High school can be a pretty stressful time, while also it being the best years of your life, at least that is what some say anyway. While high school is full of cool things like prom, school dances, football games, making friends, and other cool things academics of course is extremely important. That is where the high school can get really stressful, apart from all the puberty and hormones and weird smells of course.

While you may not know what you want to study in college until your junior or senior year of high school, once you get to that point you should have at least an idea of what you may want to study as your major in your college or university. It may be something that has to deal with math, science, history or something that is really important in this globalized world, studying languages.

Studying different languages has become really important in the world today, there are a lot of organizations and enterprises that deal with international relations and cooperation, as well as business. Studying and teaching a foreign language and being able to communicate with people who speak a different language than you in your own country is also important. While in the United States people primarily speak English there is also a large number of people (around 50 million) that are native Spanish speakers.

Studying Spanish is an important and useful major to study in college. While there are typical jobs for Spanish speakers like teaching, there are other important jobs you can have as someone with a high level of Spanish in the United States. If you have decided you would like to study a major in Spanish or Spanish and Hispanic studies, you should be thinking about what classes you should take while you are in high school. Choosing the correct Spanish classes in high school can set you up for success in college and beyond.

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Tips for Giving Yourself Extra Help in High School

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Studying a summer or semester abroad will help your Spanish. Source: Unsplash

Choosing the correct Spanish classes is very important, but before we talk about the classes themselves, we can mention how you can gain extra help and improve your Spanish very quickly. While your high school teacher and classes can be very helpful there is some preparation that you can do to make sure you have the best level possible and feel prepared to enter college.

Study Abroad in a Spanish Speaking Country

Whether it is for a summer or for a semester, there are programs that can help you to study abroad and live with a Spanish-speaking family. There are programs that can put you with a family in Spain, Argentina, or another Spanish-speaking country. Doing this will prepare you so much as you will be forced to speak Spanish all the time! Practice, practice, practice, that's all you'll be doing. While you may meet other English speakers in another country you will need to go to the supermarket or cafe or a restaurant and speak Spanish.

Doing this will help immensely, and most programs will have you study in Spanish as well apart from one or two subjects like English or math. Apart from the advantage you can have living in a Spanish country for your Spanish it would be an incredible experience and amazing adventure for you as well.

Studying with a Spanish Tutor

You may have good grades already but studying with a Spanish tutor can push your level to new heights and take some pressure off of you while you are studying. If you also have no previous Spanish experience studying with a Spanish tutor can be a great way to get started and get off the ground and have extra practice so you can learn faster. Let's say you are having trouble with grammatical concepts a personal tutor can help, and FYI there are some grammatical concepts in Spanish that are really hard to grasp.

With a tutor you can also have a group class, so you and some friends or you and a friend can study with the tutor together and learn and practice together. Using a website like Superprof is an excellent idea and an excellent way to find a Spanish tutor. The best thing about Superprof is that you can find a tutor in your area so you can find a place to study as well as check their opinions to see if the tutor is highly rated and recommended. If for some reason you and the tutor from Superprof can't meet in person or if you prefer not to, many tutors offer tutoring sessions online as well.

Spanish Classes to Take in High School

In high school from Freshman year, you can start to take a foreign language, and as you're still reading this article that means the foreign language you've chosen is Spanish. Let's talk about the different classes you have to take and should take if you want to take Spanish as a major in college. It's important to note that Spanish classes in high school are great resources for not only learning the language but also the culture and literature that exists in the Spanish-speaking world.

Spanish 1

As Spanish 1 is the first Spanish class you would take in high school it is obviously made up of the easiest and most basic concepts of the Spanish language. In this course, you will learn all the basics such as the basic concepts of geography and culture of the Spanish-speaking world which are very important! It's very important to know Spain is in Europe and not South or Central America (some people haven't grasped that concept), and how the Spanish language spread throughout the Americas.

Of course, you will also be taught the very basic concepts of Spanish as well, even if you are totally new to Spanish it would be odd if you didn't enter the class with knowledge of some words like "hola" or "gracias". The typical vocabulary you will learn revolves around:

  • School
  • Yourself
  • Family
  • Places
  • Sports

Spanish 2

In Spanish 2 you will improve on what you learned in Spanish 1. As you are building on your Spanish skills you will grow your knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. At this point, you will be able to speak in present continuous and past simple really well. Some of the vocabularies would be:

  • Food
  • Travel
  • Shopping
  • Routines
  • Celebrations

Spanish 3

Spanish books
Taking advanced Spanish classes will prepare you for college. Source: Pixabay

The language skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking should be really well by now if you've studied hard during the first two semesters of Spanish. During Spanish 3 you will be able to learn more grammatical concepts and be able to talk about the past pretty well as well as increase your vocabulary.

The themes will typically include:

  • Health
  • The Environment
  • The Home
  • City life
  • Wellness

You will also continue to learn a bit about Hispanic cultures and countries.

Spanish 4

At this point, many teachers decide to teach this class almost entirely in Spanish. You should also be able to understand your teacher pretty easily and not have that much trouble with native Spanish speakers. The point of this course will prepare students who are sure they want to learn Spanish as a major in college for taking an AP Spanish class.

This will be the last Spanish class you are required to take as most colleges only require two years of foreign language learning.

Taking AP Spanish Classes

These classes look to make you near fluent. When you get to the point of taking an AP class you are at the college level and if you do well enough on the AP exam you can earn college credit which of course will make your college life much easier!

The AP Spanish language and culture by College Board class uses textbooks, audio, and videos to help you learn and keep practicing your Spanish. If you do well enough on your exam you will also have the Seal of Biliteracy on your diploma. The goal is to earn the title of Intermediate High Proficiency at the end of the year. This is a great challenge for you and if you are serious about taking Spanish as a major a great class to take.

The AP Spanish Literature class is made by the College Board. Again the point is to do well enough on the exam to earn college credits. You will learn Spanish from Spain as well as from Latin American, and U.S Hispanic literature. The study is more focused on Spanish literature.

Taking all or most of these classes is a great idea that can help you and give you an advantage when you are studying a major in college as well as for getting a job that involves Spanish speaking in the future.

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