Why Study a Foreign Language?

From 7Sister Kym, our World Languages aficionado, a post on the reasons behind vocabulary lists, conjugation charts, and dialogues.

Why Study a Foreign Language?

Why Study a Foreign Language?

Most homeschoolers agree that a foreign language inclusion on the high school transcript is necessary. There are many ways to approach the teaching of a world language, but before you can choose the correct HOW TO you may want to consider your WHY.

Here are 5 reasons I’ve found to be valid when answering the question, “Why Study a Foreign Language?” —

5) Meeting Requirements

– Maybe for college admission, maybe for your state to issue you a “get out of high school free card” (aka diploma) or maybe even because your mom or your “Mrs Tillman” says you have to do it!

4) Getting that Career Edge

– We all know the job market is very tight right now.  Knowing even a little of another language can give you a big advantage over your competition in landing the job and maybe even being successful once you’ve got it!

why study a foreign language
Senora Kym and a student playing a game in Spanish class at our homeschool co-op.

3) Connecting with the World Around You

– Whether it’s communicating with an internet friend or writing an email to the child you sponsor in South America, there is a deeper connection when you communicate with someone in their own language.

I love writing to my Panamanian friend or my Mexican friend Roberta and I’m so grateful when they help me with my grammar, spelling, colloquialisms, etc!

2) Ministering to Others

– Volunteering at the local hospital, food bank, or church are all great formal ways to practice your new skills while you serve others.  It can also be much less formal.

One year, we made it to the top of  the Grand Canyon after a 14 hour hike from the canyon floor in blistering heat.  We staggered into the ice cream parlor to find the line stalled.

A lovely couple from Venezuela was struggling to order and the scooper was struggling to understand. By simply knowing the words helado and chocolate, they all smiled and we were able to join our new French friends Christine and Alain for some glace de choclate!

1) Having Fun!

– OK, some people may think the fun should have been reason #5, but I respectfully disagree.  Let’s face it…FUN is a powerful motivator! Don’t you care and want to learn more, or at the very least have a positive impression to share with others, when you are having fun?

As a high school senior, I can remember having in-depth private conversations with one of my best buds, “Amada” Lewis, right in the middle of our kitchen.

We spoke in a mixture of Spanish, French, Russian and even a little pig-Latin!
Having fun is always among my top 3 goals when I teach!

Still need tips? I recommend reading How to Homeschool World Languages in High School. 

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Why Study a Foreign Language?

Kym Smythe

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