And that’s a wrap…my Spanish experience


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Labeled for Reuse under Getty Images. A teacher attempts to actively engage her students in learning the fundamentals of the Spanish language.

Labeled for Reuse under Getty Images. A translation from English to Spanish is provided in this descriptive book, including common words such as comunicación (communication). (Getty Images)

¡Hola! ¡Como Estas! In English, this phrase translates to Hi, how are you? Although many people have heard this term within their lifetimes, not all individuals have been exposed to the complete extent of the Spanish language. Spanish is incredibly diverse and is one of the most spoken languages in the world.

Being exposed to the Spanish culture and language is an incredible experience in my opinion. By being emerged in a foreign language, my horizons expanded and exposed me to so many new opportunities. Not only was I able to communicate with my peers more openly, but I was also able to dive deeper into cultural traditions such as Cinco De Mayo (Day of the Dead) and explore new forms of cuisine like Paella (Spanish rice dish).

From being exposed to delicious new foods and engaging in beautiful traditions, the Spanish language truly has transformed my perspective of the world. With this being said, my experiences alone cannot even represent the immense impact the Spanish language can possess. Spanish is such a versatile tool in modern society and can be so helpful in real-world situations as AP Spanish Language teacher, Dr. Valladares has confirmed. 

“It is never too late to start. Learning a language is a life skill you will continue to grow and learn as much as you decide to, it does not end with your high school career, but it can sure open doors in the future,” noted Dr. Valladares 

As Dr. Valladares noted, learning a foreign language can be so beneficial towards approaching real-life situations and communicating with others. In addition to strong communication skills, learning the Spanish language can greatly benefit any student who travels overseas to a foreign, Spanish-speaking country. 

“I love being able to learn Spanish because it expands my view of the world and is making it easier for me if I travel to a Spanish-speaking country,” stated senior Dylan Kennedy. 

In actuality, traveling to countries like Spain, Mexico, or Costa Rica can not only provide a fun experience but can also improve Spanish communication skills. Although there are numerous Spanish-speaking countries around the world, the United States is actually home to a large percentage of fluent Spanish speakers.

Spanish is unique in that, because of the high number of Spanish speakers in the US, being bilingual is a benefit to almost any career field,” commented Spanish and English teacher Beth Carlson. 

In modern society, being bilingual is such a significant skill that can actually improve overall brain function. From being involved in interlingual related activities, an individual enhances their cognitive behavior and brain function. According to an article written by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, children who become bilingual often outperform those who are only fluent in one language. 

“As bilingual children toggle between two languages, they use cognitive resources beyond those required for simple language acquisition, Luk writes in a forthcoming edition of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Child Development. Recent research has shown that bilingual children outperform monolingual children on tasks that tap into executive function — skills having to do with attention control, reasoning, and flexible problem solving,” commented author Bari Walsh. 

From improving overall brain performance to enhancing one’s verbal and spatial capabilities, learning Spanish can be incredibly beneficial towards a student’s academic success and real-life problem-solving skills. However, even though the Spanish language poses a plethora of benefits, not all students are aware of the Spanish courses offered here at Air Academy. 

AAHS offers a wide range of courses that meet the needs of all students. If a student is new to the Spanish language they begin in Spanish 1, which is the baseline class that all students need in order to gain their foreign language credits in order to graduate. Once they’ve completed Spanish 1, students then move onto a more difficult level of Spanish, known as Spanish 2. After this course is completed, students can either advance into a more difficult class such as Spanish 3 or fill up their schedule with non-language classes and electives. 

Although this list may appear lengthy, AAHS offers even more Spanish classes beyond this, including Honors Spanish 4 and AP Spanish language. No matter what Spanish course a student is enrolled in, the teachers at AAHS are truly extraordinary in my opinion. Having a supportive and encouraging teacher is incredibly impactful towards learning any subject, yet especially an unfamiliar language. 

The Spanish teachers at Air Academy are fantastic. They truly focus on enriching the courses with culturally significant stories and activities. Each teacher is also very supportive and understanding,” stated sophomore Elizabeth Lark. 

I strongly agree with Lark’s statement regarding the foreign language teachers here at AAHS. With this being said, although I cannot force any student to enroll in a Spanish class compared to any other languages offered, I would highly encourage them to do so. Yet, if a student is currently enrolled in a Spanish class, I would recommend they continue their Spanish journey only if they are comfortable doing so. Nonetheless, I believe every student should enroll in a forigen language since they provide a great deal of societal and academic benefits, as well as an opportunity to engage with their peers more openly.