RHS celebrates National Foreign Language Week

RHS language classes recognize world languages and how they impact lives


Students created posters to display in the hallways in honor of Foreign Language Week. Photo by Zoya Ahmed.

Mariam Hanna, Staff Writer

From March 5 to March 9, Rochester High School celebrated Foreign Language Week. Falcons in language classes made posters, gave food demonstrations, created lessons and did several other activities  to recognize the importance of knowing multiple languages.

Diversity is prominent at RHS, and German teacher Mr. Brady Crites believes it is something that should be celebrated.

“I think that [being from different countries and cultures] is something that should be celebrated and not seen as weird or different,” he said. “And I think that kids that come to school with that pride of where they are from or where their parents are from already do a lot.”

According to Mr. Crites, being fluent in, or even learning, a second language is not just a graduation requirement. Instead, it opens new doors for people.

“[It helps] you connect and  work with or empathize and understand people from different cultures that you may not have been able to otherwise,” he said. “I have friends from Germany who I never would have been able to meet had I never learned German.”

Employers are also beginning for look for workers who understand different languages and cultures as it makes a person more open minded and empathetic.

“I think there are a lot of important factors when it comes to getting a job,” said Spanish teacher Ms. Lisa Prindle. “[Being bilingual makes you] more open about culture, more understanding, and I think that comes about in every aspect of your life.”

This is the first year in some time that RHS has celebrated foreign language week, and, according to Ms. Prindle, it is something the school would like to implement in the years to come. This celebration was brought back because RHS realized that they could implement it on a bigger scale, just like other high schools in the district were doing.

“Ms. Scislowicz also works at Stoney, and they were kinda implementing it on a bigger scale, and we just felt that it was something we could add into our curriculum,” Ms. Prindle said. 

Being able to speak a different language also helps with travel. “If you travel to a different country that speaks that language, you will be able to communicate with other people ,” sophomore and French 3 student Lauren Stevenson said. “I chose [French] because I want to go to Paris one day, and I want to be able to speak their language”.

In the language classrooms at RHS, such as French, Spanish, German, and American Sign Language, students are doing projects to display foreign languages they either are taking or speak at home. Through these projects, students are able to tie their passions and different languages and cultures together.  

“For my project, two of my friends and I are teaching a lesson about French ballet terms,” senior, French 5 student and French National Honors Society president Maya Subramanian said.  “We chose to do this because we are all dancers, so we are very knowledgeable about the subject. National Foreign Language Week is all about embracing your favorite parts of foreign cultures, and for my friends and I, sharing our passion for dancing while using the French language is the perfect way for us to celebrate.”

Taking a foreign language class throughout high school can instill a love for that language and culture in a  person.

“I have grown so much as a French student over the past five years,” Subramanian explained. “When I was in middle school, I knew that I wanted to become fluent in a second language. Now, I am well on my way to fluency in French. I plan to continue taking French classes in college. My commitment to learning the language was motivated by my desire to learn and gain a deeper global understanding.”

In addition to verbal languages, Rochester High School also offers American Sign Language (ASL).

“[I chose to take ASL] because it was something new and different,” freshman and ASL 1 student Katya Berner said.

As Stevenson, Berner, Ms, Prindle, Mr. Crites and Subramanian conveyed, Foreign Language Week is a time to think about the impact of knowing different languages and understanding different cultures. They also agree that being bilingual helps with college admission, getting hired and understanding people on a deeper level.

“[Foreign Language Week] is a celebration of the learning of language,” Mr. Crites added. “And also the celebration of the diverse range of languages and cultures we have represented here at Rochester High.”