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Ask Away: 5 Questions for a High School Senior Learning French


We’re asking students, teachers, and counselors five questions on how languages play a role in shaping personal and professional success…

Meet Abigail—a future Historian and current high school senior in Massachusetts.

"Ask Away: 5 Questions" banner with Abigail's portrait photo

1. Why French?

I take French so that I can better understand my French Canadian heritage. Many of my family members speak French, and I aspire to continue the tradition and pass it on to my children in the future. By learning more about my history, I am better able to interpret world events and perceive French cultures. I believe that communication facilitates understanding.

2. Does your school provide any experiences outside the classroom where you can use your language skills or celebrate French culture in a different setting ? Tell us a little about that!

My school set up the Foreign Language Honor Society to promote the study of languages. As the historian of the society, I have helped to set up a breakfast for French foreign exchange students and am working to increase the visibility of the French language and culture in my community.

3. As a high school student, why do you feel it’s important to learn another language?

As a high school student, I feel that learning another language is important because it makes one realize that there is a whole other world outside of one’s own community. 

It is selfish to think that learning just English is enough, as knowing other languages destroys ignorance and enables global rapports.

4. What advice would you have for other students who are looking for ways to use and practice their language(s)—any tips?

Students who want to use and practice the language they are learning should definitely visit a country that speaks that language. Visiting Québec made me realize the true utility of my knowledge and made all of my efforts worth it. Experiencing other cultures contextualizes the importance of being multilingual.

5. What’s next on your journey with the French language?

In my future, I would love to pursue French in college. I want to incorporate the study of French into my life until I am completely bilingual and can visit France and speak like a local.

BONUS QUESTION: What’s your favorite word or expression in French and why?

My favorite expression in French is:

“[…] on ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.”

It means that one can only see clearly with the heart as what is essential is invisible to the eyes. I love this quote from Le Petit Prince because it is hopeful and suggests that people shouldn’t be judged on a face value, but should be evaluated based on their character instead.


Are you interested in French language scholarships, university programs, or student testimonials? Visit our Lead with French page to learn more.  And don’t forget to share your language learning story @LeadWLanguages on social media!