Photo submission by Abigail Lennon
In 2022 there were over 7,000 official languages worldwide; how many do you know?
Since seventh grade, North Penn has allowed students to study a language of their choice with options such as Spanish, French, Latin, German, and even Japanese. Although language is not considered a core subject, learning a language provides a different type of learning that can change lives.
The skill of learning a second language can be a difficult one to master; similar to sports of playing an instrument, learning a language takes dedication and practice. Learning a foreign tongue earlier in your life will scientifically make it easier to learn the language.
The earlier you start, the easier it is to learn and the longer you can study. If you start in high school, you have opportunities all of your high school career, throughout college, and as you continue with your education”
— Ms. Christine Moll -NPHS German teacher
“The earlier you start, the easier it is to learn and the longer you can study. If you start in high school, you have opportunities all of your high school career, throughout college, and as you continue with your education,” NPHS German teacher Christine Moll explained.
Language programs at North Penn have so many remarkable similarities, but they also have such incredible differences. Having a different perspective from each class makes it easier for students to find a class that fits their personality. Language has the ability to form beautiful connections between students, teachers, and classmates.
“I really happened to like my high school Spanish classes; it wasn’t just the teacher, it was the idea of communication; forming language, and linguistics is something that really interests me,” NPHS Spanish teacher Rachel Condon said. “I still reference things that my first Spanish teacher taught me, and that was twenty-four years ago.”
Teaching style can also play a crucial role in developing one’s language. North Penn’s language instructors work together to create a warm and welcoming environment where students can ask questions and make themselves comfortable. Students become eager to learn when they are provided with teachers that are dedicated to their education.
“My whole career has been focused on promoting and encouraging the study of German,” Moll remarked.
It becomes inspiring to see oneself progress through the language and see improvement in your speaking and comprehension skills. When studies can be applied to students’ lives, it feels rewarding and boosts their confidence. Other languages incorporate things that students may not even realize, which is why it can be a crucial step in advancing your education.
“I’m a ballet dancer, and ballet is all in French, so that’s why I started in eighth grade,” explained NPHS French club officer and student Haley Meade. “A lot of mottos you may hear are in French too.”
One advantage that North Penn has always provided is its size. The size of North Penn gives itself to presenting students with opportunities many other high schools may not offer. The foreign exchange student program allows North Penn students to travel the world and put their language skills to good use. North Penn also houses many foreign exchange students from other countries, teaching them differences in language and culture.
“At the time, studying abroad was the most significant thing I had done, and it still remains one of the most important and pivotal things in my life,” Moll said. “I made so many friends and got to know so many people. It changes your whole outlook on your own life and your future.”
Taking a language course is the most beneficial way to learn a language as a high school student. Understandably, only some students may have the ability to take that class. Each language offers an after-school club to learn more about the different parts of the speech and how it may apply to their lives. North Penn teachers and students work together to create many opportunities to immerse themselves in another language, not just in school courses.
Not many people speak Spanish in my life; however, it has served me in becoming a linguist and studying root words to appreciate where they’re coming from”
— Ms. Rachel Condon – NPHS Spanish Teacher
“The SALSA club promotes students to celebrate themselves and their heritage,” Condon remarked.” Not many people speak Spanish in my life; however, it has served me in becoming a linguist and studying root words to appreciate where they’re coming from.”
Learning a language may not benefit just yourself but others around you as well. Many students at North Penn may speak languages that others are not familiar with, creating a barrier to building relationships. The advancement of languages within the student population helps to form connections between people and allows North Penn to grow as a community.
“We are not just isolated anymore. We need to learn how to communicate with one another,” Condon said.