Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Should kids be forced to learn Spanish in elementary school?

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU
 
RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:22 PM
Original message
Poll question: Should kids be forced to learn Spanish in elementary school?
This is from today's Sun-Sentinel poll, but I wanted to conduct a DU poll because I know this is something that we usually clash in.

I personally believe that elementary students should be required to learn a second language, whether it's Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, French, Italian or German. Hell, even Arabic.

But of course there's that old mantra of "why should we learn to speak another language if we live in the United States?"

In the Sun-Sentinel poll, "no" voters are slightly edging "yes" voters. And that's considering that South Florida has one of the largest Latino populations in the country. Anyway, here's the poll.


http://www.sun-sentinel.com /

With the increasing importance of bilingualism in South Florida, some parent leaders in Broward County are pushing for Spanish to be taught to every elementary school student. Is this a good idea?

47.8%
Yes. Younger students pick up a new language more easily than older students. (2532 responses)

49.7%
No. Elementary students need to concentrate on reading, math and other basic courses. (2636 responses)

2.5%
I'm not sure. (131 responses)

5299 total responses


Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
OPERATIONMINDCRIME Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
1. Only If They Live In Spain...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. What about Latin America?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
OPERATIONMINDCRIME Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #2
29. There Too. But I wanted to keep it direct lol.
Obviously Latin America too, but the point sounded better the other way.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
-..__... Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #2
104. Why should school children be forced to learn Latin?
:smoke:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
3. the way things are going, Chinese is a better choice... n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Yes, that is why it is second on my list of languages
That is why I think the requirement should be open to other languages and not just Spanish.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:27 PM
Response to Original message
5. Is the question about Spanish or about a second language?
I think it is important that kids learn a second language early. It actually helps them in their studies and makes learning other languages early and certainly allow people to better understand other countries and civilisations (Though may be Northerners and Southerners should try to understand each others better first :sarcasm:).

However, I dont see why the only choice should be Spanish.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maestro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:27 PM
Response to Original message
6. Forced? No.
Programs made available to them, yes.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Dulcinea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #6
25. Agreed.
I don't think it's a good idea to force them, but I definitely think it's a great idea to learn a foreign language. I had 6 years of French in junior high & high school & it was my favorite class!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
senseandsensibility Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:27 PM
Response to Original message
7. The word "forced" is a strange choice
Even if the Spanish courses are mandatory, so are Math and Reading courses. Yet we don't say that students are being forced to take those.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #7
19. Well...
forced means mandatory and not an elective, which ie traditionally meant. It is mandatory in most schools. In my school system, children have to take two years of a foreign language to graduate high school and MOST colleges require at least one year.

The problem I run into is that our lower level students are having their hands full with the regular curriculum and do horribly in their language classes.

Not to mention that most academic classes are broken down into ability levels ie: advanced placement, honors, college prep, general education and special education. There is NO breakdown of ability in the language classes and often are way too much for our lower level students to handle.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #7
36. "Forced", "required"
What difference does it make what word I used? The point is, I didn't ask the question whether a second language should be an elective.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
zanne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #7
77. My thoughts exactly.
Why wouldn't you want your children to speak a second language? That can only help them in life.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #7
81. Agree. Quite spinny. -nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bill McBlueState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-13-06 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #7
141. this is a good point
"Forced to take..." fires people up by implying that someone is restricting these kids' freedom. "Required to take..." is the language traditionally used for this type of thing and suggests to people that requiring Spanish is no different from requiring social studies or gym class.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:28 PM
Response to Original message
8. I have an interesting take...
Edited on Sat Feb-11-06 01:29 PM by BoneDaddy
I work in a school in New Jersey and our kids start learning spanish in grade 2.

I have mixed emotions about it. Personally, I think exposing children (who are more able to learn a language quicker at a young age) to another language is wonderful because it can prepare them for the diverse world and give them a leg up if they are bilingual or more. Many europeans speak numerous languages and I believe that it, by it's very nature, allows people to understand others and be more tolerable as well as allowing lines of communication to work better.

That said, many of the kids I have worked with need tremendous help with the basics. I mean what is the point of having kids learn another language if they can't operate with a good foundation in the language of their birth. It doesn't make sense. I have NEVER seen a child excel at a foreign language while their native language suffers, it doesn't work.

So where I think it can be a great tool and experience for most children, those who are not adept in English need to be spared the difficulties of adding an additional workload while they struggle with English.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. I think the problem is our education system as a whole
I don't think the kids are incapable of learning, they are just products of a flawed system.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
July Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-13-06 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #12
147. I agree with you. Compare Europeans with us.
I am always amazed at how well many Europeans speak English (we can see a little of this in the Olympic coverage). I'll never forget getting on a city bus in Copenhagen and asking if I could speak English to the bus driver. In flawless, barely accented English he said, "Well, my English isn't very good, but I'll try."

If children get good instruction and enough exposure when they're young, they can learn any language, and more than one language. The younger they are, and the more consistent the instruction in another language, the easier it is for them to learn it just as they learned their once-unintelligible native tongue.

I'm not for "forced" instruction, but some kind of language offering is always a plus in my book.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. Research doesn't back that up
It shows that learning a second language actually AIDS in literacy in the first language. You won't see the benefits right away, but by the time these kis are in high school and college, they will have a better command of English (they are more literate) than their peers who speak only English.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #13
20. True all things being equal...
but they are not equal in life. In the hallowed white towers of academia they do not take into consideration the multiple socio-econmic factors.

