Benefits, negative aspects of native speakers in Spanish classes


Kelly Wei

Being a native speaker in a LOTE classroom lends to a variety of experiences – some good and some bad. Nevertheless, benefits are presented to all in the class.

Sofia Guerrero, Staff Writer

Learning a foreign language in high school is not only a requirement,  but can also be a rewarding experience because it allows the students to learn a new language. Some Coppell High School students have the benefit of being fluent in their language class.


“You still have to do your work,” sophomore Spanish III student Gisela Najera said. “A bunch of people will always ask you for help and they expect you to know what’s going on.”


According to Najera, the students in her class only really talk to her because of her knowledge of the language.


“They’ll ask me questions all the time,” Najera said. “For teams, I’ll get picked just because I’m Hispanic and they’re trying to win. They don’t talk to me for me, they talk to me because I’m Hispanic and they’re in Spanish class.”


CHS Spanish teacher Trent Pickrell sees the advantages of having native Spanish speakers in his classes.


“My experience having native speakers in my class has been positive, just because, for the most part, they help the other students,” Pickrell said.


On the other hand, Pickrell does not like it when the students use native speakers just for answers and sentence translations every day.


“It’s nice for me as well because if I have doubts, I can check them,” Pickrell said. “They kind of serve as a dictionary for some students, which isn’t necessarily a good thing.”


CHS freshman Spanish I student Josie Gonzalez believes that class is easy for her because she already knows the content. Since that is the case, Gonzalez is well known in the classroom and helps her fellow classmates.


“Every single time people ask me for help, I’m running around the classroom,” Gonzalez said. “I barely get my things done.”


Most Hispanics are used to more informal Spanish, which is why some take Spanish.


Another reason why students join is to gain more knowledge of the language.


“Since I already know Spanish, I might as well take a Spanish class and learn more,” junior Spanish III student Alyssa Tapia said. “I learned about conjugations and how to conjugate words.”


Native speakers have several chances to help the students with word meanings and phrase or sentence translations.


Overall, native speakers like being in a class where they can work easily and help other students.


“Being in the class is not bad at all,” Najera said. “It’s pretty easy as long as you do your work.”


Follow Sofía on Twitter at @sofia_i_g