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¿Quieres Aprender El Español?

By Chiara ’23

When I first started at Harvard-Westlake and was told about the world language requirement, I panicked. At HW, students can choose from Spanish, French, Latin, and Chinese. I chose Spanish and since I had never had to learn another language save for English, I was naturally nervous for my first Spanish class ever. The world languages department encourages students to “learn to communicate efficiently in another language, interpret cultural differences, and develop new perspectives.” And, after taking Spanish for several years now, I can say that my experience in Spanish classes has done just that!

In my first class, I was so confused and some of the kids seemed miles ahead of me–they spoke so fast! However, I quickly realized that at HW teachers are always willing to go the extra mile and help catch up students who are struggling or feeling overwhelmed. Through weekly meetings with my teacher, I was able to catch up and feel confident going into class. In fact, I got so confident I was able to move up to Spanish 3 by 9th grade and enter AP by 10th grade. Every year I progressed, I was learning more and more about Spanish culture itself while also learning and working on bettering my conversion flow and accent. By the time the AP test rolled around, I felt more than confident and felt as if my teachers had prepared me exactly for this moment. And it went great! The girl who at the start of her career at HW couldn’t understand a word of Spanish was now able to hold a conversation, read, and write in another language! When I walked out of my AP test, I had the chance to reflect on how far I had come and could not have been prouder.

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Tags: , Last modified: November 12, 2021