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Marlborough School Student Newspaper
The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

Lizze Small Contributing Illustrator
How to help our Earth
April 12, 2024

Making a case for the 7th grade world languages class

During Violets 101, when all incoming 7th graders received their schedules, there was one thing that confused me: the Intro to World Languages (IWL) class. At first, I was annoyed. Why did we have to take this class for the whole year instead of jumping straight into a specific language? But now, a good several months into school, I’m beginning to see the logic of why Marlborough made the switch to IWL. 

First off, the language teachers have been doing an amazing job emphasizing the point that “no language is better than another.” That has been a huge aspect of what we’ve been learning, along with the fact that certain languages aren’t easier or harder to learn or it’s better to speak some compared to others. 

Through Unit 1 — and really through the course of the entire year so far — 7th graders have been doing mini-lessons at the beginning of each class, focusing on one of the languages at Marlborough. Not only does this give students an idea of what languages they’ll be interested in for next year, it also adds to the understanding that all languages are equally important. 

For our Unit 1 project, we created a comic strip informing the reader about language stereotypes, and we really began to break down mental barriers regarding learning languages. This ensures that when spring comes and we have to enroll in language classes, every 7th grader will have a more open mind when selecting a class and will be excited after getting a preview of the language in IWL. Most importantly, there will be no prejudice towards different languages.

Another aspect of Intro to World Languages is providing the building blocks for learning languages. We learn valuable information about language in general. That will later benefit our ability to learn the language we choose next year. For example, already knowing the writing systems of Mandarin, Korean, French and Spanish will give us an advantage for next year. Additionally, we’ve been learning about phonology, morphology and different linguistic studies to broaden our understanding of how sounds, words and sentences are formed. 

At the end of the day, IWL has so much to offer that students can and will benefit from this course, even if they think otherwise. While some of the things we are learning may seem tedious — I mean, who needs to know how many phonemes “pencil” has — as a 7th grader myself, I truly believe IWL will be so helpful in the long run. 

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