News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

When the clock struck 9 p.m., students gathered as the prom king and queen were announced: Jacob Moreo and Beth Siersma!
The end of an era: Prom 2024
Olivia Cooks, Staff Writer • May 21, 2024

LOS ALAMITOS, CA -- Los Alamitos High School hosted its 2024 junior and senior prom at the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center...

 Its time for the class of 2024 to enter their adulthood and close the chapter to their high school career.  Seniors are finishing up their end of the year strong with all of their favorite activities and spending time with their friends.
Seniors' thoughts on the end of the school year
Layla Martinez, Staff Writer • May 21, 2024

LOS ALAMITOS CA -- As the school year of 2024 wraps up, seniors are having mixed feelings about whether or not they are looking forward to graduation...

A group of graduates throw their cap in the air, celebrating the completion of an important milestone.
How to be photo-ready for graduation
Nandi Smith, Editor • May 20, 2024

LOS ALAMITOS, CA – Graduation for the Los Alamitos High School class of 2024 is fast-approaching. The special event is Tuesday, June 4 at Dignity...

The fleeting extinction of foreign language learning

Learning foreign languages not only improves your business resume but also introduces you to new cultures and perspectives
Lynna Kim
Civic center in France taken during Los Al’s Spring Break Europe trip.

LOS ALAMITOS, CA — At Los Alamitos High School, students are required to take a foreign language class to graduate but are only given a few options to choose from. Los Al currently offers four language options: French, Spanish, Japanese, and American Sign Language. Recently, German was permanently removed from the course list. 

“People should take ASL to make the world more inclusive and accepting. 3.6% of the population is deaf or hard of hearing [which translates to about] 11 million people,” said Los Al’s ASL teacher, Mrs. Bennett. 

This is very limiting, as many students wish to study abroad in college, a common aspect of universities. However, some classes offered at universities abroad have a language requirement, whereas others are only taught in the local language. Although most courses are taught in English, a language barrier limits course options if students are unfamiliar with the language.

Studying abroad is an experience all students should have. It is the chance to explore an entirely new world beyond one’s own and experience new cultures. Students who have studied overseas return with several new values, and language is a tremendous aspect of that. The Institute for International Education of Students provides statistics to account for the impact of studying abroad on students. 

  • 82% said studying overseas significantly enhances their worldviews.
  • 96% of students claimed they felt more confident after their experience.
  • 94% of students agree that their experiences studying abroad still have an impact on how they interact with others from diverse cultures.

“[The Europe trip] was a great way to learn about a new culture… I really enjoyed going and learning about the different historical sites there,” said Nathan Yee, a senior at Los Al who participated in the spring break Europe trip. 

In the academic year of 2015-2016, a total of 325,339 U.S. students studied abroad, according to the United States Department of State. However, in the 2021-2022 academic year, the number dropped to only 188,753 students pursuing education abroad, according to The Open Doors 2023 Report. This decline can be attributed to costs, time-management barriers, and – of course – language. 

Europe is the dominant location for studying abroad, with 73% of American students choosing to study in this region. Furthermore, Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, and France are the most popular host destinations, and this decline deprives Americans of experiencing these fascinating countries. 

It seemed like the night life was still very much alive [in Barcelona], unlike where we live. I really admired how [the culture] felt alive,” said Lynna Kim, a senior at Los Al who also participated in the spring break Europe trip. 

Only 10% of individuals in the U.S. speak a foreign language proficiently, compared to 65% in Europe. Humans depend on language daily to express themselves and share ideas. If you plan on staying in the U.S. for the rest of your life, then this is no issue; if not, learning another language is incredibly valuable. 

I highly recommend [the Europe trip] to anyone who wants to learn about culture.”

— Nathan Yee, Los Al senior

Studies show that people who speak another language score higher on tests and think more creatively. In addition, businesses and corporations are looking for individuals with international experience, as they have more diverse skill sets. This emphasis on intercultural communication is significant as it creates a more well-rounded individual.

Although it’s evident that language is crucial to civilization, there has still been a considerable decline in the number of people learning a foreign language in America, and our school systems are mostly to blame. If we are provided with better foreign language programs, we might enjoy learning it and improve faster. 

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About the Contributor
Olivia Cooks
Olivia Cooks, Staff Writer
Olivia is a senior at Los Al, and this is her first year as a staff writer in Journalism. She loves to hang out with friends, go to thrift shops in L.A., listen to music, and go to concerts in her free time. Olivia is interested in writing articles about sports and important events.
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    Katie ArnoultMay 9, 2024 at 5:06 pm

    I love this article and your use of statistics!