Why Foreign Language Should Be a Core Subject in Public Elementary School
ENG108: Writing Project #4
22 April 2012
Why Foreign Language Should be a Core Subject in Public Elementary School
The benefits of learning a foreign language go beyond learning a different culture or being able to communicate with people of different backgrounds. It is essential that Americans speak languages other than English in order to compete internationally, keep the country safe, and prepare children to be world citizens. Several language organizations, educators, and policy makers have recommended the introduction of a second language at the elementary school level as a way of assuring a high level of language proficiency (Pufahl and Rhodes 273).
However, the reality of foreign language …show more content…
Projections for the total numbers of speakers of various languages for the year 2050 indicate that Mandarin will surpass English (Byrnes 254). Thus, it is likely that trade and diplomacy will be increasingly conducted with those who speak languages other than English, such as Mandarin.
In 2000, the Center for Applied Linguistics conducted a study to collect data from 19 countries on their foreign language programs and methodologies so that the results could help improve language teaching in the U. S. Those countries were Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Spain, and Thailand. Some of the recommendations drawn from the study results are: 1) start language education early; 2) push for stronger federal leadership in language teaching; 3) improve teacher education; and 4) take advantage of the rich sociolinguistic context in the United States (Pufahl and Rhodes and Christian 3).
Starting language education at an early age will lead to higher levels