Should Language Classes be Mandatory?


A book for spanish class

Amirah Jabr, Staff Writer

All students living in America are required to take a language class in high school. Should language classes really be mandatory to graduate? Language classes should be optional for those who are committed to learning another language. Language classes shouldn’t be mandatory, they should just be electives.

How can you learn a language in about a year or two counting breaks and a block schedule when you’re dealing with homework and projects from five other periods?

It’s hard to commit to learning another language in a short span of time. It’s good to learn a language, but in a time crunch, it’s really hard to. Having language classes become a choice can help students get their elective credits in with taking a language. If you speak Spanish or French, already taking the language as an elective would help improve your skills, as well as be an easier way to gain college credits.

I do not have enough time balancing my language class with other classes. Students do not have enough time seeing teachers to truly understand that language with the block schedule. I have other classes that give me much more work and it’s hard to manage all at the same time. Teachers don’t understand the difficulty of learning another language, and they aren’t dealing with the workload of five other classes. It’s difficult to understand a whole language in 2-4 years max.  


While language classes could be beneficial for your future, there are other classes that would be more resourceful and helpful in furthering your knowledge of other skills. This just shows that language classes are a waste of time when you could be taking other classes that could be useful to your future. Unless you are majoring in language after high school, there’s really no point in taking a language during high school. If not, you could be taking classes that help you build a business, or learn to cook. These classes could help you more in future careers, and give you more avenues to go down when you get older.


Obviously, it takes many hours to learn a whole language, and it’s very easy to forget over the course of time. I know from experience that this is true because I forget much more of the language I’m taking than actually learning it. I struggle with learning words in Spanish, and although I remember a lot of what I learn, I could easily forget it in the long run. I know some people who have taken language classes in high school and have forgotten the whole language after high school.

Practicing a language is consistently studying the words and speaking it. For myself, it is difficult to practice a language and do other work while also studying. It’s not useful for me to be studying a language that I might forget after high school. Also, there are gaps every year with different teachers, so it’s hard to be practicing the language when you have less time. The best solution to this is to make language classes optional.