Learning a new language


Photo by Natalia Betancur.

Natalia Betancur, Reporter

Knowing more than one language in the 21st century can open up doors for opportunities. It does not only help one in the workplace, but it also gives flexibility. With the ability to speak more than one language, traveling, being able to talk with native speakers without depending on smartphones, listening to music from other countries and even watching foreign TV shows becomes more accessible.

After living in France for a year, senior Zach Knudsen learned French and more about the French culture. He explained that learning a language can be the first step to immerse yourself in a new culture and help you see the world from a new perspective.

“Your entire viewpoint once you learn another language, and experience the culture, changes because you are just so much more aware and educated about things that sometimes you don’t even notice,” Knudsen said.

Graphic by Natalia Betancur.

Being motivated is essential.  When choosing which language to learn, look for something that you think you will enjoy learning. For example, if you enjoy Korean drama and K-pop, Korean might be for you. Senior Nathan Lu, who is passionate about the environment, is interested in attending an environmental school in Switzerland. Lu is currently learning German to bridge the cultural barrier.

“Even if you don’t have native speakers to talk to, like myself, technology has come such a long way,” Lu said. “I know I’ve been able to use apps such as Duolingo and HelloTalk which is actually a way to communicate with native speakers.”

The opportunities are endless with language learning. Mrs. Wakefield is a Spanish teacher at Carlsbad High School, and her love for languages has led her to become a polyglot. She believes that learning a language is a great use of one’s time. 

“It boils down to use the language, make your mistakes, learn from your mistakes, use the language, put the time in, put the effort in because it does take time and effort,” Wakefield said. “But it is so rewarding.”