Spanish students require opportunity

Sydney Czyzon, Views Editor

Currently among Joliet West High School students, Spanish learners aren’t given ample opportunity to improve upon their skills. Although basic Spanish courses are offered, it is critical for adolescents to be given additional integral resources to broaden their abilities.

At the neighboring Minooka Community High School, talented Spanish-speakers are given the option to advance into Spanish 2 honors, Spanish 3 honors, Spanish 4 honors, and Spanish 5 honors for those who are accelerated enough to skip a level of foreign language. Enrolling in Spanish 5 honors additionally allows adolescents to take an AP Language exam for college credit. On top of this, students who are involved in the Spanish honors program are provided with a more weighted GPA, ultimately improving their transcripts.

Regarding the description for the Spanish 2 honors course, the MCHS website states that the cutting-edge class is designed to provide, “in depth-opportunities to aid the students in achieving their optimal level of proficiency in the Spanish language to prepare them for college placement,” and is for students, “who would benefit from a more challenging presentation of both textual and enrichment materials.” Individuals with a strong desire to learn the language should be exceptionally tested with innovative and difficult work for a comprehensive and interactive attainment of Spanish.

Furthermore, Minooka Community High School offers the Spanish National Honor Society along with countless other schools throughout the country. This opportunity can lead to college scholarships, all expenses paid to travel abroad, and money for publishing opportunities that are available to Spanish magazine writers/designers. Plus, the society allows for a President, Vice-President, and Secretary every year. Other area high schools that provide similar Spanish enhancement include Joliet Catholic Academy, Lockport Township High School, and the Lincoln-Way High Schools to name a few. In the long run, other students who are provided this fortunate prospect would beat out a Joliet West Spanish student in the extremely competitive college world.

When discussing the importance of the language, Spanish teacher Mrs. Hunsaker stated, “While learning any world language other than your native language is a benefit, Spanish is particularly practical.  Our society, and specifically the Joliet area, has many Spanish bilingual people and the ability to communicate with them is a great thing.  Knowing Spanish will make students more marketable when seeking jobs and will make them more open-minded when dealing with Spanish speakers.” Spanish is a real-world investment that would have an optimistic outlook in the area.

Also, Joliet West High School used to provide Spanish Club, but has discontinued this feature. This has unfairly stripped community teens of any opportunity to truly enhance their skills. There is still a French Club, but those interested in Spanish history and language are cut short despite Spanish becoming a rapidly-rising language within America. In continuance, there is a National French Honors Society but Joliet West lacks this organization for Spanish learners since the recent cutback.

Contributing to the controversial topic, Spanish teacher Señora de la Cruz released, “Offering National Spanish Honor Society or Spanish Honors would be beneficial to JW Spanish learners. Those recognitions are respected throughout the country and as language becomes more valuable, recognizing students for their exemplary work is positive,” going on to concede, “It would be necessary to research the requirements for such organizations and poll student interest.” Therefore, if enough students were willing to join any of these Spanish opportunities, then they could be considered by administration. In comparison, Spanish teacher Mrs. Gruneich admitted, “[…] I do think that if there was a strong interest among the student body for the return of a Spanish Club then it would be back. Perhaps other programs/ clubs could be added as well in the future.”

All in all, Joliet West High School should consider widening the horizon for teens who intend to use Spanish within their career field or simply enjoy the subject. Students who are excelling within their selected Spanish electives are at a disadvantage to other adolescents; instead of continuing to learn among the general population, advanced students should be additionally challenged by utilizing a specialized curriculum and implementing more activities.