Not to mention close to twenty years of personal experience which shows just the opposite.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #20
31. Look at the job market
Bilingual kids have a lot more opportunities available than those who speak only one language.

There is a sign in my local grocery advertising for cashiers who speak Spanish. My bank is now hiring Spanish speakers. And in my industry (education) you can pick your job if you speak Spanish.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #31
96. you are arguing for something I agree with
I am not denying what you are arguing, it is valid.
But you do not acknowledge my points, which are equally valid.

And the main point is that students need to demonstrate proficiency in their native language first. I concur that a second language can certainly work for MOST students, but some need to focus their time and energy on the one that is primary and that, for now, is English.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
phylny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 05:20 AM
Response to Reply #31
135. I took 7 years of Spanish - 4 in high school and 3 in college
y hablo espaol solamente un poco (I speak Spanish only a little). While I can get by with the Spanish-speaking parents and kids I work with, I am woefully short of being fluent. I only WISH I'd learned Spanish in elementary school! The great thing is that the parents are so happy that I make an effort, and tell me how well I speak. This is a lie :)

I keep planning to go back to adult-ed and learn more, and I think I should get off my duff and do it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
etherealtruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #13
26. That has been my understanding ...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #26
32. Thanks
As you can tell I was too lazy to look it up. :)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bjornsdotter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #13
27. Absolutely

The earlier kids start on a foreign language the better. Yes, a second language does help literacy and grammar in the native language.

Watch the Olympics....almost every athlete can be interviewed in English, while most of the American athletes can only be interviewed in English.

I completely support a foreign language as early as possible. I was part of test group in grammar school for Spanish, my kids started French in first grade.

Cheers
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #27
33. Parlez vous Francais?
Moi - un peux.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bjornsdotter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #33
40. Mais oui!

Je parle franais...un petit peu.


:toast:

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #40
71. How do you type that c?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bjornsdotter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #71
83. Here's how

Go to Start-->Programs-->Accessories-->Accebility-->Systems Tools-->Character map.

From there you can choose the letter you need depending on the language. You can either use the code or copy & paste.

Hope this helps!

Cheers
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
zanne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #83
85. Thanks, Bjornsdotter!
I've been wondering about that for a long time.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bjornsdotter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #85
99. No Problem! n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Telly Savalas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #71
110. Another approach is to type "135" on the 10-key thing
while holding the alt key down.



or alt-130 yields the very useful
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LuckyLib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #8
102. Actually, the development of language skills is interdependent.
Learning a second language helps with language development and learning regardless of the first and second language. There is no reason for students of any age or any ability level not to be exposed to learning a language. The problem in the U.S. has been the tragic misconceptions about language learning that fuel many myths. We do a great disservice to our young native English speakers by not offering them access to bilingualism, and tragic disservice to children who are speakers of other languages by not encouraging their bilingualism and biliteracy.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:28 PM
Response to Original message
9. What awkward questions.
If you vote yes, it sounds like you are voting AGAINST kids concentrating on Reading, Math and other basic courses.

I voted yes. We are becoming a multi lingual society and it will benefit kids to learn a second or even third language.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DanCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:28 PM
Response to Original message
10.  I see no harm in having a kid learn a second language.
Edited on Sat Feb-11-06 01:29 PM by DanCa
Of course I am not the one to ask, because I have enough trouble butchering English. But hey, at least my GPA is higher than Dubya's.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Devlzown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:31 PM
Response to Original message
11. I think they should go back to teaching Latin.
Latin greatly increases English vocabulary and is a great base for learning any of the Romance languages.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. I agree
Latin was one of the more valuable courses I took.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #11
34. Besides, it helps in communicating with Latinos.
:dunce:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #34
90. Only if your name is Dan Quayle
LOL
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #11
60. I LOVED Latin
which is the only other language I studied. But because of it, I can generally understand the gist of what people are saying in Spanish, Italian and French, even though I can't speak those languages.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
T Town Jake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 03:06 AM
Response to Reply #11
129. I absolutely agree. Two years of Latin in prep school...
...not only helped my English grades, I think the discipline necessary to (sorta) master basic Latin aided me in math, science, and chemistry.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Burning Water Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:31 PM
Response to Original message
14. Should kids be required
to learn English in schools seems a more appropriate question to me?

:D
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
gracie76 Donating Member (37 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:31 PM
Response to Original message
15. learning a second language
We did not have any second languages available in elementary school, but we sure got our fill of English...grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. I think it is very important to expose children to other languages when they are young and eager to learn. English is the language of the world...so we need not be defensive about it. My secondary education did include other languages...four years of Latin, (no kidding), 2 years of Spanish...and then in college, another year of Spanish (Spanish literature), and a year of concentrated French. I love it; languages make sense to me. And it certainly makes sense in Florida (and California), given the large proportion in both states of Spanish-speaking citizens. Spanish is the easiest to learn and pronouce....try it, you'll like it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
17. Chinese might be more useful down the road. nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bettyellen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:33 PM
Response to Original message
18. yes, any second language-it's really good for your brain
you use more of it, and will possibly survive a stroke with much less damage. but they should do a little in preschool to get more benefit.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Mind_your_head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
21. Yes, I think that children should attempt to learn a second language
However, I don't think that SPANISH should be the only option. The world is rich with many languages, why stop with Spanish? The US needs people who speak the middle eastern languages, and we don't have enough. How about Chinese (and there are SEVERAL Chinese dialets ~ Mandarin, Cantonese, etc.). And let's not forget the 'classic European' ~ French, Italian, German, Greek, etc.

The world's a big place, let's have our kids OPEN THEIR EYES and learn about some of it.

Frankly, I'd like to even see SOME schools offering Latin (not all schools would need to offer it) but when you think of the USA as a whole, I wish some kids were still learning it. Etymology can be fascinating and Latin is a great base (There are other valid reasons beside this one to still teach some segment of the population Latin too).

My 2 cents.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
22. i dont like the word forced in htis anymore than forced math
english, pe, music. i think it should be in the system. i am disappointed it isnt there for my kids. they are forced to take two years in highschool. i took finish. i dont know if they have that today, but was in the past.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
caligirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
23. Don't like the question, should be 'a language' not just spanish,
Edited on Sat Feb-11-06 01:40 PM by caligirl
When my oldest was in kindergarten we had him learning french. Then we left Hawaii, where he was in a private school, and put him in public school in cali.. The public here doesn't teach f. language until jr high. They miss a big opportunity by not exposing the kids at the young age of five. This is suppose to be the best time for them to start learning one.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:41 PM
Response to Original message
24. Yes, I was forced to learn English, Why shouldn't English
speakers learn another language? Childhood years are really the best years for learning more than one language. That's when the mind is most receptive to learning the nuances and remembering. Most Scandanavians I know speak excellent English because they learned it in school from a young age.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bjornsdotter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #24
41. Yep

I went to school in the US...my cousins in Sweden. Guess who speaks better English? My cousin...so it goes.

Cheers
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ContraBass Black Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:45 PM
Response to Original message
28. How about an option to take Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese...
A full foreign-language program.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #28
63. Snicker.
Sorry, just remembering how difficult it was to figure out how we were going to pay for our ONE Spanish teacher last year. . .
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #63
113. therein lies the problem
I'm sure plenty of schools would love to offer languages beyond the typical French & Spanish... but, Chinese teachers don't exactly grown on trees, and then there is the question of paying for them.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
30. Naah. Keep 'em ignorant and obedient.
We sure don't want the tykes thinking and questioning anything.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
savemefromdumbya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
35. We HAD to learn French - I think Chinese may be useful in the future?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
37. Which Second Language?
In a city like San Francisco, there are so many to choose from.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
38. you can't force anyone to learn a language
plenty of schools around the world require kids to learn a second language, do they actually do so, ha ha ha, the ones who are going to travel and use it anyway learn it, the rest don't

if it's jobs for teachers in a world where more jobs are needed, i got no problem w. it

but i do not seriously believe that most kids will remember much of it, i sure didn't, it is a great opportunity for those kids who will avail themselves of it, but most will remember even less of a foreign language than they remember of their algebra
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
39. No. Latin would be better.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #39
43. I had Latin in school as well, but other than church, I really found
nowhere else to speak it. I would recommend Latin though for those who wish to enter the sciences because most of the words are in Latin. Some are in Greek if you want to learn that too.

Funny, I remember most plants by their Latin botanical names. When I speak to other gardners, they get upset with me because they know the plants by their common names. They'll say, "Cleita, please say them in English. We don't know what you are talking about."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #43
106. Latin has a huge corpus of writing that has, including...
Edited on Sat Feb-11-06 08:47 PM by JVS
the most influential texts in developing different western literary genres. It's way more important than people think it is.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #106
107. Yes, but the problem is that no one speaks it.
Latin could be a second language learned, like for me, but really you need to speak a language to learn it well and get the feel of it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #107
108. I think it is much more important to be able to read than speak
Edited on Sat Feb-11-06 09:03 PM by JVS
Speaking is handy, but it really doesn't open up too many oportunities because we live in a culture that already has one dominant language. I can read Old Norse, but it would only be useful to speak in Iceland. It still can give me help limping through a Swedish or Norwegian text (aided greatly by my fluent knowledge of German). The benefit from being able to speak a bit of Icelandic (a society that almost universally can speak English) pales in comparison to the ability to read the huge body of literature that survived in Old Norse. Latin is even better for over 1500 years Latin was the principle language of law, literature, religion and science. There are more important things written in those 1500 years than I could ever hope to say or heard said in my lifetime.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Castilleja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 10:56 PM
Response to Reply #43
119. same response for me from gardening people.......
unfortunately. I have always read that botanical names were better than trying to wade through all of the common names a plant might have. I work in a nursery, and nobody knows the botanical name of anything....at all!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
burrowowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #39
49. Yes, Latin
breaks one's language centricity and helps one analyze English better. Gives skills for learning other languages using other appoarches than subject, verb, object.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bumblebee1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
42. I've had the opportunity to learn several languages besides English.
I learned French in the fifth grade. My fifth grade reading teacher would teach us French on Fridays. I studied Spanish in high school and had a college Spanish course. Then I was exposed to Greek and Italian while I was serving in the Navy. Could I hold a deeply philosophical conversation in those languages? Probably not. I learned enough to be able to read and communicate my daily needs. Learning the Greek alphabet was especially fun.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
demosincebirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:20 PM
Response to Original message
44. I don't think so. Lets just remain stupid compared to the rest
of the civilized world.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
45. Learning another language helps you speak and write your own
correctly. I know, it's counterintuitive, but it's true.

I think Spanish should be offered from kindergarten on up, give kids a basic working vocabulary. Kids who are Spanish speaking would be mainstreamed a little more quickly in a system where both languages were being taught.

It's funny how the people who worry themselves silly that taking time for Spanish will take time away from the other academics think taking time to teach bible crap won't take the same time away.



Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
burrowowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
46. US cirriculum
could use the addition of a second language and Physical Education.
In Europe they do it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
47. "Forced?"
Does that mean that we are "forcing" children to learn to read, write, count, think, etc.?

As a teacher, I don't think any kind of learning should be "forced."

As far as 2nd language learning, I think it should start early. Dual immersion preschools, where they are picking up language when the brain is wired to do so, before many of the neural connections for language acquisition are naturally pruned. Yes, I support a multilingual population.
The world is a multilingual place, and I'd like to think that we can prepare our students to be participants in the world.

Even more than a 2nd language, I'd like to see all Americans become fluent in their own language. I find the narrow, limiting vocabulary and usage of many of our monolingual citizens appalling.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Coastie for Truth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
48. I went to an inner city "Academic Magnet Classical Academy"
Edited on Sat Feb-11-06 02:27 PM by Coastie for Truth
and we had Spanish starting in 3rd Grade (and this was in the late 1940's) - and my observation is that the neural synapse programming of becoming bilingual and learning real math aids academic achievement.

My kids went to quadra-lingual parochial schools (Schechter: English, French, Spanish, Hebrew) - and they did very well in senior high school and at "Public Ivies."

I don't think the specific languages matter - French, Spanish, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, whatever.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SmokingJacket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
50. "Forced"! Yes, just as they are "forced" to learn to read.
What a choice of words to use for an academic subject!

I wish our schools did teach a second language -- I once taught in a school that taught Spanish, and I thought it was great. I'd **love** my kids to learn one, any one: once you learn one, another is easy.

Learning a second language in high school taught me more grammar than I ever learned in English class. For that alone, it's worth it.

Spanish is great for some areas; I can imagine that French might be more appropriate elsewhere, and some school districts might prefer Latin, which, IMHO, provides a terrific base for all the Romance languages.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Lefty48197 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
51. Only if they want to be able to talk to the kid next to them
what with our rapidly growing Hispanic-American population.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
rpgamerd00d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
52. Absolutely not. Everyone in the world should learn English.
The very idea of multiple languages is archaic and utterly outdated, not to mention inefficient and non-conducive to society.

Multiple languages ONLY exist because mankind existed in isolated tribes long ago, and developed languages independent of each other. As mankind grows together, our language naturally merges, and of course everyone knows that etymologists have already stated numerous times that in a few more centuries there will only be one language.

Actually spending our money, time and effort on something so mind-numbingly stupid would be a total mistake.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SPKrazy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #52
55. Surely You Jest?
Learning other languages is important.

Should kids be "forced" to? I don't know of anyone being forced to learn a specific language, but I believe that a foreign language should be required. It opens up the mind to other cultures. It creates new neural pathways that will help the person have a more agile mind. (Possibly even preventative with Alzheimer's)

Tell me you are sarcastic?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
rpgamerd00d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #55
62. I am not sarcastic, its a fact, talk to any etymologist in the world...
... in another 300-500 years, there will be 1 language on Earth, not counting those really, really remote tribes, of course.

Its absolutely moronic and wasteful to propagate individual languages. As Human Beings, we all need to communicate with each other, and the most efficient and effective way to do that is to all speak the same language. Having more than one is stupid, and its simply a coincidence, it wasn't done on purpose.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Kellanved Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #62
84. I don't think Chinese will take over that soon
Edited on Sat Feb-11-06 05:37 PM by Kellanved
Languages are persistent. It would be also a loss for the world's culture, not a gain; being able to think in more than one language can be incredibly helpful.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SPKrazy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #62
89. What about preservation of culture? n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-13-06 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #62
142. Why be a nation of dumbasses for a another few centuries?
There may be One World Language, eventually. But monolinguals miss out on a lot.

Early exposure to mure than one language might have helped those pitiful creatures who are afraid of learning.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #52
64. Wow. How absurd.
Losing language means losing literature written in those languages. Some can be translated, but translations are never able to capture the nuance of another language.

We may be moving to one language, but it most certainly will not be English as we know it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
rpgamerd00d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #64
66. English will be a large part of it.
Edited on Sat Feb-11-06 03:42 PM by rpgamerd00d
English has many features required for etymological development.

1) The most expressive language on earth.
2) The most adaptable language on earth.
3) The dominant language of business (computers).

Not saying it will be 100% guarenteed, just that its highly likely to comprise a vast majority of our future language, likely around the 85-90% mark.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #66
74. Here's an assignment:
Define Hubris.

It might prove enlightening.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #66
78. I keep telling Brazilians that Americans aren't as arrogant and
self-centered as people say. And then I stumble upon utterings like this. :banghead:

How many foreign languages do YOU know to be able to make statements 1 and 2?

(I won't argue #3; it's a fact.)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Misunderestimator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #78
95. Why do you keep telling Brazilians that?
Americans are the most arrogant people on the planet. I stopped being surprised by our arrogance and ignorance long ago.

I suppose next we'll hear arguments supporting only one genre of music for the world, one race, one political party, one massive corporatocracy to rule the planet.

Some frightening responses in this thread. Inspires me to brush up on my German, French and Italian I've neglected so long. American complacency and privilege are so unattractive.

The fun part will be when all the arrogant "one-languagers" can't understand what the smart people are saying. :rofl:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
rpgamerd00d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #78
120. I am talking from a purely science point of view.
And I know Spanish. You can whine about culture or philosophy or anything else you want.

The science if Etymology states, clearly, that language evolves and changes, and that as cultures co-mingle, they cross-contaminate each other language.

Bicker all you want, call me names if you like. Science is on my side, period.
This planet will, in 300-500 years, speak a single language.

Like it or not, English or not, it will simply happen.

Now, I am not saying that scholars won't exist, scholars that can speak, quite fluently, the current languages. Now that we're in a written age and a recording age, languages cannot ever die. All currently known languages will still exist in the future, and there will be some, select scholars that study them and can speak them.

Again, that does not change the fact that all people will still speak one common language.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
tocqueville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #120
127. sources please
I did a little wikipedia and a little Google. Couldn't find a single source that backs you up. But some that say exactly the contrary like this one :

CQ Researcher Future of Language v.10-40
David Masci

Date: November 2000

Description
Bio(s)


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Description


More than 6,000 languages are spoken in the world today. But some linguists believe that by the end of the century the influence of globalization and new technologies like the Internet will have most people speaking one language -- English. Other experts say that the most widely used tongues, like French, Arabic and Chinese, will remain in everyday use despite the growing popularity of English. While the experts disagree about the prospects for a global language, almost all are concerned that many more obscure tongues are on the verge of being lost forever. Meanwhile, some Americans believe that the United States is in danger of losing its native tongue and argue that English should be the nation's official language.


Bio(s)

David Masci specializes in social policy, religion and foreign affairs. Before joining The CQ Researcher as a staff writer in 1996, he was a reporter at CQ's Daily Monitor and CQ Weekly. He holds a BA in medieval history from Syracuse University and a law degree from The George Washington University.

http://www.cqpress.com/product/Researcher-Future-of-Lan...

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
rpgamerd00d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-13-06 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #127
146. Actually, that source backs me up 100%.
That is exactly what I said.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Mind_your_head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #52
114. You're obviously a 'New World Order' Man/Woman no doubt! n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
tocqueville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #52
118. a language expresses a culture, a mindset
words exist in certain languages, not in others. Concepts are very different in different cultures. The same word means different things in different languages. "Liberal" has a concept of "left" in the US, means neocon in Europe.

diversity is the rule, not monolithism. Your "etymologists" are nuts.

that there are some shared languages as vehicles of communication is one thing, has always occured. But according to you the "natural evolution" should lead to a common, unique mindset. All historic facts speak of the contrary. NEW languages emerge, old evolve and change. Old English is practically uncomprehensible for a modern average Brit, but still far easier for a Scandinave.

According to you in 200 years from now we'll all speak Chinese. Which means that won't be any need for an alphabet, all think in Taoism. Probably we'll live on rice and turn yellow too...

the human spirit is DIVERSE, therefore languages always will be different. The only real unique language is maths or maybe HTML. Because it expresses the same concepts.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
rpgamerd00d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #118
122. See post a few lines up
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
oscar111 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
53. WORLD LANGUAGE needed, till then, foreign langs waste class time
foreign langusages waste enormous amounts of smart folks brain time.

once the UN agrees on a universal second language for all to learn, which will slowly become the first lang for the globe... after that, classes in that lang. Before that, end all foreig.l lang classes. Learn philosophy instead.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
rpgamerd00d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #53
68. At least you understand.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #53
69. English is the world language
Ever hear a German communicate with an Italian? They speak in English.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Lolivia Donating Member (176 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #69
105. That wasn't my experience
When I was in Europe, the German would speak to the Italian in Italian, and the Italian answered in German. (They weren't necessarily those nationalities - I'm just using the nationalities of your analogy). They would both speak to me in English. Absolutely amazing.

BTW - I don't think I've ever before heard someone advocate the loss of knowledge and information.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #105
121. It was my experience when I lived in Europe for two years
I'm not sure what you mean by this sentence.

"I don't think I've ever before heard someone advocate the loss of knowledge and information."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-13-06 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #121
143. "Appalled by Willful Ignorance" is the meaning.....
Of "I don't think I've ever before heard someone advocate the loss of knowledge and information."

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Kellanved Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #53
88. trouble is: it's not possible to do proper philosophy in English
Edited on Sat Feb-11-06 06:16 PM by Kellanved
really: You'll need German and/or ancient Greek - read Adorno.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
kineneb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 11:05 PM
Response to Reply #88
125. or study music history
a good percentage of the reference material and studies are only available in German, so I got a degree minor in German.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
54. voted a strong 'Yes.'
Less is asked of U.S. school students than ought to be and half this hemisphere speaks Spanish.

