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SL Japanese or Ab Initio Spanish

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Hey, 

 

So, with the submission with my school's IB course registration deadline nearing, I've been faced with a dilemma.

 

I have been taking Japanese at school for 4 years now and I am quite mediocre at it and have always been. Considering that, I am currently leaning towards the Ab Initio Spanish side more than the SL Japanese. I think starting from the beginning would be slightly easier than catching up on the 4 years' worth of work and improving more for the level of fluency that IB may require. 

 

What are you opinions, or perhaps experiences, on this matter? Keeping in mind that I wish to aim for a 7.

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I had the choice between continuing with French SL or doing Spanish ab and I glad I stuck with French, however I have had to have private lessons with a tutor on a weekly basis but I am finding it fine and have managed to catch up to a predicted 5 when last year I was getting mostly C+ to B+ in French. Although at times I regret not moving to Spanish, your school might let you move down to Spanish during the first year if you find it necessary and you will be able to catch up!

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As a person who was faced with exactly the same decision, I think that personally, it would be better to take up Japanese SL instead of ab initio Spanish. 

 

One of the things that our coordinator told us was that whilst ab initio Spanish initially seems easy, it's actually just as hard as taking up any other Language SL, as the speed at which they learn the language will just progressively speed up over the course of the two years. Essentially, my co-ordinator told me that by the end of the two years, your fluency in Spanish (if you are taking ab initio) will be of the same level as if you were taking Japanese SL instead. 

 

Whilst you do mention that the years you spent learning Japanese were mediocre, I don't necessarily think that it should therefore immediately become a point for you to completely drop it. After all, even if you didn't learn anything in the first 4 years, at least you've been exposed to the Japanese language (noting that exposure to languages is extremely vital if you are to do well). To be fair, I didn't even study for any of my Japanese exams prior to entering the IB course, and I've still chosen Japanese SL. 

 

Also, I've been doing the Japanese SL course, and honestly, it's not as bad as it seems. You just need to show some commitment and dedication to your language studies - just like you would for all your other subjects if you intend to get a 7. 

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I think that it's good to keep in mind that universities might look down on Language Ab Initio. Knowing one language fairly well always looks better than being a beginner in several languages, imo. It shows that you were able to commit to the goal of reaching a certain level of fluency.

 

Ab Initio courses may be more fun but as long as you don't detest learning Japanese I highly recommend choosing Japanese B SL instead of Spanish Ab Initio. Only if you REALLY dislike Japanese and can't be bothered to study it it's better to choose Spanish.

 

Good luck!

Edited by Sceptyczka

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Thanks for all the replies. 

 

I've decided to stick with Japanese. 

 

For future reference to those who may be in the same situation I am in currently, here are my reasons:

- I am actually interested in Japanese, whereas I have no interest in Spanish

- I watch anime and read manga. I think that they may help me improve fluency and familiarity with the language

- most top universities require/ recommend at least 4 years of foreign language

- it seems that the fluency level of the two languages would be the same after the two years. This means that there isn't any point in changing languages, and also that I would have to work a lot harder for Spanish.

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