Foreign Languages: Children Should Be Taught Essays

Foreign Languages: Children Should Be Taught Essays

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According to a well-known biblical story, there was once a universal language that everyone spoke and could understand. One day, the people came together to build a city in honor of themselves. In that city, they decided they would construct a tower that would reach to Heaven. However, when God saw their arrogance, he decided to confuse them by making them speak in different languages. As a consequence, the people were forced to discontinue the tower and tore it down.
In much the same way, language today is just as confusing. There are thousands of languages spoken in thousands of different countries, and sometimes communication is lost in translation. Only 26 percent of American adults can speak a second language fluently (McComb), which is a very distressing statistic in an extremely multilingual world. What is even more worrisome is the fact that in the 2007-08 school year, only 25 percent of primary schools offered classes in foreign language (Rhodes and Pufahl), most of which are merely introductory classes (Edvantia). In addition, according to the Education Commission of the States (ECS), in 2007 the high school graduation requirements for 36 states either did not include foreign language study or the study of foreign language was an option among fine arts and world studies. Only 14 states out of fifty required or were in the process of requiring a foreign language to graduate high school.
It is no wonder that the United States is lagging in the area of foreign languages. Where most European students are required to learn a foreign language at age eight, American students are barely asked to utter a syllable in a non-native tongue until the age of fourteen (Tagliere), and even then it is merely ‘strongly encourag...

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...." PBS: Public Broadcasting
Service. Nov. 2003. Web. 26 Nov. 2011. .

Rhodes, Nancy C., and Ingrid Pufahl. Foreign Language Teaching in U.S. Schools: Results of a
National Survey. CAL, 2010. Online Ebook.

Science Daily. "Children Can Learn a Second Language in Preschool, Study Finds." Science Daily:
News & Articles in Science, Health, Environment & Technology. 10 Sept. 2009. Web. 22 Nov.
2011. .

Tagliere, Julia. "Foreign Language Study -- Is Elementary School the Right Time to Start?" Buzzle
Web Portal: Intelligent Life on the Web. Web. 26 Nov. 2011. .

UPI. "A Second Language Makes a Third Easier." Latest News, Latest News Headlines, News
Articles, News Video, News Photos - 21 May 2009. Web. 26 Nov. 2011.

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