Should schools teach foreign language as a requirement?

Page 2 - Seeking answers? Join the AnandTech community: where nearly half-a-million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.

gotsmack

Diamond Member
Mar 4, 2001
5,768
0
71
I took spanish in HS, but I wish took latin or french instead.
I did not take any foreign languarges in college (GPA too important to chance it and I was never really good at spanish).

I don't believe that a foreign language should be forced on school children unless they have a choice of at least 2 different languages.

So far spanish is entirely useless to me. I have no plans of traveling anywhere where the general population does not speak english. I have only come into contact with someone who only spoke spanish maybe once in my life and they wanted to ask me something. The only reason I took spanish in high school is because I heard it was easy.

 

acidvoodoo

Platinum Member
Jan 6, 2002
2,972
1
0
i shouldn't be mandatory, or, if it has to be, then the kids should have the choice to drop it later on. I started french here in england in 5th grade, and am still doing it now in 10th. Still can't speak it though. I don't want to either, so luckily this year i can drop it, w00t

if they are gonna teach mandatory language, they should start it earlier in life, before the kids realise they'll never want to go to france
 

BaliBabyDoc

Lifer
Jan 20, 2001
10,737
0
0
American English (while correcting variants like Southern and Ebonics), Latin, and French . . . everything else is optional.
 

Darein

Platinum Member
Nov 14, 2000
2,640
0
0
For me a language wouldn't stick because I wouldn't use it enough to remember it.
 

Apathetic

Platinum Member
Dec 23, 2002
2,587
6
81
So long as the students have a choice in which language they take, yes - I think it's a good idea.

Dave
 

BaliBabyDoc

Lifer
Jan 20, 2001
10,737
0
0
They will have a choice . . . after they become fluent in English and French (plus literate in Latin).
 

Bignate603

Lifer
Sep 5, 2000
13,897
1
0
2 Americans were standing on a street corner. A european drives up and stops, then proceeds to ask a question to them in German. When the two Americans stood there dumbfounded he tried again in spanish. Again, the Americans couldn't understand. Obviously frustrated the european tries once more in French. The 2 Americans by this point have assumed a deer in the headlights look. The European gives up and drives off, cursing in 3 different languages. One American looks to the other and says "You know, maybe we should learn a second language." The other one turned and said "Why? That guy knew 3 and it didn't seem to help him."
 

ViRGE

Elite Member, Moderator Emeritus
Oct 9, 1999
31,516
166
106
Originally posted by: vegetation
I think it's a great idea, but sadly, I don't see it happening in areas with poor public school funding. Qualified language teachers are hard to find, especially at the pre-secondary level where they need to be certified in elementary education. I remember when I was in elementary school, we had one guy who ran around multiple schools (the whole district I suppose) teaching Spanish. We only got instructions once every 3 weeks or so. Who knows how many students it would have benefited if we were instructed daily? I can only wish for that now.
I think that you've just hit the nail on the head: money is the key reason why this isn't/won't be happening. I also had the chance to learn Spanish back in elementary school, but with the budget cuts, they had to fire the teacher who taught Spanish(he was a special ed. insturctor who taugh Spanish a couple times a week). Don't expect kids to learn a second language(let alone a first at this rate) with the current financial situation.
 

Aceshigh

Platinum Member
Aug 22, 2002
2,529
1
0
I have no problem with classes in foreign languages in schools. But we have public schools here in Texas, and other states as well, that teach 100 percent in Spanish for hispanic immigrant children. There is hardly even any effort made to teach them English language skills and move their instruction towards English. There have been numerous debates about changing this, but so far nothing has been done. Instruction should be total immersion in English, or with limited Spanish with the priority to be getting them to all English speaking classes as quickly as possible. Either one of these would be better than the way things are now, but this isn't being done.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY