Originally Answered: Which language should I take in high school-Spanish or American Sign Language?
That's a toughy! Both languages have beauty all their own, I think, which makes it hard to decide. I've studied ASL in college, and loved it, though I didn't get very far into it before I had to leave school. I'm working on Spanish now, and not very good with it, but it's something I'm determined to do, and actually enjoy learning, despite my frustrations.
Spanish would be more common, and especially beneficial if you are considering a career within the business or education realm...but ASL would be more benefit to you if you plan to go to college for special education or hearing and speech pathology/sciences. Just remember, many companies and organizations find you to be more of an asset for each language you know, so if you can find a way to at least gain conversational skills in as many as you can, you are better off.
Remember that, whichever you choose, you can continue into college while learning the other, or you can drop the one and start with the other. I know you can't do that in your high school, but college is more flexible about this.
One thing I found out is that, if you choose Spanish for four years, it will fulfill your language requirements at most colleges. So, if you are considering taking just the high school level and dropping in college, your requirement would be fulfilled. On the other hand, two years of ASL would be less likely to fulfill the requirement if taken at a high school level. I found this out after being told that any foreign language study of 2 or more years would fulfill the requirement, so I took 3 years of French. Well, my senior year rolled around, they said the 3 years only fulfilled half the requirement, and demanded that I take Spanish at an intermediate level because another year of French wouldn't fulfill the language requirement. After speaking to other colleges, I found out that this was true of many of them (an ASL was not deemed part of the required language fulfillment at all, but I believe many schools are changing this standard and now count it).
I can't tell you what to do, but rather what I would do, and that would be to start with Spanish in high school...work on learning ASL in your spare time (I think ASL has been easier to learn on my own than Spanish is), if you choose to...and then in college, take both. That way, you already have a "leg up" in ASL and Spanish. :)
Whatever you decide, I wish you luck!