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Thread: American Kids Should Learn Other Languages

  1. #11
    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanStill View Post
    In the US Spanish shouldn't even be considered a second language. It should be taught starting in kindergarten and kids should just be expected to become proficient in it. Then when they get to high school they can pick some language that they'll probably never use, like French.

    When I was in Holland even the garbage men spoke 3 languages.
    We learned French up here being near Quebec. No need for Spanish. Europeans speak many languages because they are so close together. My mother in law speaks 4 languages fluently. She said driving from one country to another is like going from NY to Maryland for a day trip so they need to. Plus they use it constantly throughout their lives. When she moved here, she forget a lot of quick because she never spoke anything but English. Then she would go back and get angry because she had forgotten how to say something. lol
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  2. #12
    Moderator HCProf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    Or science and math, everybody speaks English these days. Even in working with China, they learn English. I dont mind if they taught languages really early like in elementary school, since kids are more sponges at that point. But in high school, these kids need to double down on other things. Plus some schools now use block scheduling which means longer periods and less classes. We do 4 classes a day here from grades 9-12. So that leaves room for math, science, English and maybe History. Some kids take arts, music, language or computers but if you are on track for college it makes it harder to fit all that in.
    English is the international language of business and most industrialized Countries learn English. I see nothing wrong with learning a new language. Another friend of mine was fortunate enough to enroll both of her daughters in a very affluent day care from 10 weeks till kindergarten. Both her daughters were taught one Spanish word a day at a very early age. By the time they started kindergarten, her girls were fluent in Spanish. It was effortless to them. Our HS ran a pilot program for Mandarin Chinese, one group was 8 3rd graders and the other group was 8 adults. The 3rd graders ran circles around the adults in this program and exceeded the adults in learning a very difficult language. One of things I noticed, my bilingual college students are snatched up for jobs at a much faster rate than the ones who only speak English and they are paid more as well. My clinical sites will always ask about bilingual students and they are requested more. It is a guaranteed job.
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  3. #13
    Anarquistador StanStill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    We learned French up here being near Quebec. No need for Spanish. Europeans speak many languages because they are so close together. My mother in law speaks 4 languages fluently. She said driving from one country to another is like going from NY to Maryland for a day trip so they need to. Plus they use it constantly throughout their lives. When she moved here, she forget a lot of quick because she never spoke anything but English. Then she would go back and get angry because she had forgotten how to say something. lol
    Well, I suppose we can make an exception for the Quebec contiguous states, and possibly Louisiana, but where I live now, and also lots of the states in the south where I used to live, Spanish would be quite useful. I know bits and pieces that I've learned over the years plus my half-assed attempt at Duolingo, but nothing much. I took French in high school and two semesters in college, and after finishing school (with the exception of backpacking in Europe) immediately began the process of forgetting nearly every bit of French I learned.

    Tant pis! (translation provided by Google)
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  4. #14
    Moderator jacobfitcher's Avatar
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    It's interesting to note how some will make fun of others for their "inability to speak English 'properly'", when the people in question have a pretty decent vocabulary. Where the confusion comes in is with the rules surrounding grammar. Different languages' rules vary.

    Read an interesting story about two Star Trek fans who met at a convention. One spoke English and the other German. Since neither could speak the other's mother tongue, they communicated in Klingon.

  5. #15
    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HCProf View Post
    English is the international language of business and most industrialized Countries learn English. I see nothing wrong with learning a new language. Another friend of mine was fortunate enough to enroll both of her daughters in a very affluent day care from 10 weeks till kindergarten. Both her daughters were taught one Spanish word a day at a very early age. By the time they started kindergarten, her girls were fluent in Spanish. It was effortless to them. Our HS ran a pilot program for Mandarin Chinese, one group was 8 3rd graders and the other group was 8 adults. The 3rd graders ran circles around the adults in this program and exceeded the adults in learning a very difficult language. One of things I noticed, my bilingual college students are snatched up for jobs at a much faster rate than the ones who only speak English and they are paid more as well. My clinical sites will always ask about bilingual students and they are requested more. It is a guaranteed job.
    Oh I see nothing wrong with it either, but if anyone lives in a suburb or rural part of America, they know budgets are being cut. Athletics, arts, music and even science labs are gone. So if it comes to picking and choosing then I dont put languages up that high. I would prefer learning them at 5 when they are good and pick it up quickly. I took 6 years of a foreign language and cant remember much today. I think thats the problem. If you dont use it, you lose it. Europeans never lose it because they are immersed in it.
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  6. #16
    Shitposting Rank 4 Missle Command Champion johnflesh's Avatar
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    I agree. Kids should be learning all sorts of languages: PHP, Perl, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, C#, C++, among others. They'll need jobs when they get older.

  7. #17
    Chaos in fourteen lines Minotaur's Avatar
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    I have always thought it was a crime that we don't promote multiple languages and then we are threatened by any language we don't understand. It is comical. My daughter's schoolmate came here from Europe and spoke 8 languages. She could communicate with the world in the first grade.

    In a global economy, those who learn multiple languages boost their job security and paychecks.
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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    Or science and math, everybody speaks English these days. Even in working with China, they learn English. I dont mind if they taught languages really early like in elementary school, since kids are more sponges at that point. But in high school, these kids need to double down on other things. Plus some schools now use block scheduling which means longer periods and less classes. We do 4 classes a day here from grades 9-12. So that leaves room for math, science, English and maybe History. Some kids take arts, music, language or computers but if you are on track for college it makes it harder to fit all that in.
    Also, the typical way languages are taught in American schools are incredibly inefficient. They don't work, in that they don't actually help anyone operate in other language--actually speaking to people in other languages. We know much better methods, but they don't fit easily into the school model because they aren't easy to grade.

    There are a growing number of immersion schools, where the classes (all of them, including math and history and science) are though in a foreign language. Students pick up on the language fairly quickly and are able to learn content effectively in the other language within a few months. It works well. In fact, that's how we deal with the many students in American schools who don't speak English at home.
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  9. #19
    Begin with a happy Ending Engine-Ear's Avatar
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    I speak multiple languages, just learned them along the way.
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  10. #20
    Shitposting Rank 4 Missle Command Champion johnflesh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Engine-Ear View Post
    I speak multiple languages, just learned them along the way.
    Me too.

    01001100 01100101 01100001 01110010 01101110 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01101100 01100001 01101110 01100111 01110101 01100001 01100111 01100101 00100000 01101111 01110010 00100000 01100100 01101001 01100101
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