Which Language to Learn?
A Guide to Choosing the Right Foreign Language for You
By Amelia Harper
Wouldn’t it be nice if
you could turn on your
universal translator (so
often featured in sci-fi adventures) and be
able to communicate
with anyone in the world? Unfortunately,
this technology is not yet available. In the
real world, the only option to e;ective
cross-cultural communication is learning
to speak the language for ourselves.
Most people are aware of the
advantages of foreign language study. An
expanded awareness of the world around
you, improved chances of attending the
college of your choice, increased job
opportunities and earning potential,
and enlarged ministry opportunities—
these are just a few of the reasons that
you should study a foreign language,
especially in high school.
But what foreign language is best
for you? In the past, many students
were limited to the choices available to
them through local schools or tutors.
However, with the increase in media-
based language programs such as
Rosetta Stone and others, the choices
are far more wide-ranging. However, this
advantage brings with it the dilemma of
choosing among many great language
FACTORS TO CONSIDER Learning options. While media-based programs o;er expanded learning
opportunities, you still need to consider
your own learning style. Do you feel that
you would learn better in a class where
you would have the chance to create
dialogue with live human beings? Are
there classes available to you? Many
communities have local tutors that cater
to the needs of homeschooled students.
If you study on your own, do you have
foreign language speakers among your
family or friends with whom you could
practice your growing skills? What
curriculum options are available to you
for the language you wish to study?
These factors may not totally determine
the language you learn, but they are
factors to consider.
© Elephantopia and Victor Soares | Dreamstime.com
54 Winter 2010/11 Foreign Language