This week, I interviewed a student and a teacher on the importance of the foreign language classes that most students are able to take here at Prairie. THe student I interviewed was Jake Tedrow and the teacher I interviewed was Mrs. Matheny, also known as Senora Matheny. The student is in German and the teacher teaches Spanish, so they are definitely different viewpoints.

According to Jake Tedrow, learning a foreign language is important because “it’s good to learn about other cultures.” so, in German class he is learning more about the culture of Germany and the language they speak. According to Matheny, learning a foreign language is important because, “It closes communication barriers, opens doors to communication across cultures and builds relationships.”

Also, Jake had explained, “I got to meet people from Germany that are now my friends and I stay in contact with them. Arne, Nicolas and Paul are the three people that came to America that I had met and became friends with.” Learning a foreign language is definitely a good way of meeting new people especially with the exchange student program.

Matheny explained to me what she had gotten out of teaching a foreign language. She said, “A reward is that I get to share my passion of language and culture with learners and see learners become passionate like I am.” Matheny is very passionate about her job and that is why she is always energetic.

I asked Jake, “If you had went to Germany, would you be able to have a full conversation with someone?” He replied, “Sort of, I know most things, but not nearly as much as the people who live there know.” Clearly only having a couple to a few years of a foreign language doesn’t teach you everything you want to know. Of course with Matheny, her response to this question was, “Heck ya! But making mistakes just helps strengthen our language skills.”

Jake was asked if he believes that foreign language classes help people and he replied saying, “It depends on the person and how much they are dedicated.” Matheny said, “Foreign language classes absolutely help people, a language degree can help students secure a job, gain acceptance to an internship or advance in their career field.”

The most important question I had asked was what these two people had enjoyed the most about foreign language. Jake explained, “I enjoyed being with friends, I don’t enjoy it as much as I used to,” but Matheny had a whole different viewpoint. She said, “Besides sharing my passion with students, I enjoy working with my energetic colleagues and the relationships that I build with my kids.” As most of you know, at Prairie the Spanish teachers are very enthusiastic about their work. That’s what makes it easier to learn because it’s also fun.

Overall, the viewpoints on foreign language vary from a student to a foreign language teacher. Oftentimes, students don’t take it as seriously as the teachers because they aren’t as passionate about it as the teachers. Most times, they feel as if they have to take it. Foreign languages can definitely help students learn more about the culture of different countries.

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