Local school district moves ahead on foreign languages

Michigan legislators and officials at Spring Lake Public Schools might be speaking different languages.
Krystle Wagner
Apr 5, 2013

High school seniors must currently have two credits in a foreign language class to graduate, but legislators are discussing at possible changes.

As Lansing looks at their options, Spring Lake officials are moving forward with plans to re-arrange the curriculum and allow more students to take foreign language courses.

Mark Webster, chairman of the Department of World Languages for Spring Lake Public Schools, said he’s hoped to make the change since the 1990s, but now plans are in motion.

By the time a student graduates and has four or five years of another language, they’ve had about 700 or 800 hours of learning in that language, Webster said.

Re-arranging the curriculum to give younger students the opportunity to take foreign language courses would give students an additional 100 to 200 hours of learning time.

Webster said the added exposure to additional languages is critical in today’s global society.

“They can become more proficient, and it makes them more marketable later on,” he said.

The curriculum change would require seventh-grade students to take one credit for world languages, which would be broken up into introductory courses for Spanish and French.

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

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