The Negative Effects Of Learning A Foreign Language

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It is often said that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. This proverb may in fact be true when learning a second language. The implication is that there is a critical period for learning a second language. Unfortunately, many elementary schools in the United States do not offer foreign language classes, missing the opportunity to learn a new language while still young. By learning a new language early on, students may increase their chances of success in higher education and mental capabilities all while exposing themselves to a diversity of different cultures and experiences.
“The so-called broken English - the malapropisms, the accents, the mangled grammar - we heard everyday of our childhoods was what had, in fact, fixed our attention on succeeding” (Kniffel). This is what Leonard Kniffel, author of the article, English Only Is English Lonely, and senior editor Beverly
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Secretary of Education, Roderick Paige, acknowledges that foreign language learning, “...improves a student 's cognitive and academic performance and goes hand in glove with the No Child Left Behind goals of ensuring high student outcomes for all children” (Stewart).The decrease in school language programs can be traced back to the No Child Left Behind Act. Since the law took effect in 2002, many elementary schools in the United States have reported that, “...it has had a negative effect on their programs because they are under so much pressure to allocate time to math instruction and English-Language Arts” (Zehr). Schools were forced to narrow the curriculum to help meet yearly test standards, demanding that children spend more time on reading and math and less time in foreign language classes. As a result, foreign language classes were reduced in pursuit of higher test scores. Thus, something must be done about the No Child Left Behind Act to ensure that elementary students are still able to take a foreign language class while continuing to take both math and
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