The Impact of Learning World Languages at Wakefield School
By Anya Parks, '17
"Learning a foreign language, and the culture that goes with it, is one of the most useful things we can do to broaden the empathy... imaginative sympathy, and cultural outlook of children."
This quote, said by British politician and journalist, Michael Gove, is a sentiment that perfectly encapsulates Wakefield's view on languages. Language is important, not just because it looks good on a resume and provides new learning opportunities, but also because it is a gateway to improved cultural outlook and the understanding of international affairs.
At Wakefield, students and teachers are dedicated to learning languages, (offering French, Latin, and Spanish,) because it is essential to understanding foreign cultures in an increasingly global world. We discover that they aren't so different from our own. This is why, in our language classes, we go beyond conjugations and translations; we seek to learn more about the people who use other languages in their everyday lives.
As a Spanish student, I've had the privilege of learning about Garifuna influence in Louisiana, resource scarcity in Venezuela, and fashion trends in Columbia. My Spanish teachers, who have lived and experienced Latin culture, expose students to the ways of others, giving us a deep appreciation for people on the other side of the world.
Being a language student at Wakefield has helped me become a more well-rounded, thoughtful student. Learning under such dedicated and skilled teachers has truly helped me learn more about global issues, and I will always be thankful to them for their hard work.
World Language video created by Grace Seaborn, '18.