Language learning prioritized

While the state requires high school students to take two credits of a foreign language to graduate, many local schools have begun offering language courses to younger students.
Krystle Wagner
Sep 24, 2012


Grand Haven Christian School students in grades preschool through eighth take Spanish, said the school’s administrator, Rick Geertsma.

The school also offers an after-school program to teach Chinese twice a week. It’s open to students from other schools.

“We think it’s important,” Geertsma said about students learning another language.

Spring Lake High School offers the option of taking Spanish or French to fulfill the graduation requirement. The district’s curriculum director, Scott Ely, said middle school students can take Spanish as an elective — and about one-third of them take it.

When students choose to go above and beyond the two-year requirement, Ely said that’s a bonus.

Grand Haven High School sophomore Anna Bush said she also enjoys learning about other cultures and having the ability to understand other people.

“You never know when it might come in handy,” she said of learning to speak Spanish.

In Grand Haven, being introduced to Spanish begins in elementary schools with introductory courses, Grand Haven High School Principal Tracy Wilson said.

Students in grades 5-6 take exploratory classes. Eighth-grade students are required to take German, French or Spanish.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.




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