Freshmen share insights from their world language studies

In the Cedar Falls Community School District, starting in eighth grade, students can take Spanish, French or German. 

Freshman Henry Funk attended St. Patrick Catholic School for elementary school. Funk was required to take Spanish classes there and is now continuing his Spanish journey at Holmes. Speaking about what he likes about Spanish, Funk said, “I like taking Spanish because it’s fun to learn a new language. Since I’ve been learning it for so long, it’s just something that feels natural for me to learn.”

On the subject of whether or not he would recommend taking Spanish to other students, Funk said, “Spanish is not hard. I’ve been learning it my whole life, so it’s pretty easy to pick up on new things. I would recommend it because it is fun to learn and it’s always good to know another language.”

Peet Junior High ninth grader Melissa Meza is in her second year of taking French classes. In reference to how much she enjoys French, Meza said, “I like taking French because I know that it will give me opportunities due to me knowing it. It’s an easy language to learn due to how similar it is to English and Spanish, and I like how beautiful it can sound.”

When speaking about how easy it is to learn as a student, Meza said, “French is fairly simple to learn if you take the time to study it and actually pay attention. There are a lot of similarities between the language and ours; therefore, it’s not that difficult to pick up. Sometimes I get a little confused, but it’s all about practicing the language and asking questions.”

As for tips about learning languages, Meza said, “I would recommend asking a lot of questions and paying attention in class. I know it’s a hard thing to do, but there are a lot of key things you need to know, and it’s important to listen. Take notes and study. Something that is currently helping me is writing what I know down on a Google Doc or in a notebook. That way, you won’t forget it and can look back at it when studying. Lastly, you should try to look for movies in the language you’re learning and speak it very often, that way you won’t forget it and are actually getting practice hearing it and speaking it.”

Freshman Oliver Hakanson is a German student. Regarding what he likes about taking German, Hakanson said, “I like the satisfaction of understanding a concept or word enough to where I don’t have to stop and think about it before I speak.”

Regarding how hard it is to take German, Hakanson said, “German isn’t hard for me personally to learn since I’ve gotten used to understanding languages and language concepts. I would recommend that you start with learning its orthography and how certain digraphs are pronounced since that’s something many struggle with.”

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