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Old 11-17-2012, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Where the heart is...
4,927 posts, read 5,318,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
There is a very simple explanation for this. Second languages must be imprinted before the age of about 12, during the years in which multilingualism is perfectly fluid and natural, and the public education system in nearly all English-speaking countries discourages (in some cases punishes) the learning of a foreign language at the elementary level. By the time time an English speaking child is exposed to the opportunity to learn a second language, bilingualism has become an arduous, mentally-challenging chore for which older children and adults have little enthusiasm, and do not regard as fun.

I say this as an embittered victim of the linguistic provincialism of a mono-lingual childhood environment
and how very sad that we missed the boat on this as in many metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. there is the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) Federal mandate which ensures ESL instruction to foreign born students who are or may be LEP (Limited English Proficient). In the process it seems we have left U.S. born children behind in the foreign language acquisition arena. My children speak only two languages other than English and I don't believe that is nearly enough in light of the global community we currently live in.

With Lau v. Nichols the U.S. Supreme Court guaranteed children an opportunity to a "meaningful education" regardless of their language background. No longer would limited-English-proficient (LEP) students be left to sink or swim, offered no help in understanding their lessons, and shunted onto dead-end tracks for slow learners. Henceforth the schools would have to assume responsibility for overcoming language barriers. The Lau decision did not prescribe a pedagogical means to this end; "affirmative steps" might involve bilingual instruction, English as a second language (ESL) classes, or perhaps some other approach. But the mandate was clear: language-minority students must be ensured access to the same curriculum provided to their English-speaking peers.

No event affecting the schooling of language-minority children has occurred in a social vacuum. The Lau ruling itself followed years of protests, organizing, and litigation by language-minority communities seeking a better deal for their children. Feeling that pressure, in 1970 federal officials directed school districts to respond to LEP students' needs, issuing a memorandum that laid the groundwork for the Supreme Court's reasoning four years later. In the aftermath of Lau, a coalition of Asian, Latino, black, and white parents worked to ensure that San Francisco schools settled for more than minimal compliance. The result was a state-of-the-art bilingual education plan that stressed the maintenance of students' Chinese or Spanish skills after they learned English. (< I don't comprehend this at all as I would think the Chinese or Spanish language skills should be taught and encouraged at home by the parents of foreign born students and not at the exclusion of U.S. born students for an opportunity of a foreign language).

Language Rights in Education

History of Bilingual Education



1923 Meyer vs. State of Nebraska
  • Based on a Nebraska act passed in 1919, this court case reaffirmed the Nebraska policy that no person should teach any subject to any person in any language besides English.
  • No foreign language may be taught (with the exception of "dead" languages) before the student has passed the eighth grade.
  • English should be the mother tongue of all children reared in Nebraska so that they may become citizens of "the most useful type" and so that public safety is not imperiled.
1963
  • The first modern Bilingual Education program was developed for Spanish-speaking Cubans and Anglos at Coral Way Elementary School in Dade County, Miami, Florida. The program was supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation.
Bilingual Education |

U.S. Students Hurting in Foreign Languages

U.S. Students Hurting in Foreign Languages

Seriously, I really love this article!

NYC Public School Mandates Arabic Language Studies for All 2nd Through 5th Graders

PS 368, a public elementary school in Manhattan, New York, has implemented a school-wide mandate that is capturing headlines. Principal Nicky Kram Rosen is requiring all 200 students in grades second through fifth to spend two 45-minute sessions each week learning Arabic.

The requirement, which will begin next semester, is intended to help bolster the school’s standing. Rather than focusing on more common (some would argue even more useful) languages like French or Spanish, Rosen has chosen Arabic in an effort to achieve an International Baccalaureate, which would apparently be a wonderful sentiment for the school’s reputation.

NYC Public School Mandates Arabic for All Elementary Students | TheBlaze.com
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:30 PM
 
637 posts, read 1,027,373 times
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English is very forgiving language, most don't care so much if it's not spoken perfectly.
Other languages....good example, french....if you don't speak it perfectly, forget it.
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:33 AM
 
Location: Europe
1,646 posts, read 3,489,409 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
The answer is simple: because they don't need to.

English is already the de facto language in most fields of importance (medicine, business, etc.).

Not everybody is cool like us and is interested in such things as foreign languages. Most just want to come home from a long day at work and watch ESPN and see how their favorite NFL team is doing or go on Pinterest and look at pictures of brownies. They do not have much interest in the more sophisticated or complex things of life.
Yes they do need it. An Australian friend was complaining to me because she travelled around Europe and people don't speak English like in Oz, also she complained because she only could work in the UK

Ignorance maybe...
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:13 AM
 
272 posts, read 907,476 times
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"Imperial Frame of Mind".....once the memory of the empire disappears, it might take generations, they will start leatning Chinese, Spanish, Arab.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Brisbane
5,060 posts, read 7,505,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catbelle View Post
Yes they do need it. An Australian friend was complaining to me because she travelled around Europe and people don't speak English like in Oz, also she complained because she only could work in the UK

Ignorance maybe...
Are all your "friends" so close minded?

Any Australians under 30 can live and work in Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Norway and Sweeden as well as the UK.

More Australians have Direct ancestry (Through living parents and Grandparents) to mainland europe than they do the UK.

Last edited by danielsa1775; 11-18-2012 at 03:54 PM..
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:20 PM
 
Location: North West Northern Ireland.
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Well there's over 1 million British citizens living in Australia right now. Most Australians have British and Irish ancestry.
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:41 PM
 
Location: New Albany, IN
830 posts, read 1,667,078 times
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I haven't read through all the responses, but I agree with everyone who says "why learn another language if we're never going to use it?" It's easy to give up and then forget everything you've learned in a foreign language if you have no use for it outside of class. As I've said before, if I didn't know my husband I probably would have forgotten all the Spanish I learned. If the foreign language doesn't "live" in your life outside of class, it's just boring and useless, like many kids say about algebra and grammar lessons. It's just something you have to "get through" to pass like any other class. It's a different story for those who have a "knack" for learning foreign languages or have already made big plans to use the foreign language in business, travel, family, etc.

More and more high schools in the USA are making a foreign language requirement. For example while I was in high school one could choose between taking two semesters of a foreign language (my school offered Spanish, French and Latin) or two semesters of "fine arts" (painting and drawing, band, choir). Right after I left the students couldn't choose between fine arts and languages, they had to take four semesters of language no matter what.

As everything comes in English language in the USA, I don't think we see the "big picture" and the benefits of learning another language as European countries do. We're not going to turn on the TV at any given hour and see a French TV show with English subtitles, nor will we go to a cinema where almost every choice is in a language not our own (not to mention pop music and pop lit from other countries, in their languages). Obviously media and pop culture in other languages are available, particularly in Spanish, but it's not mainstream--you won't just so happen to come across it and then keep taking it in.
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Brisbane
5,060 posts, read 7,505,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owenc View Post
Well there's over 1 million British citizens living in Australia right now. Most Australians have British and Irish ancestry.
Yes there are also over 2 Million Australians born somewhere else within in the EU. Combined them all together and they do form a majority over the british as far as the first and second generation immigrants go. Although Britian is by far the single biggest source.

First and second generation immigrants are actually very close to a majority in Australia. Its very conceivable that over half the countries population could carry a passport to another country if they so desired.

Obviuosly once you get past first and second generation immigrants, almost the entire population is British and irish by ancestry. The Anglo/Australian/British/Irish portion of Australias population has fallen 30% in the 50 years.

Last edited by danielsa1775; 11-18-2012 at 06:27 PM..
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,639 posts, read 18,131,251 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayah(812) View Post
I haven't read through all the responses, but I agree with everyone who says "why learn another language if we're never going to use it?" It's easy to give up and then forget everything you've learned in a foreign language if you have no use for it outside of class. As I've said before, if I didn't know my husband I probably would have forgotten all the Spanish I learned. If the foreign language doesn't "live" in your life outside of class, it's just boring and useless, like many kids say about algebra and grammar lessons. It's just something you have to "get through" to pass like any other class. It's a different story for those who have a "knack" for learning foreign languages or have already made big plans to use the foreign language in business, travel, family, etc.

More and more high schools in the USA are making a foreign language requirement. For example while I was in high school one could choose between taking two semesters of a foreign language (my school offered Spanish, French and Latin) or two semesters of "fine arts" (painting and drawing, band, choir). Right after I left the students couldn't choose between fine arts and languages, they had to take four semesters of language no matter what.

As everything comes in English language in the USA, I don't think we see the "big picture" and the benefits of learning another language as European countries do. We're not going to turn on the TV at any given hour and see a French TV show with English subtitles, nor will we go to a cinema where almost every choice is in a language not our own (not to mention pop music and pop lit from other countries, in their languages). Obviously media and pop culture in other languages are available, particularly in Spanish, but it's not mainstream--you won't just so happen to come across it and then keep taking it in.
The majority of people took a foreign language at my high school. The majority took Spanish, the geeky kids took German, and the kids who hung out with the burnouts often chose American Sign Language (which is no longer offered). It was kind of expected. However, if you're not particularly interested in languages (and surprisingly few people out of the general population are) or do not have a natural aptitude for language, you will naturally work to pass the classes, perhaps get an "A" in them if you are a good student. Try to engage a high-school Spanish student in a simple conversation and see what the results are. Likewise, even in countries where foreign language learning might be advantageous, this still often holds true. Speaking English is a major asset in Mexico (moreso than Spanish is in most of the U.S.), but when I try to talk to my friends there taking high school English, and who have taken many years of it, they often will not understand even the simplest of sentences. The only people capable of speaking the least amount of English in the part of Mexico they are from (which receives hardly any foreign tourists) are the ones who have enrolled in a special language school. All in all, working towards passing a high-school language course is not necessarily the same thing as working towards learning the language. Most schools locally, however, offer a two-week trip featuring a home-stay to Germany, France, or a Spanish-speaking country (I went to Costa Rica myself), which does help immensely towards building proficiency.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Brisbane
5,060 posts, read 7,505,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielsa1775 View Post
Yes there are also over 2 Million Australians born somewhere else within in the EU. Combined them all together and they do form a majority over the british as far as the first and second generation immigrants go. Although Britian is by far the single biggest source.

First and second generation immigrants are actually very close to a majority in Australia. Its very conceivable that over half the countries population could carry a passport to another country if they so desired.

Obviuosly once you get past first and second generation immigrants, almost the entire population is British and irish by ancestry. The Anglo/Australian/British/Irish portion of Australias population has fallen 30% in the 50 years.
, but is still a majority.

Last edited by danielsa1775; 11-18-2012 at 08:25 PM..
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