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Ms. Roseceil Rader


When making this important decision, keep the following points in mind: 

1. If a student is interested in taking one language, for whatever reason, that is probably the best language for him/her to take. Students who are made to take a language other than their “preferred” language tend to do less well in the language chosen for them.

2. With respect to career plans, both French and Spanish are good choices for the global economy in which we live. For example, France and Mexico rank among the top importers of American goods and services. Ability in a language other than English is important in achieving success in any career of choice in 2013. French is important in such fields as medicine, science, psychology and the arts. Spanish is important if career plans include working as a doctor/nurse, bank teller, firefighter, policeman, factory worker etc. in vicinities with a large Spanish-speaking population.

3. Both French and Spanish provide students with a broader cultural perspective, an enrichment of one’s own cultural heritage and the opportunity for world travel. Although there are an overwhelming number of Spanish-speaking people in our American cities, French is spoken world-wide on every continent and is, in fact, the second “most frequently taught” world language after English. The two western languages that have the greatest impact and influence in the European Economic Community are French and German. French is an official language in over twenty African countries. More people speak French in Africa than in France itself. Six hours to the north, Canada, our “world next door,” is bilingual. Canadians speak French and English equally.

It’s important not to have “tunnel vision” when choosing to study French or Spanish. Don’t follow the crowd. Make a thoughtful choice for either language based on your personal interest and goals. Remember: it will require hard work and commitment to be successful. Studying both French and Spanish is fun but challenging. A student must be willing to consistently apply effort to the complexities of pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, speaking, reading and writing. With an honest and sincere commitment, the student will become fluent in the language of his/her choice. 

Besides English, the most widely spoken language in America is Spanish. Of the 260 million Hispanic people around the world, as many as 15 million, or six per cent, are living in the United States. French is a universal language used as an official language in more than 25 other countries in the world. Governmental affairs in these countries are conducted in French. Official laws and regulations are written in French. Business is transacted in French. Schools use French as a language of instruction. French is also spoken as a second or third language for people who do not share the same mother tongue. The choice of whether to study French or Spanish is not a question of which is easier, harder, or more widely used in my community or even which will be more valuable in my future. Which language am I attracted to? Why? Is it the sound, the power I feel speaking it, the culture I’ll learn about, the new friends I’ll make? Is it the glamour or the new person I will become? Maybe it’s all of these reasons. Maybe it’s one more than another. My reasons, my choice, to study French or Spanish, are my own. Both are valid choices. Both languages are unique. Listen to what your heart tells you. Your choice will be the right one.