World Language Options
The IB/MYP program requires all students study a world language. In the State of Washington 2.0 credits of World Language are also required for graduation. At Mt. Rainier High School we offer students a choice of three languages to study:
- Heritage Spanish (formerly Spanish for Spanish Speakers)
Students take World Language classes in 9th and 10th grade with the option to continue their language building skills into 11th and 12th grade.
Pourquoi étudier le français?
A world language
More than 200 million people speak French on the five continents. The Francophonie,
the international organization of French-speaking countries, comprises 68 states and governments. French is the second most widely learned foreign language after English, and the ninth most widely spoken language in the world. French is also the only language, alongside English, that is taught in every country in the world. France operates the biggest international network of cultural institutes, which run French-language courses for more than 750,000 learners.
A language for the job market
An ability to speak French and English is an advantage on the international job market. A knowledge of French opens the doors of French companies in France and other French-speaking parts of the world (Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, and North and sub-Saharan Africa). As the world’s fifth biggest economy and number-three destination for foreign investment, France is a key economic partner.
The language of culture
French is the international language of cooking, fashion, theatre, the visual arts, dance and architecture. A knowledge of French offers access to great works of literature, as well as films and songs, in the original French. French is the language of Victor Hugo, Molière, Léopold Sendar Senghor, Edith Piaf, Jean-Paul Sartre, Alain Delon and Zinedine Zidane.
A language for travel
France is the world’s number-one tourist destination and attracts more than 70 million visitors
a year. A little French makes it so much more enjoyable to visit Paris and all the regions of France (from the mild climes of the Cote d’Azur to the snow-capped peaks of the Alps via the rugged coastline of Brittany) and offers insights into French culture, mentality and way of life. French also comes in handy when travelling to Africa, Switzerland, Canada, Monaco, the Seychelles and other places.
The other language of international relations
French is both a working language and an official language of the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, the International Red Cross and international courts. French is the language of the three cities where the EU institutions are headquartered: Strasbourg, Brussels and Luxembourg.
A language that opens up the world
After English and German, French is the third most used language on the Internet, ahead of Spanish. An ability to understand French offers an alternative view of the world through communication with French speakers from all the continents and news from the leading French-language international media (TV5, France 24 and Radio France Internationale).
A language that is fun to learn
French is an easy language to learn. There are many methods on the market that make learning French enjoyable for children and adults alike. It does not take long to reach a level where
you can communicate in French.
A language for learning other languages
French is a good base for learning other languages, especially Romance languages (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian) as well as English, since fifty per cent of current English vocabulary is derived from French.
The language of love and reason
First and foremost, learning French is the pleasure of learning a beautiful, rich, melodious language, often called the language of love. French is also an analytical language that structures thought and develops critical thinking, which is a valuable skill for discussions and negotiations.
¿Por qué estudiar español?
- There are 328,518,810 Spanish speakers worldwide, putting it second only to Chinese for total number of native speakers.
- In the US, it is used by some 35 million people or around 10% of the US population. This makes the US home to the fourth largest Spanish-speaking population in the world.
- Spanish is the fourth most widely geographically used language in the world, spanning 44 countries.
- It is the official language of 21 countries.
- It serves as the most commonly taught foreign language in the United States.
- 8% of high school students and 52.2% of post-secondary students with world language programs choose to study Spanish.
- It serves as an official language of the United Nations, the European Union, World Trade Organization, and North American Free Trade Agreement.
- It is the third most commonly used language on the Internet (after English and Chinese).
- Hispanic citizens make up 15.4% of the US population and the second largest ethnic group.
- There are more than 5,000 elected US officials who are of Latino/Hispanic origin.
- Spanish has been spoken in the US for centuries, and it is used in many different ways today.
- It began being used in what is now the US in 1513 (almost five centuries ago) by Ponce de León. Spanish was the language spoken by the first permanent European settlers and explorers.
- Cabeza de Vaca, a Spanish explorer, traveled from Florida to the Gulf of California 267 years before the Lewis and Clark expedition.
- Spanish is a part of our popular culture, with shows like "Dora the Explorer," "The George Lopez Show," and "Ugly Betty," as well as the language of major networks such as Univisión and Telemundo.
- Spanish influence is evident in place names: states such as Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Montana, Florida, California, and Arizona all come from Spanish words; cities and regions such as Los Angeles, Puerto Rico, Alcatraz, Toledo, Santa Fe, and Las Vegas, to name a only handful, are also of Spanish origin.
Taken from the AATSP (American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese) website