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    #241901 - 04/05/18 06:28 PM SSA Foreign Language in High School
    Quantum2003 Offline

    Registered: 02/08/11
    Posts: 1425
    Has anyone had experience with or thought about accelerating/skipping a year of foreign language? We are trying to make this decision at our house for next year. For DS/DD, there may be an option to skip the 4th year of their foreign language and go straight into the 5th year, which is AP Language or the 6th year, which is AP Literature. The 5th and 6th year can be in either order as both is AP but the Literature is considered to be much harder. In my day, 4th year would be AP anyhow so it isn't much of a jump to skip their "4th" year.

    #241903 - 04/05/18 07:22 PM Re: SSA Foreign Language in High School [Re: Quantum2003]
    aeh Offline

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3557
    This might not be relevant, but eons ago, I went from a first year HS-level class to auditing a first-year, second-term college-level class in a foreign language without too much academic difficulty. (Most of my challenges were in executive functions, at the time, as I was also a preteen without exceptional EF.) If AP is supposed to be the equivalent of entry-level college, then one would imagine that all relevant grammar and most vocabulary would still be reviewed, but more quickly, under the assumption that it isn't the first exposure.

    #241904 - 04/05/18 07:55 PM Re: SSA Foreign Language in High School [Re: Quantum2003]
    aquinas Offline

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2269
    From my perspective, foreign language acceleration can be done quite seamlessly, especially for a student with exposure to several languages. Each incremental language is easier to learn once you have a meta-structure of "how languages work". It is also relatively easier to accomplish if the languages studied are within the same linguistic family.

    I had a secondary concentration in modern languages in my undergraduate, and was able to skip from a sophomore high school level in my third language to first year university studies for the subject major stream in that language (so a 2-year skip, more or less, based on a 4-year high school language sequence). The university department head granted me a discretionary set of credits on the basis of an in-office interview to fill the accreditation gap. (You might be able to accomplish similar permission for your DD/DS, especially given that they are "known quantities" at their school.)

    It was relatively easy to self-study any gaps and build fluency in the 3rd language through participation in campus language clubs, chatting with foreign language speaking friends, and just immersing myself in media in the language. I took the full sequence of language courses for subject majors through undergraduate for my second and third languages, and a sophomore class for my fourth. (No acceleration in 2nd and 4th languages.) I didn't notice any persistent knowledge gaps as compared with the other language classes moving in lock-step. Achievement wasn't hurt at all by acceleration; I earned a scholarship for the top placement in the advanced upper year classes for the 3rd language major program. It's one of those subject areas where, once it's encoded into long term memory, it's there for good.

    I would talk to the subject instructor to gauge the scope and sequence of the classes, and get an honest opinion of your DS/DD's abilities to determine the best course of action. Generally, language would be easier than literature, but there's no impediment to taking them as concurrent classes if your children have the inclination. Your decision(s) may be forced by scheduling considerations in other subjects. My guess is your children could easily absorb the SSA without batting an eyelash, especially if they love the language and have already had a few years of exposure to it. Then, they'd have additional scheduling capacity in upper years for other personal interest courses.

    Which way are you leaning, currently?

    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

    #241981 - 04/07/18 07:04 PM Re: SSA Foreign Language in High School [Re: aeh]
    Quantum2003 Offline

    Registered: 02/08/11
    Posts: 1425
    I have been told that one year of high school foreign language is supposed to translate to one semester of college foreign language. One option is for DS/DD to take 4th semester of the language at the local community college under dual enrollment over the summer, in which case there would be no acceleration.

    Previously when four years of a language in high school were typical, the student would mostly be placed in the 3rd year college course. I am not sure what completing year 5 and 6 would mean these days.

    #241983 - 04/07/18 07:11 PM Re: SSA Foreign Language in High School [Re: aquinas]
    Quantum2003 Offline

    Registered: 02/08/11
    Posts: 1425
    If they were to SSA, then they would definitely work on the language independently over the summer. To SSA, their teacher would have to recommend it. They are basically getting A/A+ with minimal effort and the class is excruciatingly slow for DD who has been complaining all year. I actually am not really leaning in either direction but I kind of prefer that they both make the same decision. Of course, it will ultimately be up to them. I think DD really wants to do it while DS is ambivalent.

    #241994 - 04/08/18 05:22 AM Re: SSA Foreign Language in High School [Re: Quantum2003]
    NotSoGifted Offline

    Registered: 04/14/12
    Posts: 445
    My middle kid skipped French 4 and went into AP French. This was purely because of a class conflict (French 4 and Spanish 4), and there was much resistance from the school administration - which is very typical for our district.

    I will say that my kids had an immersion background - middle one had the least, attending an immersion school from Pre-K4 through 2nd grade. She had an A in AP French and a 5 on the exam. School administration thought she would miss too much grammar, but with the immersion background, she had a "feel" for what was right and what was wrong, though she could not always cite the grammar rule that made it so.

    Spaghetti, there is no down side to taking the test, so it is good that your daughter is taking it. In college, a 5 on the AP exam might get her credit and almost certainly would get her placement. My eldest placed into junior level French classes - getting credit for the first four French classes - while middle kid got credit/placement for two classes beyond the first four classes. If she doesn't do well on the AP exam due to poor classroom prep, then no harm, as AP scores don't figure into college admissions. And it sounds like spaghetti's school might be a bit behind the times, as there hasn't been an AP French Literature exam for almost 10 years.

    #242290 - 04/22/18 12:50 PM Re: SSA Foreign Language in High School [Re: spaghetti]
    Quantum2003 Offline

    Registered: 02/08/11
    Posts: 1425
    Your DD's observation sounds accurate. In checking our local community college, AP course/score would only get your four semesters so that 4th year does look like an extra.

    #242291 - 04/22/18 12:59 PM Re: SSA Foreign Language in High School [Re: NotSoGifted]
    Quantum2003 Offline

    Registered: 02/08/11
    Posts: 1425
    The World Language chair teaches the AP classes in this particular language and is dismissive of attempts to skip the fourth year in this language only regardless of the 3rd year teachers' opinions or the students' actual abilities. Since the community college professor for the 4th semester class has a stellar reputation and also teaches at the state university, they will go that route instead. The upside is that a high grade in that class can result in articulation of 4 semesters' worth of credits, exact same as a high score on the AP exam.


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