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Question Foreign Language Dilemma- What About College? - September 20th 2013, 03:18 PM

Hi guys, Tay here I'm currently a sophomore (10th grade) in high school, and I haven't really figured out where I want to go for college in two years, except that I want to major in music (whether that be theater or recording or...anything music). Today during my French class, our principal comes in and says that they are cutting the French program, and gave the class 4 options:

1. Dropping French and taking Chinese, the class that is replacing this. The Chinese class would start as if it was the beginning of the year, considering I've been in school for about a month now. This way, I would have 1 year of French, and any other year I decide to take of Foreign language would be in Chinese.

2. Dropping Foreign Language altogether and taking something else. If I were to do this, my only idea is that I'd double up with a different class, like... I don't know, a science or something. That or I'd take an art or cooking class, I'm pretty sure you need at least one of each to graduate here.

3. Continue with French 2 (the program I'm in, thus this is my second year). Just a little background on our French class: we don't have a French teacher. Right now, we're using a computer program, which sucks a ton. In French 3, however, we have a teacher, sort of. She teaches us on webcam, from her class a couple miles away. French 4 is the same thing.

4. Drop down to French 1, which is pointless since I'd be wasting my time learning what I learned last year and French 1 is also a computer program. Sucks.

So, I don't like French, so I don't think I want to do the 3rd or 4th option, but I'm not sure. See, I want to major in music at a really great school, that focuses a lot on their music program. Not saying Julliard, that's my huge dream, but some place nice that will get me somewhere. Is there anyone here, by any chance, that is majoring or even minoring in music? Will I need Foreign language to be accepted? If so, how many years? If I drop French, they will put on my transcript that its not my fault, whether or not I went to Chinese or didn't take any other language. But some colleges won't take excuses like that.

Music is all I have. Basically what I'm asking here is, do I need it to get accepted as a music major of any kind, and what is my best option right now? Chinese, Dropping all Foreign Language, Sticking with French 2, or moving down to French 1?
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Re: Foreign Language Dilemma- What About College? - September 20th 2013, 06:13 PM

Hey Tay,

It's alright if you aren't sure what you want to do for college yet, you still got 2 more years to decide. Anyways, if you aren't liking French and the current learning system, I'd say drop it. However does your school require foreign language as a graduation requirement? Like in my school, we have to take 3 years of a foreign language in order to graduate high school. If it does, I'd say start Chinese, even though I know a ton of people learning Chinese and say its the hardest language to learn. Does your school offer music programs that you can show on your résumé/transcript instead? I mean if you are applying for a music major, make your transcript show that you are more into that. Well, I hope this was helpful, good luck!!



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Re: Foreign Language Dilemma- What About College? - September 20th 2013, 07:27 PM

If you know you want to major in music, I would look at some of the local college's requirements for admission/music majors (even if you don't plan on going there) this will give you an idea of whether you need foreign language or not. My high school required either 3 years of one language or 2 years each of 2 different ones and the colleges here have 3 years of foreign language in high school as an admissions requirement, which is fine since we had to do it anyway.

I would not recommend option 4 since you'd just be repeating what you've already had, and I'm not sure if it would count as a second year or not.

If you need to stay in a language either for graduation or college admission you can either finish with French, even if you don't like it; or replace it with Chinese (unless there's another language you can take instead)

If it's not required for either, then you can drop it and replace it with something that might be relevant to a music program if there's something available.

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Re: Foreign Language Dilemma- What About College? - September 21st 2013, 08:53 PM

Most 4 year universities require a foreign language option. I would stick with a language to get some basis and possibly a chance to test out. However, what type of Chinese is it? Is it Mandarin? I think that is more common one offered in the universities.
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Re: Foreign Language Dilemma- What About College? - September 22nd 2013, 12:58 AM

Most colleges don't force you to have taken specific languages before going to university because not everywhere teaches all the different languages (ex. Spanish here, French there, etc.) and international students might only know a native language (ex. Russian, Swahili etc.) plus English. So I wouldn't sweat it to much, as long as you speak English (which you clearly can) then I wouldn't sweat it much. Unless you are trying to get into a program that focuses on languages or like an international thing (ex. international policy, or a school in another country etc.), but really, I'd learn what ever language you feel will be most important to you. Take both even, or teach one to yourself, you can still find ways to add that onto your resume when you start applying to schools, that way if you can't take both in school you can still be like "yeah I took chinese/french classes/taught it to myself and took stuff in school"

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Re: Foreign Language Dilemma- What About College? - September 23rd 2013, 02:01 AM

Most universities require at least 2 or 3 years of a foreign language in high school, so I think taking Chinese or another language class would be your best option.

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Re: Foreign Language Dilemma- What About College? - September 23rd 2013, 04:05 AM

Typically, colleges want a minimum of two years of a single language, not a year of one, and a year of another language. Is this your second year in French? If you continue through this year, you should be done with your requirement. If you are in your first year of French, you would want to drop and take Chinese when it is offered. That is the typical requirements for US colleges.

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Re: Foreign Language Dilemma- What About College? - September 24th 2013, 03:58 PM

Something else you might want to look in to is fulfilling your foreign language requirement by enrolling in a community college course (you could do this during the school year or over the summer). If you're interested in this option, I strongly suggest you meet with your school's academic advisor AND the community college's academic advisor. The nice thing about taking a community college course is that you may get an actual teacher (vs. a computer). It will also give you a (small) taste of what it's like to be a college student. You need to be proactive, though, because it's easy to tell yourself, "I'm too busy this semester, I'll take the course next semester," only to find out later on that the course is only offered once per year. Also, just because a course is offered doesn't mean there will be room for you to enroll in it.

As the other members have said, many colleges require at least two years of the same foreign language. I ended up taking Spanish for three years. I didn't like it, but I knew it would make my applications more competitive. Sometimes, you need to bite the bullet and do whatever will increase your chances of getting into the university you want to attend.

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