What does learning a new language entail?


While on the path to meeting all of one’s school graduation requirements, taking a foreign language is a necessary step. From all of those flash cards to quizlets, the question withers down to whether or not students truly utilize the education outside of school.

As of 2016, the Japanese language program in Granite Bay High School was taken down because of the lack of student enrollment. As a result, the Spanish program has been growing over a very short course of time.

Spanish is normally viewed as the easier language to select out of the original three: Spanish, Japanese and French because of the many similarities Spanish holds towards English.

English language learning programs

Anna-Marie Gonzales, the IB Spanish teacher, has taught students for 29 years. She believes that the education taught is useful and often used outside of school.

“Spanish is the only language offered in Granite Bay that has the IB program included” Gonzales said.

As of this year, Benjamin Soper, who used to only teach from Spanish one to four, has taken up the position of teaching AP Spanish as well. The class has been quite successful because of his experience with students and the language itself.

Learn about differences in languages

Laynee Daniels, a junior at GBHS, has taken Spanish ever since freshman year and is currently in IB Spanish with Gonzales. She believes that the language taught in Granite Bay is very useful and influential outside of school because it has allowed her to communicate with distant relatives.

Even though many students may view spanish in the AP or IB level  as being a challenge, many students feel it it well worth the hard work.

“The name IB spanish may seem to be intimidating, but the class itself is very interesting and offers a variety of activities for student to partake in” Daniels said.

While interviewing multiple Spanish students currently in the program, the language has been beneficial outside of campus as well.

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For instance, junior Raymond Forbes has stuck with Spanish ever since freshman year.

“Spanish is a very dominant language that is taught in Granite Bay along with the fact that middle schools such as Olympus and Cavitt offer spanish enrichment programs,” Forbes said.

With the program continuing to grow all seems well for students taking spanish, but at the end of the day one begins to wonder, what happened to all the students that were taking Japanese?

Students who were taking Japanese before the close down and did not make the bilingual language requirement essentially threw that portion of their time away.

Junior Matthew Luckenbihl, took Japanese ever since freshman year and ended at Japanese 3. After learning about the shutdown, the news was quite frustrating.

Because there were no longer any Japanese classes being offered, Luckenbihl was not able to obtain his seal of biliteracy. The idea of continuing Japanese in a college environment and level did not seem appealing to him because of the gap in time in which he has not had the chance to practice and the sheer difficulty level.

Japanese still proved to be helpful for Luckenbihl during a trip to Japan with fellow junior Riki Lee and Bronson Vanderjack when visiting student of Japan.

“The education in language that Granite Bay has to offer is impactful because not only does it focus on one language, but rather the advance culture that revolves around it,” Daniels said.