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In many ways, it doesn’t matter what language a student studies as long as that language is important to him. We would suggest that he make the choice of language based on what he is interested in. If he is interested in ancient history or archeology or improving his understanding of how language works, then he should sign up for Latin. If he is interested in pursuing the language of his ancestors, then encourage him to do that if it is available through French, Italian or Spanish. If he wishes to pursue international business, then French continues to be an important asset in our global economy.

We encourage students to follow their interest rather than what they think might be easiest. Many students sign up for Spanish each year because they have had some Spanish in grade school and/or middle school. They think that this will make it easier for them. It may, but we have seen over and over again that it only helps through part of the first semester and, in the long run, it often hurts them because in the second semester or second year they find themselves over their heads and surpassed by students who are coming to the language for the first time with more interest and desire. The advantage is short-lived and sometimes harmful because they do not establish good study habits with the rudiments of the language. Spanish has the highest attrition rates in the World Language department in the upper levels.

We are committed to offering the best in language education to your sons. An important part of that commitment is to allow them to make the choices. Every language is difficult. Anything worth pursuing takes commitment. Our advice to students is to go with their heart and sign up for what they would like to study. They cannot make a wrong choice because, when they study a foreign language, they are learning more about the world, the people who inhabit it and, perhaps most importantly, themselves.

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