Choosing your language

by Theresa Vitt

Talon Staff Writer

“I took Latin because in 6th grade I had it third trimester,” said senior Cassie Davis. “I was really mad that I had to wait until third trimester. On my first day of Latin, I went home and told my mom that I was going to take it all through high school.”

Many students at Minnehaha Academy take a language. In fact, two years in one language is required to graduate. So everyone has to take a language sometime. However, some students take much more than the required two years But they all have their reasons and not all are just taking a language randomly.

Latin teacher Johanna Beck explained some of the reasons that students would take Latin.

“I think that there are a lot of reasons. I think that one of them is that they start in middle school here, get a taste of it with Mrs. Vitt and they love it and so they stick with it” said Beck. “Others take it because an older sibling took it and really liked it. Some kids are really into mythology or history so they are really able to explore those areas.”

Influences from friends and family play a significant role when students are faced with the task of choosing a language.

“I took Latin because a lot of my friends are in it,” said freshman Michael Everett. “It helps with the SAT and ACT, college and from what I have heard, it also helps with law school.”

“I took Latin because it was a language that was applicable to most languages and it would help with colleges, SATs,” said freshman Brandon Wright. “It was the most useful language and it helps with good vocabulary.”

“I took Latin because I was awful at violin and I was afraid of band,” said senior Alex Peterson.
Latin is just one of the four languages offered at Minnehaha Academy. French teacher Mark Norlander discussed some of the reasons he thought that students would take French.

“I think that most students, take it because they have some sort of experience in the past with that language,” said Norlander. “Ancestry is also a reason. Also students take French because they think that it is an easy language or because their friend is taking the class.”

Freshman Abigail Bosshardt explained her reason for taking French.

“I took French because I have family that lives in Switzerland who speak French,” said Bosshardt. “I also would like that international option for a future job.”

Junior Emily Wagner has a good idea of why taking French is useful.

“I took French because I can actually speak it to people in the job areas that I want to go into.”
Freshman Aaron Williams has a similar reason for taking French.

“I took French because it is useful and good to take,” said Williams.

Freshman Anna Woronzoff-Dashkoff also takes French.

“I take French because my family speaks French,” said Woronzoff-Dashkoff. “Also it is a beautiful language.”

Spanish is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the United States and at Minnehaha.

“I’ve seen all sorts of reasons,” said Spanish teacher Amy Eikenbary-Barber. “We’ve had students in the past here taking a June Term trip. They’re really excited about the countries that they have gone to and they really want to learn to speak the language. We’ve had students for that Spanish is a language that their family speaks or even their parents speak and they want to continue it. We’ve got people who just try it. They have to take a language, they just pick one and they love it.”

Freshman Olivia Benson takes Spanish for a different reason than normal.

“I wanted to take Chinese 1, but I was the only one signed up for it,” said Benson. “Then I wanted to take French 1, but there weren’t enough people signed up for that either. So I took Spanish.”

Many of the students who take Chinese are thinking practically. Quite a few are thinking more of the future than the present as they take Chinese.

“I took Chinese because it is unique and it’s a growing language,” said freshman Jess Von Arx. “It’s hard sometimes but I think it will be worth it.”

All the students at Minnehaha Academy take a language. Some go above and beyond the call of duty and take their chosen language beyond the two year requirement. Others do the required two years and decide to be done. Everyone has their reasons for taking a language,wheather that be a sibling, friend or personal experience.

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