Frequently Asked Questions

Can I retake Spanish I / French I at the high school even if I did well in eighth grade?
Starting as a freshman in the second level will open the opportunity for you to take five levels of a second language, which increases your language fluency. Of course, it is ultimately your and your parents’ decision which courses you take at the high school. We strongly recommend that students who find success in middle school world language classes move to the second level.

Should I continue my language study beyond two years, even if that is all I need to get into college?
Absolutely! Don’t waste your investment of time and effort by quitting now! Language is a skill that requires continual practice. It is estimated that you lose a level of knowledge for every year you do not study the language. If you quit when you are a sophomore, you will remember very little as a senior. (Just ask your parents how much they remember of the language they studied in high school!) And remember – colleges look for students who go beyond the minimum requirements.

I am going to a UW system school; do I have to take a language to get admitted?
Not always, however, you may need to have world language credits while there. AND some schools will accept high school credits for those. Please see the link:

As a parent, why should I encourage my son/daughter to study French or Spanish?
If your child plans to attend college, consider the first benefit. Students of foreign languages score statistically higher on standardized tests conducted in English. In its report, College Bound Seniors: the College Entrance Examination Board reported that students who averaged 4 or more years of world language study scored higher on the verbal section of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) than those who had studied 4 or more years in any other subject area. In addition, the average mathematics score for individuals who had taken 4 or more years of world language study was identical to the score of those who had studied the same number of years of mathematics.

Need another reason? Research shows that cognitive and creative abilities are enhanced as a result of studying a second language. Also, students of world languages have access to a greater number of career possibilities and develop a deeper understanding of their own and other cultures. Some evidence also suggests that children who receive second language instruction are more creative and better at solving complex problems. The benefits to society are many: Americans fluent in other languages enhance our economic competitiveness abroad, improve global communication, and maintain our political and security interests.

Is it too late to start studying a foreign language as a junior or senior?
Certainly NOT! If you begin as a junior, you can still get in two years before you graduate. If you take it as a senior, you can always continue in college – and you will already have a head start.

Can I take more than one foreign language at a time?
Of course! The more the merrier! We do not recommend starting two languages at the same time, but once you have the basics (one or two years), learning additional foreign languages is easier than learning the first.

I’m afraid of taking a higher-level class, how difficult will it be?
Think of a ladder – although the highest rung is a long way from the ground, each rung is the same distance from the one below it. If you are getting at least a C, you have the skills you need to go on to the next level. It is no more difficult to go from French or Spanish III to IV than it is to go from level I to II.

How can I contribute to the success of students at studying world languages?
We request that you contact us and share a reason why, in your line of work, a second language would be useful. If you or a son or daughter has benefited from studying and knowing a second language, we’d really like to hear about it. Please contact any of the World Language teachers, Mrs. Dunham, Mrs. Kolak, or Mrs. Laabs.

Will I actually use a second language after high school?
More and more of the U.S. population speaks languages other than English, and jobs in social services, business, communications, and the government all use people with language skills. Language skills set you apart from other workers, making you a better candidate for promotion and work on new projects.

A second language will be an asset to a person perusing the following fields:

Social services: social worker, probation officer, criminology and law enforcement, school counselor, drug abuse counselor, occupational health care, income maintenance counselor

Business and finance: accountant, administration, human resources director, economist, stockbroker, import-export agent

Communications: reporter, journalist, publisher, editor, interpreter, tour guide, public relations, film producer or director, sports agent

Science and Technology: Engineer, chemist physicist, anthropologist, archaeologist, geologist, biologist, oceanographer

Education: library science, elementary, secondary, and college level teaching in the US and abroad

Government: translator, interpreter, law enforcement, diplomatic foreign service, customs official, legal advisor

Other jobs include: Advertising Copywriter, Book reviewer, Columnist/ Commentator, Passenger Service Staff, Public Relations Representative, Radio Announcer, Production Manager, Technical Writer, Bilingual Educator, Peace Corps Volunteer, Researcher, World Bank, FBI Agent, State Department or Foreign Service, and Exchange Program Coordinator.

Are online translators a good way to get help with my homework?
Please avoid them, as many of them will not provide you with the correct words or phrases that you want. A computer cannot know the context of what it is you may want to say—only you do.