Spanish may reign, but French finds its place

Panav Ladha

Panav Ladha, WTV Staff Reporter

According to more than 400 million people speak Spanish, which is the 2nd most spoken language in the world, after English, while only around 220 million people speak French. So why do students choose French as their foreign language over Spanish even though Spanish seems more helpful in this part of the country as nearly 7 million Texas residents five or older speak Spanish according to the American Community Survey.

“I chose French as my foreign language because it seemed more unique than Spanish cause a lot of people are taking spanish and I wanted a challenge,” freshman Sid Arora said.

“I chose French as my foreign language because I really liked the culture and I wanted to learn more about it,” freshman Alice Cai said. 

But according to teacher Dina Baalbaki, French is a language with many benefits to students all around the world.

“There is a lot of other benefits as far as business and careers,” Baalbaki said. “Speaking French increases your marketability out there. A lot of employers like to see that the people they are hiring speak another language and French is one of them definitely. Even though English is widely spoken the economy depends on communication, we all know that so that could be a plus factor on top of that you live no far from Canada and who knows how your horizons open up eventually in the future.”

Baalbaki also believes that French can be very helpful for students in the future.

“Definitely I have always said that if you speak one language you are limiting yourself to the world,” Baalbaki said. “Why not learn an extra language, especially when it comes to French because it opens up new opportunities to travel abroad and not just within the country or the neighboring countries. Studies have shown that children with a foreign language have a higher standardized test score in math, reading, language arts; foreign language study has helped increase problem solving, memory and self-discipline. And we know that every language comes from the Latin route mainly but with that said the English language has had a part of German and French contribute to its own creation.”

With only Spanish and French offered as a teacher taught class in Frisco ISD, students like Cai and Arora feel that having more languages taught would be beneficial for some students.

“Yes I think that more languages should be taught here in Liberty,” Cai said. “A lot of people have different perspectives and wants to learn different languages.”

“Yes I think other languages should be offered at school,” Arora said. “ People might want to learn those languages, like Italian, German and Portuguese.”