Most high schools require students to take at least one semester of a foreign language. If they don’t do this, then they simply won’t be able to graduate. For many students, they’re just doing the language because it’s required, but wouldn’t it be great if your child took advantage of those 2 semesters and came out of high school with a working knowledge of the language? You can really take advantage of those free, traditional high school language classes if you also take time to get fluent with a professional tutor. You can actually get to some basic level of fluency instead of just memorizing vocab words and then forgetting them right after the test.
Here’s why you should take advantage of a private tutor while in high school language classes:
A Foreign Language is Great for College Applications
Even though some high schools only require one semester, colleges may require more. According to College Vine, “If you plan to apply to top colleges, you will need to take your school’s most challenging track of coursework to be a competitive applicant. Generally, this includes upper-level language classes, including AP or honors courses if available.” So you may be wondering just how many years of language classes does your student need.
Well, according to Allen Grove, College Admissions expert, Ivy League colleges require three or four years of foreign language classes while other competitive colleges want at least two years. He also made the point that if your high school doesn’t offer enough language courses, you can pursue self study which is where the language tutor could also come in.
Your high school student may also want to take the AP (Advanced Placement) test in a foreign language. Getting at least a three out of five on this test is advantageous in many ways: one being that you can save money in college by not having to take beginner Spanish or French again (more on that below!).
Your High School Student Can Save Money and Time in College
Not only can increased fluency help your high school student get into college, but it can save them from doing required language classes in college, or paying for the same classes they took in high school. Some degree programs, typically those in liberal arts, require some foreign language classes. However, if the student gets a certain score on their AP foreign language exam, they’ll be able to skip those requirements and/or move on to higher fluency classes. According to Grove, MIT, for example, gives 9 general elective credits for a 5 in AP Spanish. On the other hand, Notre Dame gives credits for various Spanish courses depending on your AP Spanish score. For some colleges such as UCLA (School of Letters and Science), a 3, 4 or 5 in AP Spanish will award you 8 credits and fulfill your language requirements.
The student can therefore save money and time in college because they can complete fewer courses. They can even opt to use the extra time to double major or get a minor. Using a language tutor at this stage can ensure the best possible outcome with their AP language exam, since most students struggle with the speaking section most, this is where the professional native speaking teacher will make the most impact on scores.
Your High School Student Will Have a Better Time Studying Abroad
As you’re probably aware, many colleges offer the option to study abroad. Having a language tutor that focuses on the conversational aspect of language learning will be a gamechanger. High school language classes tend to neglect the conversational aspect of learning a language. They may learn vocabulary and grammar rules, but conversation isn’t typically a focus – and how could it be with thirty kids in the classroom? Knowing how to have a conversation in a language is a vital part of communication (we think it’s the most important!).
Coupling the high school classes with a language tutor, your student can triple the amount that they learn and ensure they can actually have a conversation.
If your student already has some conversational skills mastered by the time he or she enters the study abroad program, they’ll be able to have a much more gratifying and life-altering experience. They will be able to communicate and connect with locals, gain cultural skills for future global jobs, and be more open-minded since they will start to learn a new point of view. These are important aspects of traveling and so employing the help of a language tutor will certainly lead to a much better experience.
Your High School Student Will Develop a Great Appreciation and Respect for the Language
Interacting with a language tutor who is passionate about the language and local culture can help to inspire a great appreciation and respect for the target language. The language tutor, especially if they’re a native speaker, will be able teach your student more about culture. This will help them to be a global citizen.
When a student takes a course in high school, oftentimes, they’re just going through the motions. They are swamped with assignments and other coursework, so they may not take the time out to really develop appreciation and respect for the language.
According to College Vine, “immersing oneself in other cultures is an important and perspective-broadening experience for anyone.” One way to do that is by learning another language.
Take Advantage of the Time They’re in a Foreign Language Class
Learning a foreign language has a lot of great advantages. In addition to all the benefits associated with college, a foreign language also looks great on resumes. If your student uses a language tutor along with taking high school Spanish, they’ll be able to write on their job applications that they are bilingual. Of course, this will depend on how many semesters they do. However, doing 2-3 semesters along with a language tutor can definitely be advantageous and will likely get you to the A2 or B1 level, which is really impressive for employers.
Later in life, when they’re trying to get a job, this can definitely give them a one up on other job applicants.
According to College Vine, “Besides clear employment advantages, being fluent in a foreign language is extremely valuable in day-to-day life.” They continued by saying, “By studying even a single foreign language, you increase the number of people with which you can build valuable professional and personal relationships.”
Now is a great time to really cement your high school student’s foreign language knowledge, since they’re already studying it at school and have to come in contact with the material on a daily basis. With a language tutor to practice speaking with, they can really make the best out of their high school foriegn language experience and come out much more competent in the language than most of their peers.
Give your high school student the best opportunities that a second language can afford them. Contact us today so we can help. Professional, native-speaking tutors will create that encouraging, relaxed, and conversational aspect of the language. For $35 you can try it out. What have you got to lose?
Is your child younger than 12? Check out www.trufluencykids.com for our Spanish Immersion classes for kids.