More and better communication strikes me as preferable to less and worse.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Whoa_Nelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #54
58. Learning a second language, especially a Latin-based one
does more than add to the ability to understand and/or speak that language. It adds to the ability to more fully understand the English language, fosters greater reading comprehension, and transfers into building better writing skills.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #58
59. Thumbs up to that, Whoa_Nelly. / nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:54 PM
Response to Original message
56. Focus On Academic Excellence
Maybe if we raised the bar and included foreign language, philosophy, real art and music, kids would learn to appreciate what education means and the basics would be an obvious necessity to them.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
57. My six-year-old grandson
has been in a Russian immersion program at his school for the past two years (kindergarten and first grade). The entire class is conducted in Russian in the morning. I think it's a good thing. He's learning a lot, and, although I can't prove this, I think learning a language at an early age helps with learning in general. My grandson is an excellent reader and loves math - maybe he would have anyway, but my guess is the language immersion has helped.

Now, whether somebody should be "forced" to take a second language is another matter. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Maybe "encouraged" would be a better approach.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
deadparrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
61. I believe they should learn A second language.
I mean, if they're in the north, near Canada (especially Quebec), or in Louisiana, French might be more appropriate. Spanish, however, would be best through the south and west. I think there are benefits to learning ANY second language, so it's not particularly important which one is chosen.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nutmegger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
65. Yes
I'm learning another language now and it is HARD AS HELL!!!! At least if I learned it when I was a child, I would have more of a chance and possibly be fluent.

I think it's a good idea though because not only does one learn a language but the culture as well. That's important for kids to learn and it would open their eyes beyond the United States.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Yollam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
67. No.
I grew up in El Paso, and was required to take Spanish from K-9th grade. It was not a bad thing per se, but I still can hardly speak or understand Spanish. I think a foreign language (not necessarily Spanish) should be required from Middle school on, and the child should be able to choose from several languages.

The fact that the US is experiencing an influx of immigration from Spanish-speaking countries is not a reason for kids to be forced to learn Spanish. It is a reason for immigrants to learn English.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
70. kids should be exposed to as many languages as possible... n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:08 PM
Response to Original message
72. I believe every child should be forced to learn UKRAINIAN.
It's my grandparent's original language after all.

I would be happy for each and every child to learn THEIR FAMILY'S original language, or CHOOSE a language of their CHOICE.

My grandparents and parents had to learn ENGLISH like every other immigrant group. I am better for it.

It would be nice if the LATEST imigrants showed the same courtesy.

I am better for it, that's for sure.

That is why I totally support some OFFICIAL legislation to make ENGLISH the National Language.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #72
93. And if those immigrants are illiterate in Spanish,
learning a second language is kinda hard for them.

I strongly oppose any legislation to make English our official language. In fact, I find that idea rather bigoted.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #93
123. That's the whole point. I find it BIGOTED that would force anybody to
learn SPANISH.

We shouldn't be forced to learn SPANISH.

Shoe on other foot, you know.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 01:04 AM
Response to Reply #123
128. But it is a good thing for children to learn another language
That is pointed out all through this thread.

On the other hand, forcing adults to learn English is a completely different issue.

Sorry, different shoes, different feet.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
tallahasseedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
73. Why shouldn't they learn sign language?
The deaf community encompasses over 25 million people in the United States, why not?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #73
76. I like that idea n/t
 Add to my Journal Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #76
80. Hear hear! -nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maestro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #73
98. In fact, my school has a large bilingual program
and deaf ed program. We sign almost every announcement made in the morning and teach sign as well along with the importance of speaking another language.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #73
124. I would favor that in a nanosecond.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
75. YOUNG kids learn faster..so I say YES..only they should be able to choose
their "second language"..

We had friends whose little one was fluent in 3 languages by the time he was 4..

Dad was a US serviceman who was married to a japanese woman, and they had household help from a Panamanian lady.

David was fluent in Spanish, Japanese and english..with NO discernable accent in ANY of them..

The human brain is a very capable organ, given half a chance
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:27 PM
Response to Original message
79. I had to vote yes, mainly because I lived in Miami
Edited on Sat Feb-11-06 05:30 PM by RebelOne
most of my life and if you do not have a knowledge of Spanish, you are at a disadvantage because the majority of the population is now Hispanic. I now live in North Georgia and Spanish would be a real plus because of all the Hispanic immigrants here. I so not believe that it should be "forced," but optional as it was when I was in school in South Florida.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
mb7588a Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:33 PM
Response to Original message
82. wtf.
kids are barely learning English.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Fountain79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
86. I think...
that foreign languages should be taught in the earlier grades. Younger children just learn languages quicker than adults or teens. However I do believe that immigrants coming in to this country need to learn as much English as possible because ultimately their success will rest on their knowledge of English. I wonder sometimes if we hamstring kids who can't speak english by putting them in classes with other kids who speak their language.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
AZBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 06:12 PM
Response to Original message
87. Wait...my choice isn't listed.
No on forced Spanish. WTF??!

