Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceTeaching · 1 month ago

Can you teach an unconventional/not normally taught language at an american high school?

Like could you teach like Swahili or Polish or Danish or something like that?

3 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    Maybe, but probably not full time. I know of a school near me where they are offering 9 week courses in 4 different languages so that students can decide which they want to study. They've hired a friend of mine to teach the short-term French course, and have said that they may hire her full time if enough students decide to take French. Sometimes in areas where there are a lot of descendants of a language group, they have a lot of 2nd and 3rd generation students who want that language- Polish in the Chicago area, for example.

  • DJC
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    Theoretically, yes.  I'm a public school official and I've worked at schools where Arabic was a language.  However, a number of things have to happen before you have a class on any language that isn't English, Spanish, French, or German.

    First, enough students have to express interest in such a class.  If they can't get enough students to fill a classroom, it won't happen.

    Second, you need to find a teacher who can teach the language, has a college degree, has a teaching license, and has no criminal record.

    Third, you have to have a school administration that would be willing to hire such a teacher.  Principals and superintendents can be reluctant, or sometimes just plain unwilling, to change the curriculum or add new electives.

    Fourth, you have to have said teacher accept the wage offer the school district makes.  Teachers are notoriously underpaid, and a language teacher of a new language to the school might be paid even less than the other teachers.

    • DJC
      Lv 5
      1 month agoReport

      That's a good point.  A full-time position would require enough students to fill 7-8 classrooms, not just 1.  And yeah, I highly doubt there are 150 students per school who want to learn Swahili, Polish, or Danish.  Even more popular languages (like German) don't attract that many students.

  • 1 month ago

    You could but it wouldn't be popular because most kids take a foreign language to meet graduation + college requirements, and they tend to want to take an easier language to learn. French and Spanish are easy because of their similarity to English

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