SPANISH LANGUAGE PROGRAM
Approximately 350 million people speak Spanish around the world. It is the most-frequently spoken language in the western hemisphere and the third most-spoken language in the world. Knowing Spanish not only equips people to talk with their neighbors; it prepares students to travel and interact with citizens and cultures around the world.
- There are several advantages to learning Spanish while still in school:
Learning a second language stimulates and helps children's brain development. Language learning establishes new and different neuron paths and connections, resulting in more new brain cells and more extensive use of existing brain cells. Research shows that studying languages can improve memory and slow age-related decline in mental acuity.
- The same skills that are used in learning Spanish and other languages transfer over to the study English and other academic subjects. The more a student understands about languages and grammar, the better he is in his own language. One study of graduating high school seniors with two or more years of foreign language study showed significant superiority in performance on achievement tests in English when compared with non-language students (Bastian, 1980).
- Foreign language study provides opportunities for travel. Many colleges, and universities offer exciting opportunities to study abroad. Many different types of programs are available to choose from and they vary in time from as little as a week of study to a whole year. As little as one semester of prior language study will qualify to participate in an exchange program.
- With 17 million in the U.S. who communicate better in Spanish than English, there are many job openings for bilingual people including nurses, social workers, teachers, salespeople, translators, and many more. Increasing trade with our Latin American neighbors creates demand for bilingual people who can easily transition between the U.S. office and the Latin American clients and customers.
- Learning another language is a cultural experience. It includes more than just the ability to communicate. It enables the learner to more fully enjoy the authentic foods, read the books and newspapers, understand the works of literature and drama, and understand current events and politics better.
The WV Virtual School offers two Spanish language programs. The middle school program allows students to take Spanish 1A in the seventh grade and Spanish 1B in the eighth grade. Students completing both years will earn high school credit for Spanish 1. Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 are also available in traditional and block formats.
The WV Virtual School uses a unique combination of digital content, phone instruction, and on-site visits to provide students a well-balanced instructional approach. To date, more than 8,500 students have taken advantage of this global learning opportunity.
Whether your motivations are practical, intellectual or personal, learning Spanish is something that will benefit you for the rest of your life!