Yes on a second language - but you get to choose from Spanish, German, French, Italian or Chinese.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #87
91. Did you read the poll?
Poll result (111 votes)
Yes, a second language should be required in all elemtary schools (83 votes, 75%) Vote
No, kids should focus on learning math, reading, science, etc. (28 votes, 25%) Vote
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
AZBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-13-06 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #91
138. Oh, I thought by second language they meant Spanish specifically.
Sorry - I misunderstood!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nobody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
92. Learning another language helps you with your first
I'm amazed (well, no not really,) how much real education is opposed by so many people. We used to lead the world in how advanced we are. Now we're a joke among industrialized nations.

Let's require a second language. Doesn't matter which, but Spanish is an excellent choice because of how many other nations speak it. French is another good choice, our neighbors to the north have French as an official language. Arabic is a great choice based on how important Arabic-seaking countries are.

Learning a foreign grammer makes you take a harder look at your own. Putting sentences together in a different language gives you insight into putting sentences together in your own. If you start young enough, you can speak almost as a native speaker. How can that not be beneficial?

I had to wait until high school before I could learn Spanish. Even though I was at the top of my class, when I went to Spain I was hopelessly lost trying to keep up with the Spanish speakers. Most of them spoke English and I didn't have to slow down for them while they had to frequently repeat themselves for me.

This has to become a requirement, it has to start immediately, and it has to be ongoing.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
nemo137 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
94. God, I wish I had been forced to learn a second language
It'd have been great if it were Spanish. I'm definately pro-multilingualism.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Buns_of_Fire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #94
109. I wish I'd been multilingualized (?) at an earlier age!
I took two years of Spanish and two years of German later in school, and I've retained just about enough of each to probably get my face slapped almost anywhere in the world.

But I have remembered that "Voulez-vous couchet avec moi ce soir?" is not a generally acceptable greeting to women in Quebec...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
mandyky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 06:41 PM
Response to Original message
97. I have found bilingual elemenntary students to be smarter than
Edited on Sat Feb-11-06 06:42 PM by mandyky
unilingual students. Children learn Spanish phrases on Sesame Street and Dora the Explorer, with ease. I think it would be interesting for teachers to teach kids a few basic phrases in Spanish, French, Italian, German, etc. Like hello, how are you, please thank you, I don't understand, I speak English, please help me, etc. Also things like merry christmas, happy birthday, etc. Teachers could then assess students to see who _LIKES_ learning such things, and get them into more advanced classes.

I did not vote, it is not a yes or no answer. It depends, if spanish is widely spoken or not. But some alternative language should be introduced.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dryan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #97
100. When I first....
moved to Florida in the early 60s, we used to have Spanish classes via TV - 1/2 hours a day. I feel it helped me. If you really study a language, you also learn about the culture and history of the country of origin. Knowing Spanish has helped me tremendously. Ole!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Beware the Beast Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
101. Whether Spanish or otherwise, some second language should be required.
I am ashamed to know that a student half my age in another country may speak 2-3 languages more fluently than I do.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
103. Spanish should be a natural part of the curriculum
in ALL borders states starting from kindergarten. Children should then be given options starting in the 3rd grade for 2nd language requirements. It's SO EASY for them and there's NO DOWN SIDE. Language exercises the brain in WONDERFUL WAYS. Both my kids speak, read and write Japanese which they, on their own initiative, took up as teens. My oldest also has acquired letter perfect German. Mine will NEVER be as good, having begun to learn at 45. I only get "hardwired" for details by my kid friends. They, in turn, get passive hardwiring from me in Englisch. THERE IS NO DOWN SIDE TO COMMUNICATION.

I've participated in many discussions with parents concerned that their children will get confused. Yeah, sure the kids will mix it up for a bit, but they grow into it SO FAST it's AMAZING.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
kohodog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
111. Spanish and Chinese, and one more for good luck
IMHO languages should be taught early when they're easier to pick up.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 10:12 PM
Response to Original message
112. My in-laws grew up speaking multiple languages; are our kids too dumb?
"Forced" is a bad way to frame something that increases brain-power and enhances your ability to communicate the rest of your life.

A better way to put it might be: "What? You think our kids are too stupid to learn?"

My late father in law spoke three languages as a child: Yiddish, Polish, and Russian. Of course there was Hebrew school too, but that wasn't a conversational language. As a young man he moved to Germany, and learning German was a snap. Then on to Belgium, where he learned French. He didn't move to the US until he was over 50, at which point he needed to learn English. At the very end of his life, observing how many Spanish speakers were in our area, he asked to borrow my son's high school Spanish text -- but at well over 90 it finally proved to be too hard.

My mother in law, still living, grew up in Vienna where she spoke German and Yiddish. In school she learned French and English, so when she moved to Belgium when Austria fell she immediately was able to communicate and find employment. After WW II, when my in-laws moved to the US with their three small sons, her good English is what enabled her and her husband to find work as a couple until he learned enough to get by on his own.

I am monolingual, but I certainly don't boast about my deficiency.

I very much wish my children had had the opportunity to learn a foreign language starting in pre-school or kindergarten when their brains were the most flexible, rather than having to wait until high school.

Our country makes grave errors in education by acting as though our public school children are too stupid to master foreign languages, mathematics, science, and literate writing in their native tongue. We (or rather our elected officials) write policy based on their being unable to do these things -- and worse, many parents at home reinforce the same notions by bitching when teachers actually try to enforce homework and classroom discipline. Then we wonder why our youngsters fall far, far behind schoolkids in other nations.

