South student immerses herself in the Arabic language from the comfort of her home

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Photo courtesy of Amanda Frantz

Amanda Frantz ’23 in her online Arabic class.

Maggie Quinn , Copy Editor

During the winter months, many people partake in various activities, from school-related clubs and organizations to extracurricular activities.

Amanda Frantz ’23 said she took a hiatus the past few months to focus on school and her cross country season, but she is planning on resuming the Arabic classes that she took last summer.

“During the winter, I am taking Arabic classes (through) Johns Hopkins University,” Frantz said. “It’s all online, so I’ll have classmates from all across the country that are there. My teacher’s from the East Coast, but then I’ll have classmates from (places) such as California.”

It wasn’t until earlier this year that Frantz gained an interest in learning the language and decided to enroll in virtual classes. She took the classes during the summer because she had more time.

“I found out that I wanted to do Arabic lessons this past summer, so this is my first time doing it during the winter,” Frantz said. “My plan is to always do it during both the summer and winter months, as I’m usually busy with sports or testing (at other times). Right now I have more time to do something that I can’t usually do at school, even if I did have the time.”

Frantz said she has had an interest in the Arabic language for a long time, but never had been able to fully understand its importance, especially when it comes to literature, until recently.

“I hope to gain a better understanding because I really like languages, and I think Arabic is really fun (to learn),” Frantz said. “I know a lot of reading and writing, but (learning) more vocabulary and speaking would be nice for me to improve. I’m now in the Beginner’s II Program, which is an extremely big deal in my opinion.”

If a person wants to take classes in a language, but the class isn’t offered at South, Frantz said there are numerous alternatives. This includes using language apps and taking classes online or in-person through local schools or universities.

“Community colleges tend to offer language courses,” Frantz said. “I don’t know if they’re free, but they’re generally reduced-priced programs where you can also get college credits. There’s also classes online that you can do, such as Duolingo. But I like having a class more because then I have people to talk to, and I get to hear a native speaker themself.”