Bonjour! Hallo! Hola!

That's right! It's Foreign Language Week.

Sophomore Kaylee Becker wears her Spanish t-shirt on Thursday March 5, 2020. Students in Ms. Lloren Reichert's Spanish classes were given the chance to wear Spanish shirts for bonus points. While some students customized their t-shirts, others simply attached a flag.

Photo by Destiny Angel

Sophomore Kaylee Becker wears her Spanish t-shirt on Thursday March 5, 2020. Students in Ms. Lloren Reichert's Spanish classes were given the chance to wear Spanish shirts for bonus points. While some students customized their t-shirts, others simply attached a flag. "I printed out a Spanish flag for Foreign Language Week but it got crumbled, so I printed out a smaller one to attach to my shirt," said junior Naomi Brode.

This week, from March 3 to 5, students at PAHS began the day with the Pledge of Allegiance first in French, German, and Spanish. Also announced were the top students in each specific language for every grade and students that had been chosen to become members of the language National Honor societies.

“I didn’t hear the announcement initially. After homeroom I was walking down the halls, and people kept saying congratulations -and I just said thank you. I didn’t know until I asked someone for what and they told me I was top of my German class. I’m really proud of myself honestly. I certainly wasn’t expecting it,” said freshman Makenzie Androshick.

National Foreign Language Week has been celebrated in the United States since 1956. The goal is to make United States students and citizens aware of the importance of studying foreign languages.

Different teachers do different things with their classes to promote Foreign Language Week. Mrs. Nicole Stiles, French teacher, did an activity on Mardi Gras and offered students the chance to stay after school to make their own crepes, which are a type of thin pancake served with a variety of fillings. “Mardi Gras was supposed to be on Tuesday, but it was done on Monday so people going to Disney could come,” said Mrs. Stiles.

German teacher, Mr. Jeremiah Lynn is using a website that has an interactive German course. “It’s a multimedia course that uses a film called ‘Nicos Weg’ which means Nico’s journey in English. It explores this transplant into Germany where Nico has to learn the language, how he deals with the culture and how he faces everyday problems,” said Mr. Lynn.

“Language can be a life changer in a couple of ways. One, if you study a language in college you have four months abroad to study that specific culture and language. Two, this opens you up to a whole different world of people. Three, the first time you find yourself the only person in the room who is bilingual and only you are able to help someone, it is an amazing feeling,” said Spanish teacher, Mr. David Hannum. Students enrolled in Miss Lloren Reichert’s Spanish courses were also given the chance to buy or create and wear their own Spanish-themed t-shirts for extra credit on Thursday.

In recent years, researchers have discovered many brain-based benefits of studying a foreign language. Not only does being bilingual look good on your resumé, but studying a foreign language can make you a better multi-tasker, improve your memory, make you more perceptive, improve your decision-making skills, and even help fight off Alzheimer’s and dementia.