For 40 years, people like former Presidents Carter, Reagan, and Bush and former CIA Director Leon Panetta have been advocating for teaching foreign languages beginning in kindergarten. Millions of job seekers are no longer qualified to take jobs that require bilingual skills, yet educators say they are preparing children for future jobs while at the same time refusing to teach foreign languages adequately.

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Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 4 years 47 weeks ago
#1

I think that this country is far behind other countries in a lot of ways when it comes to education. Most other countries teach multiple languages. The problem is since almost everyone else in the world speaks English, Americans may feel that they don't have to bother learning another language...until, at the last moment, they want to, or have to for their job, travel to another country. Then they pick up a quick tutorial on the language of the country they have to go to. And you never really learn enough to be very conversant in the language beyond mispronouncing basic greetings, etc. I've traveled to many countries and know how difficult and frustrating it can be not knowing the language. I hope the US wises up and makes it mandatory for our schools system to incorporate multiple language courses starting at a very early age where they pick things up easily...especially language. It would also help to broaden their scope of what the world is all about rather than a jingoist model that tends to underlie misunderstandings and hatreds of other countries and cultures.

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