American Kids Should Learn Other Languages

Babba

Former Staff
Jul 2007
78,501
70,709
So. Md.
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?

But xenophobia runs deep among far-right wingnuts, who see the use of Spanish, Mandarin and other foreign languages in public as a threat to the English language. In 2012’s Republican presidential primary, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich ran an attack ad in South Carolina that lambasted Mitt Romney for being proficient in French. According to Gingrich’s ad, Romney’s French-speaking skills meant that he didn’t deserve the GOP’s nomination (which, of course, Romney received anyway before losing to President Obama in the general election).
Here's Why Right-Wingers Are So Threatened by Hearing Foreign Languages in the Trump Era | The Smirking Chimp
 
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Jul 2011
82,564
48,211
Memphis, Tn.
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
Of course, the ability to speak multiple languages has always been the mark of an educated person. I think Thomas Jefferson spoke something like 5 languages. Why on earth would any American be upset or frightened by hearing a foreign language? that makes no sense at all.
 
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boontito

Future Staff
Jan 2008
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Why is it so important to some Americans that we only speak one language?
An undeserved feeling of superiority is one reason.

"I'm kind of a big deal. If you want to speak to me, learn my language. I'm not going to stoop so low as to learn yours."
 
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Mar 2012
60,128
41,546
New Hampshire
Id much rather have them learn American civics and how the American economy works.
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.
 
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Jan 2018
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When I went to school it was mandatory you take a language to learn as part of the high school program. That was 4 years of the language.
 
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The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
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Toronto
Agreed, as someone whose four year old son already knows words from three different tongues (English, Russian, and mom's Portuguese :D)

Hopefully both our boys grow up polyglots. They'll need it in the ever globalizing world we are living in.
 
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Mar 2012
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New Hampshire
Agreed, as someone whose four year old son already knows words from three different tongues (English, Russian, and mom's Portuguese :D)

Hopefully both our boys grow up polyglots. They'll need it in the ever globalizing world we are living in.
I would think lots of young kids today with the internet and YouTube would learn English though. I know when my kids were teens, just playing video games or watching videos, they all were speaking English. I remember a Japanese kid saying he was playing the video games just to learn English. In my limited travels, it seems most under 30 or 35 speak English very well. Older people not so much. The internet has made our world smaller.
 
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The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
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Toronto
I would think lots of young kids today with the internet and YouTube would learn English though. I know when my kids were teens, just playing video games or watching videos, they all were speaking English. I remember a Japanese kid saying he was playing the video games just to learn English. In my limited travels, it seems most under 30 or 35 speak English very well. Older people not so much. The internet has made our world smaller.
Sure. In Russia, English is the most common foreign language taught in schools

I had it too.

Only problem is, most English taught there is based on the BRITISH dialect. When I came to Canada with what I learned back there, I didn't speak like anyone here. Said "rubbish" instead of "garbage", etc haha
 
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StanStill

Former Staff
Dec 2013
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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.
 
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