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Old 02-21-2008, 10:35 AM
 
50 posts, read 154,265 times
Reputation: 37

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I am going to upset a lot of you I'm sure, but I don't believe foreign language is needed here in American schools.

Why should we be forced to learn a foreign language? I never understood that. First of all, if we are going to be forced to learn a different language, who says that the one I learn in school will be the language of the people that I interact with as an adult any way. If I learn Spanish as a kid, then I want to go to France as an adult, all I did was waste my time on Spanish. If I learn French as a kid then move to Florida, I will most likely meet Spanish speaking people. In the area of Florida that I am in now, there's German, French, English, Spanish, Polish, Portugese, Chinese, Japanese I am almost 40 years old and have never needed to speak any other language nor do I expect to have the need to do so. Honestly, most Americans have never left this country and therefore would never really have the need for a foreign language class. The one person that I know that has a personal interest in visiting France has to teach herself the language as an adult as she took Spanish in high school. Until I moved to Florida, I never heard anyone speak a foreign language other than my Spanish teacher in high school and the Chinese at the Chinese restaurants. Here in Florida, I really don't have to interact with the foreign speaking people much at all, so it still doesn't matter that I can't speak another language. I moved back up north, I wouldn't be around anyone that didn't speak English. Why did I have to take Spanish?

I personally believe that everyone in the world should learn sign language. I know that there are a few people that have physical reasons that would make them not be able to learn/use sign language, most people do have two functional hands. If we made sign language a universal language, couple that with technology to see each other even if far away, such as by television, webcams, etc., then everyone in the world could speak one language and understand each other.
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Old 02-21-2008, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 22,492,358 times
Reputation: 10428
Quote:
Originally Posted by vacationsover View Post
I am going to upset a lot of you I'm sure, but I don't believe foreign language is needed here in American schools.

Why should we be forced to learn a foreign language? I never understood that. First of all, if we are going to be forced to learn a different language, who says that the one I learn in school will be the language of the people that I interact with as an adult any way. If I learn Spanish as a kid, then I want to go to France as an adult, all I did was waste my time on Spanish. If I learn French as a kid then move to Florida, I will most likely meet Spanish speaking people. In the area of Florida that I am in now, there's German, French, English, Spanish, Polish, Portugese, Chinese, Japanese I am almost 40 years old and have never needed to speak any other language nor do I expect to have the need to do so. Honestly, most Americans have never left this country and therefore would never really have the need for a foreign language class. The one person that I know that has a personal interest in visiting France has to teach herself the language as an adult as she took Spanish in high school. Until I moved to Florida, I never heard anyone speak a foreign language other than my Spanish teacher in high school and the Chinese at the Chinese restaurants. Here in Florida, I really don't have to interact with the foreign speaking people much at all, so it still doesn't matter that I can't speak another language. I moved back up north, I wouldn't be around anyone that didn't speak English. Why did I have to take Spanish?

I personally believe that everyone in the world should learn sign language. I know that there are a few people that have physical reasons that would make them not be able to learn/use sign language, most people do have two functional hands. If we made sign language a universal language, couple that with technology to see each other even if far away, such as by television, webcams, etc., then everyone in the world could speak one language and understand each other.
Very interesting take on sign language. I never thought of that, but great idea.

I took 6 years of Spanish (not forced, an elective) in Jr. high and high school. I did use it daily in a job years ago, which really helped me become fluent. And I've used it plenty of times in daily life, so I'm glad I learned it. If for any reason, it's just nice to be able to read all the signs in Spanish and understand people I hear in public. Spanish is by far the second most common language in Denver after English.

I lived in Germany for 3 years and signed up for German classes immediately. I never really mastered it, but learned enough to get by and read signs. I did travel to Spain a lot for work, so again Spanish was nice to know.

I would suggest Spanish as a language to learn because it's actually a fairly easy language to learn (you learn the basic rules and unlike English, there aren't many exceptions) and pronounciation is straight forward. English seems like a very difficult language to learn, especially after you throw in all the slang and accents.

For our kids, we want them to learn languages that will most help them later in life. Considering Spanish use in the U.S., we're thinking of finding a nanny who can teach them Spanish as we teach them English simultaneously (it's much easier to do it this way) and then later on, maybe Chinese to give them an advantage in this global economy.
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Old 02-21-2008, 11:57 AM
 
2,838 posts, read 8,842,146 times
Reputation: 2857
So many people speak Spanish, that I think it's a useful thing to know. Learning a language also helps you to learn the customs of the countries that it's used in, and that in turn helps you understand other people better... it make the world a smaller place.

