The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

NC should have more language classes 

Rose Ordonio
As communication has become an easy task due to the digital age, learning other languages has connected diverse groups of people around the world. Not only does a multilingual skill set benefit one’s cultural understanding and effective communication, but it also widens the opportunities for new adults in the job market. For high schools such as NC that flaunt their International Studies magnet program, they should focus on increasing the diversity of language courses offered to further their appeal to their international focal point.

In a digital world, almost anyone can access knowledge around the world with the touch of a finger. The ability to communicate between groups around the world places importance on communication and sharing a common language. As high school prepares students for their future, learning additional languages stands as a crucial skill for students in a world with increased globalization. Speaking multiple languages can lead to students successfully gaining jobs in the future and can overall increase cognitive function. In order to encourage students to join the International Studies magnet program, North Cobb High School should expand the language classes offered.

Opponents may argue that focusing on languages other than English seems useless since English has become the global lingua franca used for communication between groups of people who speak different languages. This argument ignores the importance of exposing oneself to linguistic diversity and the importance of multilingualism in the global marketplace. Learning about cultural aspects of different groups around the world creates endless opportunities for students to learn about different cultures and overall increases positive attitudes toward foreign communities. 

Four out of five jobs in the United States result from foreign trade, where a multilingual skill could become highly useful. Although English stands as a popular language in the world with around 375 million native speakers globally, Chinese and Spanish rank above English as the dominant languages in the world. Still, hundreds of millions speak other popular languages such as Arabic, Hindi and Japanese. Learning these languages can open up opportunities for countries that hold booming economies and understand the needs of global companies. 

Upon entering high school, middle school students possess a choice to enroll in their zoned high school or step out of their geographical boundaries to attend a school with their desired magnet program in its respective county. High schools around Cobb County flaunt their specialized magnet programs that focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM), Medicine and International Studies. Advertising an international studies program should come with aspects that will attract prospective middle schoolers who consider the program for the features to further their study of global affairs, one of them including a wide selection of language courses. 

Over the years, NC has seen a decrease in the number of foreign language classes offered. An International Studies program should incorporate a broader range of language classes to accommodate the international appeal and offer additional language courses to enhance their global knowledge of cultural aspects. As taking a language course stands as a graduation requirement, expanding the language courses provided at school allows students to choose a language from diverse options instead of the two commonly taught languages: Spanish and French. Students within the program should expect an engaging curriculum that immerses them in various languages to benefit from joining a program catered towards their future interests. 

I think that the decrease in languages is kind of defeating the purpose of the ‘international’ part of magnet and that it was one of the main points that drew me to NC magnet but now it’s slowly going away. If we are truly international I would expect more languages than this because now if we don’t have a language you have to take online classes for them. The amount of in-person classes for languages is disappointing and as an international program, we should offer more languages to be more diverse. Overall I think it’s disappointing that the language classes are disappearing over time and that they should bring more back,” magnet senior Isabella Sutjiawan said.

Becoming proficient in multiple languages now stands as a beneficial skill that can improve mental capabilities for young minds.  Learning new languages can stimulate one’s brain with the complexities of foreign communication. As one learns a new language, they discover another set of grammar rules and patterns that challenge the brain, helping the brain become stronger and increasing the size of the white and gray matter within it. Putting another language under one’s belt can also help delay mental decline. A research study shows that multilingual adults experienced the onset of Alzheimer’s and Dementia at a later age compared to those who spoke multiple languages. 

Students who have become proficient in two or more languages can secure their careers in the interconnected world. Multilingual job seekers hold an advantage by showing skills in effective communication with diverse groups of people, adding a cultural value to their resume. Within the United States, multilingual skills have become highly sought after since they not only benefit one’s ability to find a job but also help to gain a desirable salary. Speaking another language significantly expands job opportunities as individuals can successfully communicate with a broader range of people. Outside of the career focus, learning a new language can open up global opportunities to individuals such as study abroad programs or travel around the world. 

Beyond the benefits of a better career, being multilingual is a way that a lot of people keep in touch with their culture. Being able to properly communicate with more than one type of person is incredibly advantageous as the world is constantly expanding and people are traveling more and more. It can get you further by showing people you care about their language and their culture and even connect you to people you never thought you’d meet. Not everyone speaks just English or just one other language and the world would be a better place if people took the time to try and learn even a little bit of another language,” magnet senior Niobe Ruiz-Gonzalez said.

As high school students contemplate their futures and the way to reach success, learning a second language certainly serves as an advantageous ability. Not only will individuals benefit from the cognitive health benefits of becoming multilingual, but also hold the ability to navigate the job market to acquire a career that matches one’s skill set. Languages expose different cultures and people to each other, opening up the world through connection and communication. 

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About the Contributor
Rose Ordonio
Rose Ordonio, Page Editor
Rose Ordonio, a senior at NC, is a returning member of The Chant. She hopes to continue writing about developing topics around the world, showcase her opinions and get involved in the Kennesaw community. She enjoys plants and is involved in NC's environmental clubs. Outside of school, she loves watching her favorite dramas, going out with her friends, and watching games from her hometown baseball team: the Atlanta Braves. Ordonio plans to study public relations in college and pursue journalism.    

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