Learning Another Language Essay

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Learning another language can be considered a waste of resources, unless fully embraced by the student, thus triggering one to question Americas need for this to be mandatory. In Winchester’s article “How America Can Maintain Its Edge” he references the need to learn other languages, while Caplan’s article “The Numbers Speak: Foreign Language Requirements Are a Waste of Time and Money” discusses why learning another language is a waste of time, money, and resources. The bigger issues seems to be not that learning another language is unimportant, but rather when it’s learned being essential to retaining and using it. If various languages were incorporated in one’s daily life from birth there would be a much more substantial chance at using it…show more content…
Winchester concludes his article by stating the importance he places on visiting these countries and learning to appreciate their cultures. Caplan’s article, on the other hand, takes the opposite position of Winchester’s, and details how the majority of individuals do not know another language, despite spending time in class, during high school and college, learning one. He provides information from the General Social Survey which states “roughly 0.7% of those polled is both fluent in another language and learned it in school.” Caplan goes on to detail why we are wasting money, based on this evidence, and why we shouldn’t invest more in this subject. His first reason is that “Lots of stuff that sounds good isn’t worth doing”, meaning that the cost outweighs the benefits. Due to the small amount of students who benefit from a language class, in school, it is not worth the class time nor the salary of the teacher responsible for teaching. His second reason is “Doubling an input normally less than doubles output”. In this reason he discusses how more money spent will have a diminishing return, requiring substantial amounts of money to see any significant return in investment. Lastly, Caplan

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