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Should I continue a foreign language/Choir through High School?


Hi everyone! My main question is should I continue a foreign language throughout High School. Some background for you, I took Latin three years at my middle school, but I chose to start Spanish at my High School. I took Spanish I this year, and I am planning to take Honors Spanish II next year. I assume that means that I will be in Spanish III or maybe Spanish IV because Honors includes a trimester of Spanish III (idk) in Junior Year and Spanish IV in Senior year if I choose to continue to take it. But my school only requires two world language credits, and I am hoping to perhaps take rigorous classes, as my dream schools are fairly competitive. I know that colleges would like to see that I pursued something over all four years, but I am hoping to focus mainly on science/math because I hope to apply to colleges with a pre-med major. There are only two stumbling blocks I've encountered so far.

1. I took Honors Spanish II over Honors Algebra II, so I will end up in regular Calculus in Senior year. Do you think that matters, or should I try to add Honors Algebra II to my schedule? A quick note of background, I'm taking two AP's next year and many people get less than stellar grades in Honors Algebra II...

2. My strong suit is English. I am not awful at science, I managed an A this year both trimesters, but math has always been a weak subject for me. To give you an idea of how awful at math I am, I consistently score about three points lower on the math section of the ACT than I do on the English. Oh, and my ACT score is only a 27 so obviously I need help in math. But I digress.

Now onto the second part of my explanation, which at this point is getting quite lengthy, and I apologize, but please bear with me! I have taken choir my freshman year, and I also participated in Solo and Ensemble. Next year I am doing Choir for two trimesters, as my schedule does not allow me to take it all three trimesters. I am also planning in participating in Solo and Ensemble next year even though I will not be in the actual choir class for that trimester, but I will be continuing private voice lessons. (I don't have a great voice, but I like to sing) Again, I know that colleges want people to carry through with activities through high school, and I don't want to look like I only did it for the credit... But if I chose to take more AP's once I am an upperclassman I may have to miss some trimesters of choir. Also, a quick question: Could I say that Choir was an extracurricular on my application?

To recap my arduous rant, I am struggling to decide whether to take Spanish and choir throughout my high school career even though it (Spanish) is only required for two years. Thank you in advance!


2 answers

answered on

I think you should! since your dream colleges are competitive, I think it's good to do the best as you can. I, personally am doing art for my major EC, international but doing Spanish(so three languages), violin, etc. I think for Spanish, it really depends on you. If you are thinking to major in liberal arts college( and I think you said your strong path is English right?), then take Spanish and try to say you really tried to explore a lot of languages when you're interviewing or writing an essay. however, if you're not sure yet, then take summer classes! My school doesn't offer summer classes and I came here in 8th grade so I am taking Spanish 2 honors this fall(rising sophomore), but I think if your school allows you to take summer classes(especially Spanish), then you really should!

hope this helps:)))

answered on

Hi, I am going to copy-and-paste my answer to a nearly identical question about whether it was a bad idea that the user dropped their spanish class after only one year of high school. Before that I just want to say don’t determine your ability to do well in a class based on what other people say. I myself am not the best at math either and I struggled w my honors pre-calc class (A- final), and although i would have done much better in regular pre-calc i enjoyed the challenge. I don’t know which schools you’re looking at but selective/competitive schools want to see you challenge yourself w your courses; this means taking as many AP and honors courses as you can reasonably manage while having an edge over your classmates. You want to maintain an above-average course load that shot you can handle a lot of challenging classes. I also suggest that you challenge yourself w the honors class since it will prepare you for the math section of the ACT. speaking of which… Honestly you might wanna look at the SAT instead of ACT - the english section is worth more and a bit more typical which will help you, and the math section is quite simple (one of the questions is literally 4x=x^2 solve for x), so you will probably score better on it. I really recommend you take a practice full-length SAT and if you get above a 1300 you are better-suited for the SAT (27 ACT = ~1290 SAT). Also - I strongly encourage you to take the advanced math class despite the bad rep it has- if you struggle in the first quarter/semester then you can always drop it. I also strongly strongly recommend that you take an AP science class since you’re going for a med/science field - this is basically a prerequisite, in combination with the chem, bio or physics subject test, and a math (for you i recommend math 1 since that covers everything through algebra 1, is a bit easier than math 2, and is less common so it will give you an edge) subject test.

In terms of Choir - yes it counts as an extracurricular, but to be quite honest it might not be a good use if your time if it prevents you from taking harder/advanced classes. doing music for fun is wonderful, but unless you are nationally/regionally ranked it will not count for much of an impressive resume addition. i don’t think you should drop it yet but my advice is if push comes to shove and you have to pick one, pick advanced classes.

Short answer: It looks somewhat bad, but unless you’re going into a major that requires you to know a foreign language it won’t make/break your app. Colleges don’t want to see you drop/stop taking a core class, so this is not a strong move in the language area. You can make up for this by taking other related advanced/AP classes in the field that you are interested in. IT only counts as 3 years if your school counts the classes you took in middle school as a credit (check transcript)

Long answer: Personally it doesn’t really matter that you dropped Spanish unless you are going into a social science/humanities-related major where knowing a foreign language is recommended/required (international affairs, public policy, classics, modern foreign language, or something like francophone, russian, spanish studies, etc, or african/east asian/slavic/etc culture studies). For IR you are required to take the foreign language in college and you are only required to take in high school IF you want to be exempt from taking beginner level Spanish in college. So you would miss out on that by not having taken the AP, which otherwise (if you got a 5) would have let you skip taking the Spanish 100 series in college. If you’re not planning to take a language in college then it doesn’t really matter.

Ivy League caliber schools want to see continuity in your course load and it might reflect badly that you dropped language after completing the minimum time required for credit. It really is not a good idea to drop a core subject halfway through high school (in your case only after one year), BUT if you are majoring in something like liberal arts, business, or stem, then you should make up for this by packing your schedule with related electives, AP courses, and otherwise advanced classes.

The way I see it you get credit for whatever is on your high school transcript. At my school they count courses from 8th grade and beyond so we are required to complete levels 1B (1 is broken up over two years) through 3 (sophomore year) of the language to get high school credit. If your transcript shows a credit earned for Spanish 1, 2, and 3 then you’re good. If not you might have to re-enroll and do another year of spanish to gain credit.