The language requirement

Spanish teacher Ms. Brooke Kenna’s empty classroom during A Block.

Students often talk about classes. One class in particular seems to be at the root of these discussions. If you were to wander the rooms of the language department after students are let out, you will most definitely hear some complaints, but why is this?

The big question seems to be, should language classes be required? 

     Luka Sekulic said, “I do not believe language classes should be required. I realize that learning a language is very good for the brain, but for me Chinese being my third language translating words from Chinese to English then to Serbian is often very difficult.” 

     Sekulic is not alone when it comes to learning a third language. This is a fairly common issue for students at Haverford. Fifth Former Jake Brewington has a slightly different opinion on this topic. 

     “I think languages should be required. Languages are very important because they can help a student expand their mind which could lead them to think in different ways. By learning a language you are expanding on how you think and problem solve as you may now see something from another point of view,” Brewington said.

     “I do think language classes should be required. There have been many studies done that show learning a new language helps students expand their brains unlike any other class.”

history department Chair Ms. Hannah turlish

     Brewington believes languages should be required as they will allow you to think in new ways. History Department Chair Ms. Hannah Turlish has a similar take to Jake’s.

History Department Chair Ms. Hannah Turlish sitting at her desk in Virtue Village

     It seems the final consensus is languages are important to students and help them expand their minds. Modern and Classical Languages Chair Mr. Andrew Poolman agrees with what has been said so far. 

     “If I were to change one thing as a whole about learning languages, I believe it should start younger, before grades begin. At Haverford language classes begin in middle school. It is proven that languages should be taught at a younger age as humans learn languages best before they turn ten years old,” Mr. Poolman said. 

Author: Grayson Walker '21

Grayson Walker ‘21 is a student in the journalism seminar. Walker is an avid reader of music and sports journalism. Walker loves to write his own journalistic pieces about music and sports. In addition to writing, Walker is the captain of the water polo team, a member of the baseball team, and will be attending Dickinson College while playing baseball there. x