English II Honors Hr. 5
18 February 2016
Should U.S. grade school children be required to learn a foreign language?
It is often said that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. This proverb may in fact be true when dealing with learning a second language. The implication is that there is a critical period for the learning and comprehension of a second language. Unfortunately, many elementary schools in the United States do not offer foreign language classes, therefore missing the opportunity to learn a new language when the brain is believed to be most receptive. However, foreign language courses should be taught in early childhood education, not only for the reason that the critical period for learning a second language is between two and six, but also because learning a second language will help children to increase their chances of success in higher education and expose young children to new experiences.
Language learning can often be compared to doing chores. It seems that everyone has at least one chore they hate to do and getting them to do it is like pulling teeth. The same can be said when learning a new language. People in the United States believe that because English is so commonly used, there is no need to learn a new language. For others, it can be hard to fit language learning in when (1) there is no place to use the language regularly and (2) there is no time. For this, it stands to reason that some will say that language learning is a waste of time while others will stress that learning a new language is life changing.
Hilary McColl, author of the article, Foreign Language Learning And Inclusion: Who? Why? What?— And How?, once wrote, “ For some pupils, the linguistic and cultural...
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...hat is unlikely to happen due to the increased difficulty in language learning as we get older. Arguably, bold and innovative new methods of teaching foreign language are needed now more than ever. The stakes for young children are high, and rising. Americans must fight for the need to keep foreign language in the budget as a critical component to our children 's success.
Learning a second language is beneficial to all, especially when undertaken at an early age. Now more than ever, it is imperative for America to strengthen its connections with the international community. One way to accomplish this is for Americans to learn foreign languages, and such programs in elementary schools should be mandatory.While it is true that this can have some disadvantages, its benefits are proven to exceeds its drawbacks and it is desirable for schools to carry out this policy.
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