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Thread: American Kids Should Learn Other Languages

  1. #31
    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnigmaO01 View Post
    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.
    Absolutely. You can drive through some of the wealthiest communities here and then others that look like poverty stricken Appalachia. People just dont believe it. I traveled around a bit in early 2016 and saw people that couldnt afford heat. They just would cut down trees. Western parts and northern parts are especially hard hit. Went to Vermont last week and it was really bad in parts there. Its become a one company state and they are laying off. Hard times for aging northern New England.
    Thanks from BigLeRoy and EnigmaO01

  2. #32
    Nuisance Factor Yeti 8 Jungle Swing Champion, YetiSports 4 - Albatross Overload Champion, YetiSports7 - Snowboard FreeRide Champion, Alu`s Revenge Champion boontito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnflesh View Post
    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.
    Someone has to program and maintain those robotic order takers at McDonalds.

  3. #33
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    If Star Trek has taught us ANYTHING its that EVERYBODY, including distant aliens in the Delta Quadrant -- speaks English.
    Thanks from johnflesh, Wonderer and EnigmaO01

  4. #34
    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLeRoy View Post
    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.
    Saw my niece last week during vacation and she was using Google translator to do her French homework! (She takes community college classes). She said all the kids are doing it and the teachers know but didnt care. They told them nobody will care at some point with all the translator programs out there. She said her computer homework was more important.
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  5. #35
    Shitposting Rank 4 Missle Command Champion johnflesh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boontito View Post
    Someone has to program and maintain those robotic order takers at McDonalds.
    lol. I was thinking that someone needs to program our overlords. But order takers at McDonalds is pretty close.

  6. #36
    Master political analyst Dittohead not!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    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.
    Exactly right. After years of teaching Spanish to English speakers and vice versa, I was introduced to the concept of comprehensible input. Using that method, kids can be taught to speak another language quite easily. I would, for example, give my Spanish class a test all in Spanish, and get mostly 100% from everyone. It works, it's easy on the learner, and easy on the teacher.

    The USA should have at least three official languages: English, Spanish, and French. Every educated American should be fluent in at least two of them.

    We also need people fluent in Russian, in Pashto, in Arabic, in the languages of our enemies and global rivals.

    In virtually every nation of the world, including third world countries, educated people are bilingual. The USA needs to catch up.
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  7. #37
    Flibbertigibbet Wonderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanStill View Post
    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)
    C'est dommage. Le français est une si belle langue!




    (That's too bad. French is such a beautiful language!)
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  8. #38
    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderer View Post
    Those don't have to be mutually exclusive.
    They do if you have budget cuts or dont live in a wealthy district. Then it becomes a choice of what to cut.
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  9. #39
    Veteran Member Dr Sampson Simpson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minotaur View Post
    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.
    I have access to the full rosetta stone through the university I work for, I really need to start using it again.
    Thanks from Minotaur, Wonderer, HCProf and 1 others

  10. #40
    Nuisance Factor Yeti 8 Jungle Swing Champion, YetiSports 4 - Albatross Overload Champion, YetiSports7 - Snowboard FreeRide Champion, Alu`s Revenge Champion boontito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnflesh View Post
    lol. I was thinking that someone needs to program our overlords. But order takers at McDonalds is pretty close.
    "What an idiot, he doesn't even know how to say McNuggets in JavaScript!"
    Thanks from bajisima and StanStill

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