reputation for being a school dedicated to creating a well-rounded educational environment. Hopefully, the new language classes, as well as all of the new classes for the 2015-2016 school year, will help students expand their passion for education and success in the future.