Why students take language classes beyond requirements


According to Shelby County Schools, every student is required to have two consecutive credits in one foreign language in order to graduate. Although many students stop taking a language after they earn their credits, there are a few that continue to pursue the language after meeting the requirements.

Some students continue to an Advanced Placement level. White Station offers AP Latin, AP French, AP Japanese and AP Spanish.

“I’m interested in Latin because it is intriguing to me to learn about the culture and history of ancient Rome,” AP Latin student Abbye Friedman (11) said. 

Other students continue to take languages because they find it fun and useful. Swetha Meka (12) takes AP Spanish and has taken Spanish for all four years. 

Meka enjoys learning more about how the Spanish population and culture are spreading throughout the world.

“I like the Hispanic culture of the Spanish speaking world,” Meka said.

In addition to liking the language and background culture of Spanish, Meka wanted to reach AP Spanish. 

Julie Dunaway (11) takes AP Japanese and has also taken it for four years. 

“I find the culture very interesting, and it is a language I could use for college use and business,” Dunaway, who may pursue a minor in Japanese, said. 

Even though some students choose to continue with their foreign language, some students drop it because they don’t want to take it anymore or don’t need to.

“Many students would not be taking a language without it for reasons such as its unnecessary, because they may not be fluent and uninteresting,” Friedman said. 

The two-year language requirement lets students discover an interest in the language that encourages them to take extra classes about the language.