How an AP Foreign Language Program could Benefit Fargo North

Fargo North has been named time and time again as the most academic achieving high school in North Dakota. Here we offer around 15 AP courses ranging anywhere from AP Art to AP Physics, but nowhere in our program of studies is any form of an AP foreign language; such as AP Latin, AP French Culture and Language, AP Spanish Culture and Language/Literature, and AP German Culture and Language. Fargo North offers all four of these languages through all four years of high school so why haven’t we added an AP option of them yet? 

These courses are compared to intermediate foreign language college classes and strive to help students gain skills such as comprehension, interpretation, speaking, and writing in their language of study. Here in North Dakota the two top universities, NDSU and UND, offer eight credits for an AP foreign language test score of three or higher. That’s a great deal considering classes like AP Stats and AP Psychology only receive three credits at these same schools for the same score. 

Learning foreign languages is something that really needs to improve in the United States. According to, only 20% of high school students study a second language and of those 20% very few actually become fluent in their language of study. Once you get to college that number drops to 7.5% with many language majors and minors being removed from universities, and universities lowering their minimum years required of a foreign language for admission. This is sad in comparison to other places around the world, such as France and Norway, where nearly 100% of the population learns a second language. 

The fact that foreign language studies are fading out in America is terrible considering the wide array of benefits to gain from studying a second language. Science tells us that people who learn a second language score better on standardized tests and are able to think more creatively and problem solve more efficiently. On top of this people who become fluent in a second language have access to a wider variety of jobs around the world and are able to add something to their resume to make them stand out from other applicants. For us high school students we can stand out to colleges by taking a second language and even earn scholarships for our studies. 

To conclude, adding AP foreign languages not only to Fargo North’s curriculum, but high school in general would give incentive to more young Americans to study a foreign language. We all know college is expensive and earning college credit can help financially in the long run. Plus, there are so many benefits from learning about another language and culture that everyone should try it out.