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Speak to the World: Languages at CHS

All languages are unique and beautiful in their own way. There are a lot of language options at Camas High School, many different ways to experience beautiful cultures. There are so many languages that are spoken at CHS, the most popular languages are Russian, Ukranian, Farsi, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Arabic. Some others that Mrs. Sharon Ziegler has come across are Catalan, Tagalog, Bulgarian, and Romanian.

The languages that students can take at CHS are ASL, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Mandarin, and CHS added Chinese to that list this year. There are different levels for each language. Most of these languages students can take for three years. The languages at CHS all have different levels and classes.

Spanish is probably one of the easier languages to learn because there are so many cognates. It is the only languages that has four levels. “we have Spanish 1, Spanish 2, Spanish 3, and AP Spanish,” says Spanish teacher Mrs. Mary Hazel. Another language that has more levels than most is Japanese. There are five levels for Japanese. Japanese 1, Japanese 2, Japanese 3, Japanese 4, and AP Japanese. The only language that students can take for two years is Mandarin. This year, CHS has another language that they just started offering, students can now take Chinese.  All the other languages that CHS offers can be taken for three years.

If students know a different language, “We offer a test through our school districts that’s twice a year and a student would sign up for it via our website through community education. That test is awesome like if you are someone who can speak, read, and write and you take that test and do well on it, I’ve seen students get up to three full credits.” counselor Mrs. Elizabeth Rollman says. Some languages that students can test out of that they know are Urdu, Farsi, Croatia, Romanian, and Samoan. There are many more than the few listed.

Students take different languages for different reasons. For Sophomore Grace Ireland it was because “My mom taught me a lot of ASL when I was little and… because I wanted to like learn what I had forgotten and then once I learned a lot more about the culture, I got sucked into that part of it.”

ASL teacher Mr. Junior Kargbo says, “…ASL is a beautiful visual language and… I want to use my passion, my knowledge to give back to young learners. Not only that, I want to educate them about Deaf culture, I want to empower them through ASL and education to thrive every day.” He also says that ASL is “Very useful because you can communicate anywhere- in water, in distance, through windows, even better you are able to communicate with babies.”

Sophomore Sophia Shapard decided to take French because “I’ve always really liked the French language and… I know a lot of people take Spanish, so I didn’t want to take Spanish. I know German is really hard, so I didn’t want to take German, so like right in between is French.” Sophomore Kendall Harrington “… took Spanish because it’s like one of the most common languages besides English and I figured I’d be able to use it more around the world.” Every student has their own reason for taking a language.

There is a great variety of languages students can choose from but some languages that Shapard thinks “We could do something like Swedish… or Hawaiian.” On the other hand, Harrington thinks “Portuguese would be really cool because I know a lot of people know Portuguese that are from England.” The teacher that helps students learn English, Ziegler, thinks “It would be interesting to explore whether Russian or Ukranian was something because we have such a large population of Russian and Ukranian families.” Even Rollman thinks “It would be interesting to see like are people interested in learning like Latin or Somali.” There are so many languages to choose from.

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