The Route in Learning a Language

May 18, 2015

st0518-02In high schools worldwide, students are required to learn a foreign language starting from freshman year.

However, many students take, for example, French I, in their junior or senior year. Why is this?

Having interviewed a peer, I discovered that many students, unable to endure the difficult AP language classes, have dropped their classes and switch to a different language. Due to students dropping harder language classes with the excuse that such classes are simply too difficult, the time that the students had put into taking that class amounts to little, if anything. Such a seemingly lack of effort gives into the idea that learning a language is a difficult all-or-nothing process.

However, as one learns a language, the rate of how fast a person learns steadily increases in the beginning, but not once one fully masters the language itself.

As a student advances to more challenging classes, the rate begins to slow until it is almost in a straight horizontal line, if such progression were demonstrated on a graph of one’s foreign language learning rate.

This is the point when the student cannot endure the difficulty, and drops the class. From there on, there is now a steady decline from their current ability to speak that language.

However, students who continue on without dropping have reported that their second semester of school seemed somewhat easier, and the work wasn’t as strenuous as that of their first semester.

Starting from here, there is now an incredibly steep incline, which is the point where the student truly begins to master the language, such as being able to understand TV shows in that particular language, or speaking it with somebody from that country fluently.

This graph, or rate, has been proven by psychologist and scientists who have tested such findings through real students, and also strongly demonstrates learning trends of a majority of the student population.

“Mastering a language requires long-term dedication, and perseverance,” states one of the foreign language teachers at DBHS.


st0518-02-1 Angelina Kim
Diamond Bar High School 9th Grade

One Comment

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