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Students Ask for More Foreign Language Choices
Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles, Calif.
Subjects: Foreign language learning; Curricula; Secondary schools
Author: Hayasaki, Erika
Date: Jul 2, 2004
Start Page: B.1
Section: California Metro; Part B; Metro Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

The North Hollywood campus is one of two Los Angeles Unified School District high schools that offer Spanish as the sole foreign language for most students. Franklin High School in Highland Park, where 88% of students are Latino, offers about 45 Spanish classes, but no other foreign language.

Natalie Gonzales, a native Spanish speaker and 11th-grader, wrote a letter to the administration that stated: "It is illogical to obligate students who speak Spanish to sit in a room for an hour every day to 'learn' Spanish. Where is the challenge? The purpose of learning a foreign language is to enlighten and motivate and elevate the soul, and a large percentage of fluent Spanish speakers are robbed of this experience."

A few years ago, the campus offered French classes, but the former principal closed the program because of a high dropout rate and purported problems with the instructor. But the school's Spanish program, [Randall Delling] said, is superior. The program has talented teachers and Advanced Placement students who are mastering Spanish literature.

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