The Numbers Speak: Foreign Language Requirements Are a Waste of Time and Money. The average high school graduate spends two years studying a foreign language.
(Digest of Education Statistics, Table 157) What effect do these years of study have on Americans' actual ability to speak foreign languages? I started by looking at the Census, but it asks only about "languages spoken in the home. " Gallup has a survey finding that one-in-four Americans can speak a foreign language, but it offers no further details that would allow us to measure degree of fluency or the effect of foreign language instruction.
After nosing around for better data, I turned to the General Social Survey. As usual, I was not disappointed. In 2000 and 2006, the GSS asked over 4000 respondents the following three questions*: 1. 2. 3. Counterpoint: Foreign Language Education is a Low Priority: Points of View Reference Center Home. SCHIFFRES: Kill the language requirement. When Yale was founded, students were supposed to converse only in Latin — even in dorms.
Nearly a century later, a member of the Yale Corporation moved “dead languages” be made elective in favor of courses “more meaningful and useful for contemporary life.” Requirements relaxed, but it wasn’t until 1945 that Yale, reassessing its graduation prerequisites, codified the precursor to today’s language requirement. Now, it is time for Yale to evolve once again: Get rid of the language requirement. Before arguing against a specific requirement, though, I should define my litmus test for a legitimate College mandate. Put simply, Yale should require students do something only if Yale knows that something will be the best use of each student’s time. Counterpoint: America's Future Depends on Bilingual Education: Points of View Reference Center Home. Scandalous. American Council on The Teaching of Foreign Languages.
Why Study a Foreign Language? - WSU Foreign Languages & Cultures. The world is full of languages How far do you have to go from your front door to know that this is true?
Think about how many more people and places you could really get to know, newspapers and books you could read, movies and TV programs you could understand, Web sites you could visit with another language! Give yourself a competitive edge Did you know that studying a second language can improve your skills and grades in math and English and can improve entrance exam scores -- SATs, ACTs, GREs, MCATs, and LSATs? Should foreign language courses be added to the U.S. elementary curriculum. Scandalous. American Council on The Teaching of Foreign Languages. Michigan Radio. Michigan high schools currently require students to take foreign language in grades nine through twelve.
Well, that might change soon. Republican State Representative Phil Potvin of Cadillac is pushing a bill that would make studying a foreign language and algebra II merely an option for students. Last year House Bill 4102 was heard in the 96th Legislature, but wasn't voted on. Potvin expects the bill to be voted on this year. "The real reason to do this is that our kids have such a tight curriculum now. Potvin argued that making foreign language and algebra II an option would free up space in a student's schedule and could allow them to expand their education at a career tech center. Is Learning a Foreign Language a Waste of Time?
In an op-ed piece entitled “What You (Really) Need to Know,” published in the New York Times in January 2012, Lawrence Summers, former president of Harvard University and former secretary of the Treasury, calls on universities to reduce the substantial investments made to teach students foreign languages.
Though he understands that “it is essential that the educational experience breed cosmopolitanism”, he thinks that the efforts made to master a foreign tongue are no longer “universally worthwhile”. In his utopian worldview, English is perfectly sufficient for such utilitarian purposes as “doing business in Asia, treating patients in Africa, or helping resolve conflicts in the Middle East”. In his excellent rejoinder, Paul Cohen, an associate professor of history at the University of Toronto, highlights the “heavy political and social valence” carried by “this particular dream of a linguistically unified world”. ). Translated by Google Translate: Translated by Mikhail Kneller: Why do the English need to speak a foreign language when foreigners all speak English?
By David ThomasUPDATED: 18:01 GMT, 23 January 2012 My roots read like a World Cup draw.
My half-Welsh father was born and spent his boyhood in Argentina and thus speaks Spanish almost as naturally as English. My mother’s family are Norwegian. Because Dad was a diplomat, I spent the first five years of my life in Moscow and Lisbon, so my baby-talk was Russian (in which I later got an O-Level) and I then spoke kindergarten Portuguese. I was sent to boarding school in the days when they still provided a classical education, so I learned Latin and Ancient Greek to what was then O-Level standard, but would now be A-Level, at least.
Global reach: English is the second language of 85 per cent of Europeans, and the default tongue of the European Union While I was growing up, my family also lived in Peru and Cuba, but I only went out there on holidays, so my Spanish is rudimentary at best. In fact, I think those pupils who don’t learn other languages are making an entirely sensible decision. Should Students Be Required to Learn a Foreign Language to Graduate?