The official student newspaper of St. John's School.

Sixth Grade Language Carousel

I came into sixth grade excited to learn my favorite language. I already knew what language I wanted to learn —I have for years. But no, I would have to take a trimester of two other languages. By the time that I “graduate” from sixth grade I will have already forgotten almost everything about my first and second trimester language. It was at that moment, the start of my Spanish trimester, that I realized that I just wasted a whole school year when I could have been learning the language that I wanted to do in the first place. I could have been a year ahead if I could have just done my favorite language at the start of the year. I wanted to learn Spanish because I feel that I would need to know it in everyday life, and it would be fun to learn.

This fall, I found out that I would not be learning Spanish, yet I would be required to go through a trimester of French, then Latin, and then Spanish. I wanted it to be a trimester of Spanish, then another trimester of Spanish, and another trimester of Spanish. And now that I am in my Spanish trimester, I can not remember anything from French, and almost nothing from Latin. I could have had a full school year’s worth of knowledge in Spanish, but no, it had to be wasted on two full trimesters of basically nothing — because I remember almost nothing from it.

This inconvenience is not only affecting me but a lot of other people in sixth grade. I have asked a lot of my friends and they too, don’t want to waste a year on other languages when they could be a school year ahead on their chosen language.

Everyone I’ve asked said that they knew the language they wanted to learn by the beginning of the year. This matters to me because I believe that students should be able to get the maximum amount of education rather than wasting a school year on a subject. If you put a sixth grade student into a class that they know they will not have to do the next year because they are doing a different language, they are bound to goof off and not pay attention in that class.

Learning three languages all in the same year can confuse sixth graders. Students can mix them up without knowing and they keep making that same mistake. Before you know it, you have a blend of three languages.

According to the Child Mind Institute, it is the best time to teach kids a language when they are young. I know that it might not sound like a year will make much of a difference, but there is a lot more homework in seventh grade compared to sixth grade. If you get a head start on your language it will be easier from there.

St. John’s School should give students the chance of their language in sixth grade so that they can enhance their learning and get a full school year better at their chosen language.

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