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Thread: American Kids Should Learn Other Languages

  1. #21
    Veteran Member EnigmaO01'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.
    Many colleges require you take a foreign language in high school. I'm surprised that's the case in your area.

    Another thing that is great about learning a foreign language is it opens up your mind. The kids my wife has taken to Germany on exchange programs have a whole new world opened to them not to mention friends in another country. Nationality has caused many a war. Learning a language and about another culture make nationality less likely.
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  2. #22
    Shitposting Rank 4 Missle Command Champion johnflesh's Avatar
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    Spanish is my personal favorite. When I was in Texas, young guy, I worked at plant farm and we had a crew of undocumented workers who needed a hand one day so I went with them. Was tough work but they were awesome and the work was fun so I asked to stick with them until the week-long job was done. By the end I had picked up a lot of Spanish, and they picked up a lot of English. Eventually I did start learning some Spanish on my own and it opened my world up a bit.

    The neatest thing is thinking in Spanish. Speaking is one thing, but thinking in another language is really cool.

    que pasa cerebro

  3. #23
    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnigmaO01 View Post
    Many colleges require you take a foreign language in high school. I'm surprised that's the case in your area.

    Another thing that is great about learning a foreign language is it opens up your mind. The kids my wife has taken to Germany on exchange programs have a whole new world opened to them not to mentioned friends in another country. Nationality has caused many a war. Learning a language and about another culture make nationality less likely.
    My pet peeve since moving here to New England has been the inequality in schools. The wealthy areas offer everything while the poorer areas get massive cuts. Most offer languages after school which is great if you have someone to drive you home but if you rely on a bus everyday you cant participate. They have these real go getter kids and parents and they bring in computer professionals, foreign language experts, musicians etc and offer after school or weekend programs. Not everybody can participate and these kids are usually always tops in their classes. Poor kids dont often participate. But it keeps all the New England schools in the top 10 nationally for ranking.
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  4. #24
    Moderator HCProf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    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.
    I agree...if it comes down to what is best, math, language arts, civics and science should win hands down. The big 4 are your vital skill sets. I was required to take a foreign language in HS and I sucked big time. I started out in Spanish, but the work load did not fit into my athletic schedule and it was tanking my grade point average. I switched to Latin and suffered through it until my requirement was met...I think 2 years. I think we have a lot of tools for kids to learn a foreign language at home as a hobby if school budgets do not support it. It would be a fun family project....better than video games or mindless TV. I was accepted at U of M out of HS and they required a foreign language. Many at the time were taking Arabic. From my experience in HS, I chose another college because I did not want to go through that again. I regret that decision.
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  5. #25
    Veteran Member EnigmaO01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    My pet peeve since moving here to New England has been the inequality in schools. The wealthy areas offer everything while the poorer areas get massive cuts. Most offer languages after school which is great if you have someone to drive you home but if you rely on a bus everyday you cant participate. They have these real go getter kids and parents and they bring in computer professionals, foreign language experts, musicians etc and offer after school or weekend programs. Not everybody can participate and these kids are usually always tops in their classes. Poor kids dont often participate. But it keeps all the New England schools in the top 10 nationally for ranking.
    When I was in your state in June it was explained to me by my workshop instructor that the towns in NH are autonomous for collecting property tax revenue (as you know no sales tax or income tax). I noticed a big disparity in the towns depending on the value of the local properties. I was in Hinsdale which was't too bad, but a town we drove through I believe called Winchester looked like something out of destitute Appalachia.
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  6. #26
    Veteran Member Dr Sampson Simpson's Avatar
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    yes, they need to learn another language side by side with english, when its easy for them to learn. spanish would make the most sense since its the most spoken language of our closest neighbors
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  7. #27
    Chaos in fourteen lines Minotaur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnflesh View Post
    Spanish is my personal favorite. When I was in Texas, young guy, I worked at plant farm and we had a crew of undocumented workers who needed a hand one day so I went with them. Was tough work but they were awesome and the work was fun so I asked to stick with them until the week-long job was done. By the end I had picked up a lot of Spanish, and they picked up a lot of English. Eventually I did start learning some Spanish on my own and it opened my world up a bit.

    The neatest thing is thinking in Spanish. Speaking is one thing, but thinking in another language is really cool.

    que pasa cerebro
    In our house we are still trying to learn Spanish. I took French in school but it is hard to retain it.

    That really would be cool to start thinking in the language. It lets you know you have arrived.
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  8. #28
    Flibbertigibbet Wonderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babba View Post
    This piece asks why some Americans are so offended by hearing other languages spoken here in the US - especially Spanish! I've been watching this show on Netflix called "The Horn". It's all about helicopter rescues on and around the Matterhorn. I hear German, French and Italian spoken and most of them speak English as well. Why is it so important to some Americans that we only speak one language?

    I don't remember this, but wtf?



    Here's Why Right-Wingers Are So Threatened by Hearing Foreign Languages in the Trump Era | The Smirking Chimp
    Absolutely agree kids should learn other languages. I took French for 7 years. My daughter's been studying Spanish. I'd love to learn more languages.
    Last edited by Wonderer; 11th July 2018 at 10:49 AM.
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  9. #29
    Radical Centrist BigLeRoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babba View Post
    This piece asks why some Americans are so offended by hearing other languages spoken here in the US - especially Spanish! I've been watching this show on Netflix called "The Horn". It's all about helicopter rescues on and around the Matterhorn. I hear German, French and Italian spoken and most of them speak English as well. Why is it so important to some Americans that we only speak one language?

    I don't remember this, but wtf?



    Here's Why Right-Wingers Are So Threatened by Hearing Foreign Languages in the Trump Era | The Smirking Chimp
    I have mixed feelings about this. I don't think we're even doing a good job at teaching ARITHMETIC to many American kids, for crying out loud. In academia, I was encountering a growing number of college freshmen over the years who could NOT do 6th grade arithmetic. They were frustrated by fractions, dismayed by decimals, perplexed by percentages. And, frankly, that kind of very basic math is MORE important than foreign languages. There is also a technological argument to be made here. Remember the Universal Translators from Star Trek? Well, very soon, we are going to have that sort of thing. Very soon, we will have machines that can more or less instantly translate from any human language into any other. The NEED to know a foreign language is going to fall off pretty fast.

    Having said that, there is much enlightenment to be had from learning a foreign language. You can learn much more about a foreign culture from immersing yourself in their language and literature and folk tales and songs.

    And, another story to add to your Gingrich/Romney story: In 2004, Republicans were making FUN of John Kerry's wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, for being multi-lingual; if I remember correctly, she was [IS] fluent in something like 4 or 5 languages. Republicans seemed to think that was WAY too 'cosmopolitan', or something.
    Thanks from bajisima and Babba

  10. #30
    Flibbertigibbet Wonderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebateDrone View Post
    Id much rather have them learn American civics and how the American economy works.
    Those don't have to be mutually exclusive.
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