I went to Germany in the fall, and while I could say "excuse me, I do'nt understand, do you speak English?", it was a humbling experience. People there could switch from German to French to English with little difficulty. We hosted a German exchange student last year and I spent the whole year envious of her bilingual fluency... she spoke English like an American by the time she left. I would LOVE for my kids to be bilingual... my best friend speaks Spanish fluently (and English fluently as well), and I want to be able to do that too. Maybe someday... I wish I'd learned it in school. I did take 2 years of Italian in high school (elective), but all I can really say is "waht time is it?"
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Denver
2,970 posts, read 6,149,944 times
Reputation: 4825
Quote:
Originally Posted by denverian View Post
Very interesting take on sign language. I never thought of that, but great idea.

I took 6 years of Spanish (not forced, an elective) in Jr. high and high school. I did use it daily in a job years ago, which really helped me become fluent. And I've used it plenty of times in daily life, so I'm glad I learned it. If for any reason, it's just nice to be able to read all the signs in Spanish and understand people I hear in public. Spanish is by far the second most common language in Denver after English.

I lived in Germany for 3 years and signed up for German classes immediately. I never really mastered it, but learned enough to get by and read signs. I did travel to Spain a lot for work, so again Spanish was nice to know.

I would suggest Spanish as a language to learn because it's actually a fairly easy language to learn (you learn the basic rules and unlike English, there aren't many exceptions) and pronounciation is straight forward. English seems like a very difficult language to learn, especially after you throw in all the slang and accents.

For our kids, we want them to learn languages that will most help them later in life. Considering Spanish use in the U.S., we're thinking of finding a nanny who can teach them Spanish as we teach them English simultaneously (it's much easier to do it this way) and then later on, maybe Chinese to give them an advantage in this global economy.
Actually, sign language is not universal. Americans that use sign language in our country learn ASL = American Sign Language.

Spanish, French, Italian, and Portugese are all very similiar and easy to pick up on if you have mastered one.

I think Spanish or Mandarin Chinese should be required, it will help for future employment in this global economy.

Also, I wish Health and Physical Education were mandatory all the way through...
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Camberville
11,394 posts, read 15,991,510 times
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Beyond the basic importance of foreign language as a means to speak, it's important because of the way it affects the brain. Learning another language works your brain in a a way that it doesn't otherwise work. By becoming bilingual, my English has actually improved. Beyond that, it's made music and math easier because both, essentially, are a different language.

Not to mention it keeps the brain sharper longer BBC NEWS | Health | Being bilingual 'protects brain' and makes fuller use of the brain Vox of Dartmouth - El Cerebro Bilingue/The Bilingual Brain - 10/23/06.
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Old 02-21-2008, 04:09 PM
 
Location: An absurd world.
5,165 posts, read 8,078,240 times
Reputation: 2007
I am not a parent, but I finished high school not too long ago and I can tell you that most schools do have economics, money management, and related courses. The thing is, they are not mandatory. Where I went, you got to pick to electives to go with your 4 core courses. The course is there. They just don't require you to take it.
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:25 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,949 times
Reputation: 10
I think religion is also very important, student should know about their religion at least.
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Denver area
21,134 posts, read 22,102,729 times
Reputation: 35503
High schools have to cover so much - sometimes I think they have lost focus on even the most basic things. Personal finance and similar life skills need to be mandatory. The kids in our local HS are so focused on getting as many AP classes under their belt as possible and they are flat out given so much that many have no idea about real life, every day economic issues. I also agree with the poster that said writing, writing and more writing. Communication is key in any job. In a related idea I also would love it if they had a class that focused on etymology and vocabulary. So many kids do not learn much about word origins and meanings (even basic suffix/prefix information).
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:14 PM
 
2,466 posts, read 4,201,231 times
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For those who think foreign language is a key subject that all students should be taught. I think that language should be Latin. It is the core of most foreign languages and if kids learned that then they would be more likely to learn numerous languages easily. The next foreign language would be an Asian language like Mandrin. Being that the US is in so much debt to China, we might one day find ourselves needing to speak and understand their language.

I think every student in High school should have to take at least one year of Home Economics and some sort of Business economics. In home ec, they wouldn't just learn how to cook, but how to budget and pay bills like rent/morgtage, utilities, insurance, car payments, medical, child care...etc. In Business Ec. they would learn how to come up with a product, market it, sell it and also how to own, operate and manage a business/company.

Parenting classes should also be taught in at least junior high.

Relationship classes should also be taught. Young men and women need to learn how to treat and respect each other and how to have healthy relationships. Maybe we could break the cycle of abuse, divorce and unplanned pregnancy if kids were taught how to have healthy relationships.
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,523,609 times
Reputation: 35864
Anything at all, as long as you make them think critically, and not just let themselves be spoon-fed the currently fashionable curriculum.
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