by Katherine Richardson
The Upper School Global Language department has reassessed and renamed the levels of Upper School Spanish courses, and students have found themselves in classes with different names than they had anticipated.
Every Upper School Spanish class has been moved up one level in name. The honors and AP classes still apply to these new levels.
According to Mark Wiedenmann, director of the Upper School, the Spanish course titles have been changed because “Chadwick’s Spanish program in the Village through the Middle Schools has been so successful in advancing Chadwick students through Spanish that students completing Spanish 2 have advanced to the same level in Spanish as students who have successfully completed French 3 or Chinese 3.”
This means that it is only suitable to adjust the Spanish course titles to fit the level of the students.
These course title changes have brought up some problems as well. At Chadwick, the graduation requirement set by the Global Language department is that a student must take a language up to level 3. Since Spanish 3 became Spanish 4 this year, students coming from Spanish 2 will have technically completed their third year of Spanish.
They had the choice to continue to take the class, or to drop the language. All of their requirements had been fulfilled, just in one less year.
However, junior Madelyn Tournat said, “I think it makes it seem that we are in a level higher than we really are.”
Some people were happy with their new status. though.
Sophomore Emily Newton said, “I am so happy that they have changed the program, because I am now in Spanish 4 Honors instead of Spanish 3 Honors.”
Although students had the chance to drop Spanish for the upcoming year, according to Wiedenmann, most did not, instead choosing to advance their proficiency in the language.
Sophomore Catherine Kurtz said, “I chose not to drop Spanish because I want to learn the language better. Even though I had the opportunity to stop, I decided that it would be helpful to get better at Spanish in the long run.”
Many other students like Kurtz continued Spanish, and there are still large numbers of students in the classes.
Another reason to continue is that “it would be in your best interest to take full advantage of [the course title changes] by advancing to the next level of Spanish since colleges like to see students advance as far as they can in a given global language” saidWiedenmann. In short, colleges look favorably upon continuing Spanish past the minimum requirement.
Spanish teacher Ally Spring said, ““It will benefit seniors because they will graduate with a level 6 in Spanish, and this will look good on a college applications.”
Students agree with Ms. Spring’s reasoning. Sophomore Kristina Spicer said, “I got moved from Spanish 1 to Spanish 3, and I think it was the best thing that ever happened, and it will look good on my college applicatiom.”
The Spanish course title changes have affected many students at Chadwick, creating different options and choices.
The main goal of these changes, though, is that “Spanish students get the credit they deserve for advancing as far as they have in their study of Spanish,” said Wiedenmann.