We have all taken a language class and know the feeling of labeling every object in the kitchen that we find on our vocab list, staying up late watching foreign television shows we started in order to get a better accent but ended up falling in love with, and practicing our graded orals in front of the mirror so much that we inevitably start noticing peculiarities in the way we talk. And although memorizing conjugates and trying to remember the difference between two tenses that look and sound the exact same is incredibly difficult, finally learning a language and being able to communicate with other people in it is a strange, yet incredibly rewarding experience. Some LCHS students are so passionate about learning languages, that learning one simply isn’t enough.
Aaron Kornfeld (10) is one such student, currently taking AP Spanish and German 3 Honors. He decided to take German since he already speaks Swiss German at home. He also said that he “wants to be able to interact with more people in Europe one day.” He started taking Spanish because it’s a very practical language. He thinks that taking multiple languages is incredibly useful and encourages others to do the same.
Leon Kornfeld (8), is following the footsteps of his older brother, taking German 1 and Spanish 3. He decided to take German in junior high because he wanted to know more about the language he already speaks at home and didn’t want to wait until his sophomore year to start. He started Spanish since it will allow him to communicate with lots of people.
As far as taking two languages goes, Leon has some advice for his fellow students.
“Get far into one language and then start a new one. It’s harder to learn two languages at the first level at the exact same time,” he said.
Sevana Wenn (10), finished AP Spanish last year and is now taking French 1. She wanted to learn French after travelling to France over the summer. She also thought that learning one language well would allow her to pick up another one easily. Sevana said that growing up bilingual, speaking English and Armenian has also had an influence over her interest for foreign languages.
“I think that the more languages you know, the better,” Sevana said.
Joyce Kim (8), is taking Spanish 3 and German 1. She signed up for German because she was originally interested in the history of Germany and wanted to learn more about that through the language.
“I think [learning two languages is] a little stressful, but it’s useful. It gives you good opportunities.”
Lauren Lee (9), is taking AP Spanish and French 2. After studying Spanish for a few years, she started French because she wanted to expand her knowledge of language and was curious to see how it would go.
“I really like learning languages because it’s my way of traveling in a classroom. This way I get to learn how other people are and how they live.” She said that she encourages other students to study two languages, but warns that you need to know how to manage your time and be prepared to take on the challenge.
Veronica Backer-Peral (12) has finished French 4 Honors and German 4 Honors, and she took the AP Spanish test last year. She said that she took German because she thought it would be a unique opportunity. She also stated that being bilingual, speaking English and Spanish, has really had an affect on her interest when it comes to learning languages. That was why she wanted to learn French, so she could make connections between other languages.
Her advice to people considering this: “Have fun and take challenging languages. Don’t just take a language if you already know one.”