An Argument for Taking French at Tremper Instead of Spanish

By ROBERTA KELLER

For incoming Tremper students, rumors fly concerning which classes are one-way tickets to passing grades, which classes are required for graduation, and which classes are actually worth any time at all.  The specific speculation that many freshman discuss, however, is whether or not taking a language will increase your chances at getting into the college of your dreams. For those wary students who feel the need to take a language course, the obvious choice is to enroll in Spanish.  Students have heard their siblings or upperclassmen peers rave about the fiestas and great teachers that accompany the Spanish courses at Tremper. On the other hand, little gossip is heard about French. The French teacher is young, fairly new, and there are only about seven students who can provide any input about the AP French Language and Culture class.  Nevertheless, there are few things concerning high school I can recommend more than becoming a part of the French community. At Tremper, the one french teacher, Madame Yusk, can offer you a more individualized learning experience than anyone.

As you continue on your francophone journey, she can personally help you understand anything that confuses you, not to mention the fact that she probably already knows what you are struggling with.  Madame makes getting to know each of her students a priority in her classes so that by the time you reach the fourth level of French, you and the small group that you have been learning with your entire high school career are like family. She trusts you enough to allow discussion of mature topics relevant to France and other French speaking countries in her class, and plans fun, educational activities to do with her students. In the past month in my class, we have read French children’s literature, watched Beauty and the Beast (a french classic), and planted our own flowers.  Additionally, the kind of kids who take French are generally better, not to brag.  They all decided to take a class with little “hype” around it instead of going with the crowd due to pure interest in the French culture; or, even if they were simply trying to earn the credits that would increase their chances at being accepted into their choice school, the students learn to love the language.  Furthermore, for those who argue that Spanish is a more logical choice due to its use in the area, any French student can inarguably reply with, “Kenosha is closer to Quebec than Mexico anyway.”