Osseo Students Learn New Language, Earn College Credit
The last day of school is fast approaching at Osseo Senior High, and in Anne Marie Martin’s advanced French class, it’s a chance for students to play a little game that tests their knowledge of the language.
It’s one last bit of fun before Martin has to say “au revoir” to her students.
“This is our third, fourth year together,” Martin said. “So yeah, it’s hard to say goodbye to them.”
But when she does say goodbye, her students will enter the next chapter knowing another language and another culture.
“It’s amazing the growth they’ve made,” Martin said. “And to see so many of them really becoming bilingual citizens and really establishing where their place is in the global community through the study of a second language.”
Whether that second language be French, Spanish, or some other language, district officials say it’s a beneficial trait.
“It’s just truly an asset to be able to speak more than one language,” said Sandra Day, Osseo’s secondary curriculum coordinator. “And I shouldn’t say just speak, to be able to communicate. To be able to read it, write it — when you’re hearing something, know what you’re hearing, and then be able to speak it as well.”
Another Benefit to Learning a New Language
But now, the students’ bilingual skillset has another benefit.
For the first time, each of the district’s high schools offered assessments to test students’ proficiency in other languages. Depending on how the students scored, they could earn up to four semester credits at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.
A total of 123 students in the district scored high enough to earn those college credits.
“I think having this opportunity for our language students is one of the best things that we’ve been able to bring to our school district,” Martin said.
He added, “I think it’s also really motivated my students who are now coming up to really work harder.”
In the end, the honor will help bilingual students save money on tuition and prepare them for what comes next.
“We’ve been pushing for this for a long, long time, and I’m so pleased that it’s finally happening,” Martin said.
Last year, Park Center was the only school that allowed students to take the assessment for college credit, but the district expanded the program to Osseo and Maple Grove high schools this year.
Students were assessed in French, Spanish, Hmong and Mandarin Chinese.