Student Voices: High Schoolers' Insights into World Language Learning

student voices-aug 2021

What motivates students to study languages? How do our students prefer to learn languages? Does school actually “get in the way” of language learning?

To explore the learner’s perspec­tive on the current state of high school language learning, the National Council of State Super­visors for Languages (NCSSFL) organized a diverse group of students from across the country to share their insights on language learning.

The group consisted of six high school students from around the country. The students’ observations about their experiences are presented and discussed in a new Practitioner Brief published by the Center for Applied Linguistics.

Their stories are compelling not only on a personal level, but also for the picture of language learning that they painted for the audience that day. We were haunted by stories of the denial of opportunity because of class scheduling conflicts and troubled by stories of frustration with obstacles encountered, but we also heard stories of hope and opportunity.

The practitioner brief is divided into five overarching themes, from motivation to recommended activities.

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