"Force" our children to learn another language? "Enforced ignorance" is far worse.

Hekate
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 10:28 PM
Response to Original message
115. Absolutely, a second language should be taught in
elementary school. Kids that age learn languages so much more easily than older kids! They're little sponges, and they'd do quite well with it, I'd guess.

Americans are so freaking stubborn about foreign languages, and it will hurt us. We're not isolated any longer, the world is getting smaller by the day, and the era when anyone who wanted to deal with us needed to know English is ending. Time for us to get the heck over it and start learning to communicate with the rest of the world.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
GoneOffShore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 10:29 PM
Response to Original message
116. I've voted yes BUT
I think that it would have been better to have made the question "a second language" rather than just Spanish.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 10:32 PM
Response to Original message
117. I reject the premise of the question.
I don't think kids should be forced to learn anything. I believe that's one of the biggest failings of education today. Learning should be something everyone does voluntarily.

Should multiple languages be taught to elementary school children? Sure, why not?

Should Spanish be taught along with English in elementary school in South Florida? Sure, if the citizenry votes to do so.

However, this is a bigger issue than it may appear to those who are unfamiliar with South Florida. For years, a battle has been fought in South Florida, specifically in Miami-Dade, to make Spanish an official language there, given the number of Hispanic citizens. I'm afraid that this initiative is more likely related to this battle than anything involving the better interests of the children.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Starbucks Anarchist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 11:10 PM
Response to Original message
126. Second language, yes, not necessarily Spanish.
When my parents were growing up in India, they were taught Hindi (national language), Telugu (their particular state language) and English (the universal language), and that was in the 50s and 60s.

Surely, this country can do better 50 years later.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
wickerwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 03:17 AM
Response to Original message
130. Second language yes, Spanish, not necessarily.
Elementary school is too young though. Research seems to suggest that starting a language before 11 or 12 doesn't offer a significant advantage. Something happens when we're about that age- our brains pick a first language and we forget a lot of any second language we started before that. My cousin was raised bi-lingual but his English has been much better than his Spanish ever since about that age.

In Japan and China they start kids learning English in kindergarten but their ability isn't any better than students who started in middle school. I do think a second language should be a requirement in middle and high school. I never learned any grammar whatsoever until I started studying German.

So I would say a lot more math and science in elementary school and a lot more second language study in upper grades.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
banana republican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 04:26 AM
Response to Original message
131. Language is not just about communication; it is how you think.
In the '60 I worked on a symposium titled language & world order. We had speakers from across the nation.

Language is more than just talking to one another it is about how one thinks and sees the world. We can always go to the analogy of the eskimos haveing 20+ words for snow as opposed to our english one word. But having 20+ words for somethng affects it's importance to a society and the preception of that reality. How does one for example react to hard snow ( snow that is more ice than snow) as opposed to soft snow (powder snow) for example. You can walk on hard snow; you sink in powder.

It is more important to understand how others think than it is to merely understand their language.....
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 04:33 AM
Response to Original message
132. Second language isn't a bad idea, but not necessarily Spanish.
Edited on Sun Feb-12-06 04:34 AM by impeachdubya
Give 'em a choice.

Anyway, given the sorry state of education in this country, I'm not so sure that this is such a clear-cut issue on any side. Frankly, for my education dollar, I'm much more worried about kids who aren't getting a grounding in Scientific facts like the 4.5 Billion year geological history of the Earth --and the evolutionary history of life on it-- because of the religious nuts who have taken over various school boards.

A second language is a nice thing for kids to learn, but I'd be hard pressed to say it's more important than the basics that many schools aren't doing a very good job with.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 05:07 AM
Response to Original message
133. Si, por supuesto.
:)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Fox Mulder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 05:10 AM
Response to Original message
134. No.
I don't think they should be forced to learn a second language in elementary school. Hell, I was still struggling with English when I was in sixth grade (no joke). It's too much pressure on an elementary-aged student.

I'd say keep it the way it is and "force" them to learn a second language in junior high or high school.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Jack_DeLeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 06:07 AM
Response to Original message
136. Well, you've got to learn the language of the land....
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Road Scholar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 06:19 AM
Response to Original message
137. Done! nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NoPasaran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-13-06 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
139. I demand every child should have to learn Latin!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
nickinSTL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-13-06 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
140. your subject line isn't the same as the poll...
Edited on Mon Feb-13-06 02:31 PM by nickinSTL
I wouldn't say that kids should be forced to learn Spanish...

But I am in favor of teaching children a second language. There ARE other languages besides English and Spanish. I speak German and a bit of French, myself.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-13-06 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
144. Languages should definitely be taught earlier.
Because kids learn easier when they're young. Spanish is a good choice, but should not be the only one.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Ron Mexico Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-13-06 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
145. They should be taught a second language, but
which one depends on the area, what the parents think is best, etc. Where my brother lives, Chinese would easily be the most useful second language. Where I live, it'd be Spanish, and where my parents live, it'd be Russian.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Earth_First Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-13-06 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
148. A second (or third) language? Absolutely. However,
it should entirely be of the interest of the student required to learn the second or third language. It allows for the student to be naturally interested in a decision that he or she made, rather lost interest in a subject that they are being "forced" to learn.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Thu Nov 27th 2014, 07:14 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC