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chrisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:10 AM
Original message
Should Spanish be taught from an early age in Public Schools?
Yes or No? Also, explain why you think it should or shouldn't be?

Personally, I believe it should be taught. Our country could only benefit from becoming a bilingual society. I also believe the younger we can teach kids a foreign language, the better. The first grade is a good place to start, imo, continuing on until kids exit High School.

What say you?
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
1. Chinese...
our future... :eyes:
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donheld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
77. mandarin?
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shadowrider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
2. Why Spanish?
Why not Greek, Portuguese, Romanian, French or any of a myriad of other languages. Do I think kids ought to be bi-lingual? Yes. Limiting to Spanish? No.
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chrisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Spanish is the most commonly taught in schools, imo.
It is also the most useful.
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shadowrider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. I'm not disputing that
Only suggesting that there are other languages out there just as worthy.
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chrisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #10
21. That's also true.
Edited on Sat Feb-06-10 10:25 AM by chrisa
Unfortunately, only so much time can be devoted in a school year. Spanish seems like the most practical, imo. I wish, however, that multiple languages (French, Italian, etc.) could be taught.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #10
45. If Latin Am. is someone's interest, then Portuguese is a good one to learn. nt
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #45
162. Yes, that will get you far in Guatemala nt
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lolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #162
203. Well, not far, but somewhere
Someone who speaks Portuguese fluently will have a much easier time getting around in Spanish-speaking countries than someone who doesn't. Spanish and Portuguese are close, more mutually intelligible than many Chinese dialects.
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #203
208. Then it should be better to learn Spanish
because more people world-wide speak Spanish than Portugese.

dg
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #10
119. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #119
161. Never mind that the vast majority of people in our hemisphere speak Spanish
:eyes:

dg
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #4
42. No, it's not the most useful unless you live in the southwest. nt
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #42
72. Here in Florida Spanish has been very useful for the last fifty years
With Cuban immigrants from the early 1900s already establishing a base group, then Cuban refugees after the Castro take over, Mexican, Puerto Rican, and other Spanish speaking people immigrating, there are many area where Spanish is almost required to get along.

While there are many other immigrants that speak many other languages, the Spanish speaking groups have the advantage of a common language, even if there are cultural differences.

When I was in school in the late fifties, early sixties, our small school system added Spanish as a second language option. The previous sole option had been Latin, a vestige of the "classical education" that literally dated from when my father attended the same school system in the twenties and thirties - the same teacher that taught him was still teaching Latin! The school system at one point was going to add French, but they lost their bid to hire the teacher who was going to teach it.

My Spanish teacher had studied Spanish in Spain and her accent and idioms were different from that of the Mexican and Cuban classmates we had. So when we tried to practice our Spanish, our friends laughed at us.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #42
90. It'd be pretty useful in Minnesota. I use my Spanish quite often here.
We even have a thriving business district on Cesar Chavez Blvd here in Saint Paul.

Hmong would be good here, too.

The reality is that we have a full immersion school in both. Lots of non-speakers in them, too.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #90
95. I use my Spanish often here in Fargo.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #95
97. Yah...Spanish speakers are everywhere. It's funny that people still
think they only exist in a few places.
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Flaneur Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #42
118. There are a lot of Spanish speakers just about everywhere in the US now.
Puerto Ricans in New York, Cubans (and many others) in Florida, huge Spanish-speaking population in Chicago, hell, I even pick up Spanish language radio stations in eastern Washington.

So, yeah, the most useful overall.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #118
122. We're the fastest growing Demo, afaik. n/t
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cyberswede Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #42
140. Our Iowa school district is over 50% hispanic n/t
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #42
165. Have you traveled to California recently? LOL. Both coasts of the US, actually. nt
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Telly Savalas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #42
184. There's a pretty large Spanish speaking population in Kansas City
I'd be hard pressed to think of another language besides English that would be more useful for a Kansas Citian to know.
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FLDCVADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. +1
I believe a language should be taught as well, but it shouldn't be limited to Spanish. If at all possible, there should be a couple of choices.
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4lbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #2
89. It's because Spanish is the second most spoken language in the US.
The others are worthy, but the second language should really be the one that is spoken the most of the remaining non-English languages in the country.

As the number of Latinos in the US increases to the point where they will become the largest minority group, it will make even more sense to teach Spanish along with English. In addition, unlike French, Greek, Romanian or any of those languages you mentioned, Spanish is applicable in dozens of countries outside of the US. Only a handful of countries speak French or Portuguese.

Canada teaches French along with English because French is the second most spoken language in that country. In fact, people in Quebec tend to speak French first, then English.

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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #89
180. NOT if you are looking out at the world where Arabic, Chinese, French and Russian are more important
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LuckyLib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #89
209. As of 2005, Latinos already are the largest minority group in the US
Population
41.3 million
The estimated Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1, 2004, making people of Hispanic origin the nations largest race or ethnic minority. Hispanics constituted 14 percent of the nations total population. (This estimate does not include the 3.9 million residents of Puerto Rico.)

US Census Update
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
157. It is the natural second language of our country
Given the number of immigrants for whom it is the native language.

i have studied it since 7th grade.

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Speck Tater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
3. I wish I had learned Spanish when I was young.
That said, the future might have more call for speaking Chinese, especially for people planning to go into business. At the rate things are going China will own every asset in the US before long anyway.
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #3
63. Which "Chinese" language should be taught? There are a number of different ones
That is like saying "European" should be a language taught in our schools. China encompasses far more area and more cultural variations than Europe does but people tend to dump the people and their different languages and ways of life into a single category. Mandarin is the most dominant language but there are many others, some close to Mandarin, others very different from it, similar to the relationship of Romance languages to each other, but with others - German or the Norse dialects - very different:



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_language

One of the reasons English has been the language of trade across the world it that it can easily adopt terms from other languages into its vocabulary. I am not familiar with Mandarin, but I have gotten the impression that it is flexible in that way.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #63
69. Mandarin has caught up with 'Traditional/Cantonese' Chinese in the US and Canada.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #63
187. Standard Mandarin is the official language of China
It's the language of government business and administrators. Most people in China can understand some Mandarin.

But Cantonese is the language of business, especially because most big business leaders originally came from the Hong Kong region.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
5. Foreign languages should be offered early, when people can most easily learn them
Spanish is a good choice, given all those folk to our south and the number of Spanish speakers in the US

Arabic and Chinese are other good choices
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timtom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:15 AM
Response to Original message
6. Yes and no.
Foreign languages should be taught in school, Spanish being merely one of them (albeit, a good choice for these times).
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Jkid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
8. Not only spanish.
But French, German, Arabic, and any other language that is currently used mostly in the area where the school is located.
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
9. A foreign language, yes, but I wouldn't support forcing everyone into Spanish.
I studied French and German in school, and while I am not and will never be fluent, I did benefit from the experience.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #9
44. Learning a year or so of Latin would be helpful in a lot of languages. nt
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #44
59. My 2 years of Latin is invaluable when dealing with the Latinos in CA
Seriously though, while I get that Latin is a root language and all that, I really wish I had been forced to learn Spanish while I was young. It's so much more difficult now.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #59
68. Living in LA, it's amazing you didn't. I know folks in Eastern Ontario. that never learned French.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #59
78. I learned to speak English from teevee and spoke it pretty well
before kindergarten. That means, I learned English between the ages of about 3.5 and 5 by mostly listening to a machine while I was also learning Spanish.

On the other hand, I spent about the same amount of time in French classes in college. While I can decode text fine, I can't speak a word and probably never will.
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farmout rightarm Donating Member (680 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #78
135. It's weird how that works, I can read French fairly well (never had 'lessons') but I can't understan
it spoken for merde. Actually I have the same problem to a degree with Spanish if it comes at me really fast.
Que lastima. :-)
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #135
138. When I go to Mexico or El Salvador, my ear needs to adjust for speed
for about 12-24 hours. But, the same thing happened when I went to London. lol

French, olvidate, forget it. I can't catch anything at all unless it's a one word exclamation. :)
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #44
86. Agreed!
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driver8 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
11. My kids are in a Spanish immersion program.
My daughter is in second grade and can read, write and speak the language very well.

Living in Southern California, learning Spanish can only help them.

I don't know if it should be Spanish that is taught, but I think all kids should learn a language.
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chrisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #11
19. Awesome!
I wish all kids could have the same experience, since it's so much harder to learn a new language later in life (High School is much too late to start, imo).
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #11
48. I think language immersion programs for summer school would be a great idea. nt
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #11
81. You're giving them an amazing gift.
:hi:
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #11
120. Hi, driver8, here we are on another language immersion for kids thread!
I can't believe that we are so fortunate to have these programs for the kids, your daughter and my grandson. I describe this program to people here in CT and they can hardly believe it. The Italian Americans in particular love the idea of kids having the benefit of their "heritage" language.
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driver8 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #120
188. It really is amazing, isn't it??
We are very lucky to have these programs. I can't wait to see your grandson again so we can hear him speak Italian!
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 07:07 AM
Response to Reply #188
193. Right now he speaks Italian only in class or with one of the bilingual kids.
He doesn't respond to me when I try to speak tohim in Italian. I think he reasons that what he speaks is appropriate for that setting so school=Italian, home=English. That's why I would love to have him come to Italy in a few more years so he can have that experience, too, with Italian speakers all around him...
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driver8 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #193
196. My son won't speak Spanish yet, at home. When I think about it, my
daughter didn't start speaking Spanish at home until her second year in the program.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #196
197. I'll tell my daughter what you told me. She's taking Italian lessons now
and will want to be prepared...
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rhiannon55 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
12. Yes. It's the most commonly spoken language
besides English in this country. I have long wished that I had learned Spanish as a child. I've tried to learn several times as an adult and failed.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
13. Yes.. also several other languages..
Power to the Polyglots!

(I wish I was one)
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
14. Language is best and most easily learned before puberty.
But Spanish isn't the only other language spoken in this country and I would strenuously resist taking us down the nightmare bilingual path of Canada.

Chinese. Hindi. French. Russian. Arabic. Whole lotta other languages besides that of the conquistadors.
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Grey Donating Member (933 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #14
36. What bi-lingual nightmare?
While it is true we also have redneck/teabagger types up here, that rant and rave about having a second language on their cereal boxes, learning a second language can only be an improvement. Those that have learned a second language, as a young person, have told me that learning the third or forth language is much easier. One friend (born and raised in Estonia) told me that living where her family did she and everyone she knew could speak 4 or 5 languages. She went on to learn 17 languages (nine she could read, write and speak) and worked as a translator for the Port of Vancouver.

Language is a tool, not a club.
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #36
199. Quite a few Americans believe we're tottering on the edge of a civil war or something
It's more than a little silly, especially nowadays.
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Lost-in-FL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
15. I say yes to a language of choice. nt
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
16. bilingual, yes. Spanish? depends.
In some areas that would make sense, around my neck of the woods Arabic would make more sense. In other neighborhoods there's a large Hmong population.

As for making it mandatory ... I'm not sure how that would work for immigrant children already struggling to grasp English - seems like using nonexistent English skills to try to teach a third language would be impractical, and schools probably can't meet the challenge of getting certified teachers who speak, for example, Arabic and Spanish and English.

Aside from that ... just speaking as a teacher here, in theory bilingual education is great and I support it. In reality schools aren't adequately funded to meet the requirements they already have, and it can be frustrating to have outsiders come in and say "you know, you should be doing this in addition to what you are already doing" like that's going to get funded out of thin air, like a cadre of certified bilingual teachers will just appear for free in thousands of nonbilingual neighborhoods, like paying for them wouldn't result in having to lay off existing subject area teachers.
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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
17. There isn't a test for it, therefore it can't be done.
It isn't a matter of teachers deciding, it's the politicians who know nothing about education dictating what should and should not be taught by what tests they decide will be given.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #17
29. Bingo
What's up with all the curriculum threads in GD today? I just posted almost your exact comment in another thread on what high schoolers should be studying.
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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #29
35. You know the answer...
everyone is an expert on education because they went to school. Teachers don't know squat.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #35
38. Speaking of,
did you catch the 'expert' who posted in my thread about parent teacher conferences?
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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #38
40. Self-proclaimed expert, mind you.
Well, maybe not, but certainly a horses' ass.
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murray hill farm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
18. Sure!
Spanish is a good choice for very young children through elementary...and sets the stage for more easy transfer to additionsl languages as they get older and can choose to learn other languages at the high school level.
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NYC_SKP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
20. Well, not in Minnesota or North Dakota. There they need to teach Canadian.
series.
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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. Canadian, eh?
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NYC_SKP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #22
30. You've been practicin', eh?
we're pickin' up a 2-4 later if ya wanna join us.

ya hoser!
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #22
32. My command of the Canadian language...
Toque

Labatte

Canadian bacon

Hoser


and the perennial "Eh?"


:7



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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #32
51. serviette?
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #51
55. Oooh, a new word! Merci fromage cul de sac!
:7

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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #55
62. Thank you cheese in a dead end street?
No, my friend from Canada said "serviette" was a napkin.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #20
91. Not so.
The Twin Cities have a large Spanish-speaking population, hailing from a number of countries. We even have a Cesar Chavez Blvd, with thriving businesses on it.

You don't know a lot about Minnesota, huh?
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Vincardog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
23. Spanish French German Portuguese offer them ALL before age 10
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
24. Any foreign language instruction is beneficial
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:29 AM
Response to Original message
25. I'm all for teaching kids any foreign language
Maybe schools can offer three or four and let parents/kids choose...


My two granddaughters are sort of bi-lingual (English and Polish) and I think it's pretty neat. :)
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:29 AM
Response to Original message
26. When I was a teacher at the daycare, we taught Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Patwa, and
international sign language. The kids absorbed it all quickly.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #26
158. "International sign language"? n/t
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #158
160. Apparently there are nuanced and different gestures between countries
so they had to agree on a common system, hence "international".
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:30 AM
Response to Original message
27. Yes
It is the predominant language in our hemisphere. Plus it's easier for kids to learn another language when they're younger. If they want to learn yet another language, they can do so in High School.

dg
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lazer47 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
28. How about we first improve on their English,,,,,,Then maybe a second language
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #28
34. Hmm....good point there, actually.... n/t
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Lisa0825 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #28
49. Actually studies have shown that leanrning a second laguage actually
improves your first language, especially when learned at a young age. It's like exercising improves your skill at certain sports or tasks. Using your brain to learn a new language exercises your brain's "language skills." Vocabulary generally improves because words in english are derived from other languages, so people learn to recognize the root words and the vocabulary ends up crossing over from language to language. Also, practicing the grammar, verb tenses, etc in a second language reinforces those rules by continually comparing them as your study. For instance, when I am comparing verb tenses in spanish, I am comparing them to the similar tenses in englisg.
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #49
52. What I've observed...and I don't know if it's purely coincidence or what, but...
I've noticed that people who read a lot seem to be better with spelling and grammar, etc. than people who hardly ever, or never, pick up a book.

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Lisa0825 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #52
60. Probably true, but that doe snot conflict with the idea that a second language
improves the first language as well.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #60
94. Doe snot? Ewwww....
:hide:
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NorthCarolina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #28
76. +1
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Bill McBlueState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #28
100. true
Like, what's the rule for using six consecutive commas? I've forgotten it.
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a la izquierda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
31. Yes.
My children will be taught Spanish from birth, as I am bilingual and my research sends me to Mexico at least once per year for extended period. My children will be raised in both cultures (unless I choose to relocate there full time, which is becoming an enticing option).
Whether Spanish will continue to be the useful language it is may or may not be the point; getting native English speakers bilingual at an early age will ease the learning of other languages-like Chinese or whatever else-as the child ages.
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ashling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
33. When I was in school back in the early 60s
We had Spanish twice a week in 3d grade.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #33
47. I had French twice a week in 4th grade. nt
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #47
58. Me too, right up through Junior High. n/t
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sharesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
37. Mandatory Spanish in elementary school would have a profound political backlash.
So I say YES.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #37
43. No. In the east, French, Russian or German. nt
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sharesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #43
50. Do you think those languages are growing in use anywhere in the U.S.?
No, it is Spanish. A population explosion separated from us by a porous border. Embrace it!
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #37
105. +1
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
39. Most people in the world speak English better than you'll ever speak their language
So teaching foreign languages to English-speaking students is not practical.

If you want to learn a language for historical or cultural importance, then learn Chinese or Arabic.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #39
96. The reason they speak English is that they STUDY it
Yeah, I ran into the "you don't need to learn Japanese" types in Japan. They were stuck in the American ghetto, interacted exclusively with English-speaking people (i.e. mostly those who have lived in an English-speaking country), and had NO IDEA what they were missing.

Besides, it's simply a courtesy to learn the language of a country you're going to be living in.

I would say that the average American who actually tries to learn Japanese (which is usually taught through conversational methods) ends up speaking it better than the average Japanese person who has had six years of reading English in school speaks English.

As one of my former professors said, "Whenever an English-speaker and a Japanese meet for the first time, there's a tug of war to see whose language skills are better."

I "win" in about 9/10 of the cases.
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #96
109. If you are going to work extensively with the people in another country, then learn their language
But since we can't predict accurately which 5th grader will work in which other country, advising them to learn a second language is not very useful. And the languages which are most taught in US schools tend to be European languages. Europeans speak English pretty widely, since it is compulsory as a second language in many of their schools.

It's doubtful whether learning a second European language is of much help in later learning a non-European language, such as Japanese, Chinese, or Arabic, which do not use the Latin alphabet and are considerably different.

What was your experience? Did you learn other European languages before learning Japanese?
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #109
117. Yes, I did
I studied French (in college), German (from relatives and in high school and college), Spanish (elementary and high school), Latin (college), and Russian (college) before learning Japanese. After learning Japanese, I studied Chinese off and on.

(Spoken Japanese and spoken Chinese are as different from each other as any two languages can be. Take the sentence "I eat rice with chopsticks." In Japanese, it's Watashi wa hashi de gohan wo taberu. In Chinese, it's Wo yong kuaizi chi fan.)

Fear is the biggest obstacle to foreign language learning. Because our school systems don't require FLs, I frequently had students in beginning Japanese who had never encountered another language. Their mindset was, "This is different from the only way I've known how to speak for eighteen years! I can't deal with it! Why do they have to say it that way? Why can't they say it the logical (English) way?"

The students who had studied another language were much calmer about it. True, Japanese is more different from English than Spanish or French are, but students who had dealt with grammatical gender, subjunctives, and other non-English features, were much less panicky when dealing with Japanese features like adjectives conjugated for tense, subject-object-verb word order, and levels of politeness.

Because Americans grow up in a culture where most people never study a foreign language, they have this idea that it's impossibly difficult and useless.

Yet in parts of Europe, everyone learns two or three languages, and they think nothing of it.
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #117
125. What would you think about having US students learn Chinese ideograms?
From discussions with a Korean friend, it appears that one can get the meaning of the writing, without necessarily knowing how to say the words in Chinese, Korean or Japanese.

Useful for travel in East Asia?
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wickerwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #125
143. Not really,
because as a traveler you need to speak with people far more often than you need to read something. Most street signs in China are in both characters and Romanized pinyin.

What you really need to be able to do is 1.) tell the taxi driver where you want to go 2.) buy the right quantity of what you want at the market and recognize how much the cashier is asking you for (many cash registers don't have displays and many people still shop at open-air markets without registers) and 3.) ask for and understand directions.

Just learning the characters doesn't really help you with any of this.

I think US school kids should learn a second language (and I'd propose a choice of Chinese, Spanish or Latin based on how widely they are spoken and how useful they are likely to be for a later elective language in high school.) You can't offer too many choices in elementary school because then the costs and logistics become unmanageable so we should focus on the two or three that are most likely to be used no matter what field the kid goes into.

All Chinese kids start English classes at 5 and it's not to make Americans' lives easier.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #125
153. Not really
Chinese uses Chinese ideograms exclusively.

Educated Koreans study Chinese ideograms, but in everyday life, they use their phonetic hangul alphabet.

Japanese uses a mixture of Chinese ideograms and its native syllabaries, the hiragana and katakana.

Before I studied Chinese, written Chinese looked like a random list of words.

Furthermore, some of the characters have different meanings in the different languages.

For example, "soup" in Chinese means "hot water" in Japanese.

"Letter" in Japanese means "toilet paper" in Chinese.

Each language uses characters that are archaic or unknown in the other languages. Furthermore, both Chinese and Japanese have simplified their characters, only mostly not in the same way.

In a pinch, Chinese and Japanese can SORT OF communicate with characters, but their spoken languages are so different in both sound and grammar that nothing beyond basic, basic communication is possible.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
41. No. Learning tech-based languages such as Ger/Rus/Jap or political ones like Russian, Arabic, etc.
is a FAR better idea.
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #41
132. Non-linguistic symbolic systems should also be emphasized
Logic, mathematics, chemical structures, computer languages, maps, graphs and charts of many diffrent types, data structures, etc. are used to communicate and store much of the world's knowlege.

Natural languages, such as English and Spanish, are not very useful for many types of information. For example, you could describe the human genome in English, and it would fit in a few library stacks, but it would be completely useless in that form.

Teaching these other symbolic systems should be a priority.
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varelse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:48 AM
Response to Original message
46. No
Instruction in a second language (not necessarily Spanish) should be offered in public schools in the early grades - in fact, I'd start offering it in Kindergarten.
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JCMach1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
53. My daughters take two foreign languages- Arabic and French
Edited on Sat Feb-06-10 11:03 AM by JCMach1
In addition to their native language, English of course.

Of course, we don't live in America.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:08 AM
Response to Original message
54. No. English should. Most Americans are still not literate in ENGLISH.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #54
80. Spanish is easier to learn than English AND it helps you learn English
Kids instinctively start to compare the grammars -- which leads to the realizatinn that grammar exists. That alone would be worth the price of admission. lol
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #80
101. I've been told by non-native speaker of English that English is a very hard language to learn.
Edited on Sat Feb-06-10 12:36 PM by Odin2005
Even besides our moronic spelling, English has lots of irregular "strong" verbs, a very complex phonology (pronunciation system), a baroquely complex system of auxiliary verbs and auxiliary-like constructions like "want to", "be going to", "Got to", etc. And there are the use number of Phrasal Verbs (get up, get out, get over, look out of, put off, etc.). Learners need to get the Phrasal verbs down if they don;t want to sound stilted from using too many verbs derived from Latin and Old French.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #101
106. Yep. My mom and all her brothers and sisters had to learn English
as young adults. Most of them still have accents. Three of them also have advanced degrees that they got after that. But they're all still more comfortable in Spanish.

My mom's spoken English is better than most English speakers but for the accent. Her written English still needs editing for grammar, though.

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RedCappedBandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #80
112. Excellent point
Even taking Spanish in my senior year of college helped me to understand certain rules in English.. I was better able to understand *why* we speak the way we do.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #112
172. Yep. The languages of Western Europe all generally share many features.
Partly it is because they are (excluding Basque) Indo-European languages, but also the Romance and Germanic languages evolved in paralell similar features from mutual contact over the last 2000 years. Perfects using "have" with a past participle, Progressive forms using "be" and a present participle, English and the Western Romance languages have -s plurals and have lost noun case endings. The Germanic languages all share the tendency to shift verbs to the front of the sentence in questions. And all the Western European languages besides Welsh and Gaelic use Subject-Verb-Object word order.
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unabelladonna Donating Member (483 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:09 AM
Response to Original message
56. english, teach english
Edited on Sat Feb-06-10 11:10 AM by unabelladonna
i'm appalled at the lack of literacy and ability to speak proper english. some kids sound like absolute morons, it's cringe inducing.
as far as second languages areconcerned, kids must be given a choice and not mandated to learn spanish.

this is not a bilingual society. business and conversation are conducted in english.
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MyNameGoesHere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #56
74. What is proper English?
According to Wikipedia, there are 1.8 billion total speakers of English in the world, which, divided by the estimated population of the earth (from the CIA world factbook, July 2007 estimation), 6.6 billion, equates to about 27%.

If you meant how many people speak English as a first language, the range is between 4.68% and 5.75%, based upon an estimate of 309 million to 380 million native English speakers from Wikipedia.

For individuals who have English as a second language, the range is between 3.01% and 9.08%, based upon an estimate of 199 million to 600 million second-language English speakers form Wikipedia.

(source) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_language

Once again the minority tries to dictate to the majority.
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unabelladonna Donating Member (483 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #74
114. i'm aware
that english is not the most widely spoken language in the world, but the US is an english speaking country. are you happy with the way english is mangled?
BTW, i'm all for teaching different languages in grade school but i'm against mandating a specific one (although spanish seems to make sense)but in today's world chinese seems to be the way to go.
i chose french and with the exception of my many trips to that gorgeous country i don't have the opportunity to speak it....i guess it is impractical.
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #114
151. I find the degree to which English is mangled in your post highly amusing.
I took German in school. For practical purposes, it's not terribly useful- German speakers almost inevitably know more English than I do German, and while I live in an area with plenty of Spanish, Vietnamese, Hmong, Laotian, Russian... speakers, we're not exactly awash in German speakers. However, German is closely related to English, and learning it explained a lot to me about the histories of certain words, and about English grammar, and as a result of a few years of German instruction I'm more proficient in English.

In fact, I'd argue that my three years of high school German did more for my English skills than my four years of Honors/AP English.
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MyNameGoesHere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #114
152. Yes I am be happy with mangling the english.
It's kind of a mutt language anyway.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #74
181. English is the official language of aviation and most commonly used in economics and science. nt
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yodoobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
57. Chinese would be a better choice
Edited on Sat Feb-06-10 11:10 AM by yodoobo
Since it'll be the Chinese calling the shots. I don't see much economic future in Spanish.

Nonetheless, they should be given of choice of languages to pick from.


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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #57
75. Non-European languages should be taught more
While a Latin derived language is useful for understanding word roots and helps to learn other Romance languages, most European languages will not be the dominant world wide languages of the future. Mandarin and Arabic. Whatever the dominant language from India is. Whatever has developed as the main trade languages of Malaysia and Southeast Asia.

If you think you will do business in South America, then Portuguese and/or Spanish could be useful, but once the facility for learning languages is developed those would be relatively easy to learn compared to the non-European languages.

The biggest problem is that so few Americans have studied these other languages, there are few teachers for them.
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laylah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
61. I feel at least 2 foreign
languages should be MANDATORY in schools. Spanish being the first, Chinese or Arabic the 2nd. A lot of other countries have English as a 2nd language.
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Veruca Salt Donating Member (846 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
64. Yes
And I think it should definitely be spanish since that's the 2nd most spoken language in our country, not to mention it's a beautiful language as well. It should be taught from first grade on parallel to english. This, I think, would be beneficial and if kids wanted to learn another language after that then they would do like they currently do in high school.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:19 AM
Response to Original message
65. IMO Spanish classes should be MADATORY starting in elementary.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #65
71. No. nt
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #71
73. Yes. n/t.
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Throd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #65
88. "MADATORY"?
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #88
93. Yes, Mandatory.
Spanish is the other major language of the Western Hemisphere, all Americans should learn it.
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #93
115. Brazil is the largest, most influential country, besides the US in the Western Hemisphere
Population of 191,971,506 according to Google.

So Portugese is roughly as big as Spanish.

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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #115
148. Exactly.
Besides it would help with my jui jitsu.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #115
168. DOH, I'm SUCH an idiot! I always forget about Portuguese!
:spank:
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #115
182. Yet it is NEVER taught. And Brazil is a far bigger player in our hemisphere than Mexico. nt
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ismnotwasm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
66. I think
A choice of a few common languages should be offered. In my neck of the woods, I would pick Spanish, but possibly Korean or Russian. As long as children learn more than one language. What a great idea!
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
67. Maybe not necessarily Spanish.
Edited on Sat Feb-06-10 11:25 AM by MindPilot
Maybe not necessary Spanish, but most definitely the predominate non-English language of the region and at least one Asian or Arabic language--something with a different character set. And it needs to be started very early.

Edited for irony
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JitterbugPerfume Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
70. yes, lanuages should be taught in public school
I took Latin in high school, and although I remember very little of it (in the '50s) it was an especially rich experience
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hayu_lol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #70
84. The rest of the world has no problems teaching 'other' languages...
and they do a good job with it.

Start about the 3rd grade level and most of the kids will learn fairly easily. They have to be able to 'hear' the different sounds of the new language so that they can duplicate it. With Chinese, the tones are what make the greatest difficulty for non-Chinese speakers.

When the Communists took over China in '49, they decided that they would teach ALL Chinese Mandarin. When asked at that time, how long they felt it would take, the answer was: "...at least 1000 years." Talk about long-term planning. They also simplified some of the more complex characters to make them more easily understood. They are well on their way to achieving a 100% literacy rate in China. I doubt that we have that here in this country. That literacy level was one of the reasons for Mao's 'Little Red Book.' It worked.

You have to start young so that children hear the sounds. Go beyond simple conversation and get into reading and writing of the new language. Continue language studies(money)all the way through. Add literature, culture, arts and so on to the study program.

Dutch kids learn about 3 languages through high school and add a couple more while in college. They are a trading nation and need the languages in daily life.

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lightningandsnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
79. Yes. I live in Canada and we start learning French in 4th grade.
Really, I don't see what's wrong with it.

The US could really take a lesson from Canada on bilingualism.
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
82. Foreign language, yes.
Spanish? No, at least not on a mandatory basis. Allowing students to choose makes more sense.
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blueworld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
83. yes, si, oui - and major Asian languages should be offered somewhere in the school district
Kids learn languages quickly. It also helps educate us about different cultures and our common community. What about Esperanto?

I learned barely passable French, street Italian & excellent Spanish as a kid. Now I wish someone would school me in the Queen's English because I have a hard time with boots, bonnets, bangers, bank holidays etc.
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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #83
87. You are aware that teachers are being riffed left and right?
You want to rif a math or science teacher in favor of several language teachers? While I agree languages are important, in lean times the core subjects are given priority and are still functioning with a skeleton crew. If funding improved, we could hire more teachers and could conceivably teach more languages. But don't count on that happening with Obama's McCharter emphasis. Languages don't have a test, therefore they won't be in the curriculum.
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blueworld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-08-10 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #87
216. No, I want more education & funding, not less.
And I was tested for languages, so I'm assuming you mean "no child left behind" tests?
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
85. No, high school is fine.
Both of our older teens have taken 3 years of spanish in high school and are able to use it conversationally. They went to Costa Rica not long ago and were able to get by pretty well. Here in Florida they hear it so often that I'm not worried about it.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:12 PM
Response to Original message
92. Most countries that get good results begin formal language learning in fifth grade
and continue it through twelfth grade. In some countries, everyone studies two foreign languages.

Ten-year-olds are young enough to pick up language easily, but old enough to understand a few formal concepts.

The language taught in a school should reflect the needs and demographics of the local community. Spanish is a good idea in areas with large Latino populations, but areas that border on Canada, especially in the eastern U.S., would find French more practical. Communities with a distinct ethnic background (like some of the small towns in Minnesota, where everyone is of German, Czech, Norwegian, or Ojibwe descent) may want to teach their heritage language.

It doesn't matter WHICH language they learn first. The important thing is to break out of the English-only mold. If they learn Spanish or Chinese now and then their employer thirty years from now sends them to Korea, they'll have an easier time learning Korean than someone who has never studied a language.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but learning a second foreign language is easier than learning the first, because you know HOW TO learn a language. A lot of the foreign students in the colleges where I taught would take language courses. The Asians would take Spanish, which is not commonly taught in Asia, and the Europeans would take Japanese or Chinese. (These were all people for whom English was a foreign language.)

A musician acquaintance compared it to learning a new instrument after you've already learned one. If you know how to play one instrument, you already know the basics of musicianship, and the new instrument is just a matter of different mechanics.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
98. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Throd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
99. I support 2nd language instruction, but I don't think Spanish should get special status.
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Bill McBlueState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:34 PM
Response to Original message
102. Yes
Children should learn a second language. And it's not like there's money falling out of the sky to teach them (mathandscience-mathandscience-mathandscience), so it would totally make sense for a budget-minded school district to offer instruction in exactly one foreign language. The other major language of the western hemisphere would be a reasonable choice.
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southernyankeebelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:34 PM
Response to Original message
103. I don't think it should be forced on people. However, why does it
have to be spanish. Why not german or italian, french? Don't get me wrong I think taking a second language is good. But not just spanish. The national language should be english, period. My mother and husband both come from different countries. English first and then let the child elect to take a foreign language. Many kids have problems with english.
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rhiannon55 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #103
147. "forced on people"
seems like an odd word choice. Are mathematics and science "forced on people"? In this multi-cultural world, why should learning more than one language be seen as anything but essential to a well-rounded education?
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #103
170. I find it interesting that people fight so hard against teaching kids Spanish
Dig deep enough, & you'll find the reason why---bigotry. I live on the border & have seen this my whole life. I actually knew people who would boast that they didn't know a word of Spanish, as if that is something to brag about.


dg
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
104. Not a bad idea. Some language. Preferably Latin.
I had to learn French in 4th grade. Had to take at least two years of French or Spanish in HS. Didn't retain as much as I should have. Stupid youth and all. Did take some brief latin in one or two of my English classes which helped me a lot and I can get the basic gist of many written languages because of that. If I can get back in school I intend on taking something. Probably continuing my Spanish because I have the biggest base in it.
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
107. I don't know about Spanish necessarily,
Edited on Sat Feb-06-10 12:41 PM by Blue_In_AK
but my grandsons have been in Russian immersion since kindergarten. Half the day is taught in English and the other half in Russian. They're in fifth and second grades now, and are becoming quite fluent.
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #107
121. You mean you can also hear Russia from there?
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #121
126. You betcha.
Edited on Sat Feb-06-10 01:13 PM by Blue_In_AK
:)

Alaska WAS Russia for quite a while. We have a pretty interesting history if you care to check it out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Alaska

and more specifically http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Alaska for the history of Russian Alaska.

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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #126
128. The Russians came as far South as their Fort Ross in California
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #128
131. During the Cold War,
I bet they wished they had held onto Alaska and the northwest instead of selling it so cheap to the US.
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #131
136. If they had the Californian and Alaskan gold, maybe there wouldn't have been a Cold War
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:41 PM
Response to Original message
108. Why not? I was taught English from an early age in school in South
America, because it was felt that English speaking was part of the Americas. I don't understand why Americans don't see it as the same thing, learning the major languages in the American continents particularly since we are so close to Mexico and the rest of Central America.
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Caliman73 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
110. It doesn't have to be Spanish
I think that a second language should be taught according to the make up of the community. It would not make sense to teach Spanish in a location where the majority minority group was Chinese. Although Spanish is probably the second mos common language spoken in the US. Either way, there is only upside to having a society where people can speak more than one language..
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RedCappedBandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
111. There should be some choice
Edited on Sat Feb-06-10 12:47 PM by RedCappedBandit
Although Spanish would certainly be one of the most useful.


edit: but yes, children should be taught other languages as early as possible
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Starbucks Anarchist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:54 PM
Response to Original message
113. There should be a choice of languages, though that's the one I'd pick.
We are one of the few major countres to not be bilingual. Even third-world countires are beating us in that regard.
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rollin74 Donating Member (489 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 12:57 PM
Response to Original message
116. Yes
I hear Spanish being spoken around me almost as much as English. Many of my neighbors are Spanish speakers.

I'm currently studying Spanish but wish that I had been serious about it at a much earlier age.

It would be foolish of me to focus on any other "foreign" language given how common it is in my area.
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Iggo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
123. Kids should leave high school speaking at least 3 languages.
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TeeYiYi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #123
154. +1
TYY
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Mudoria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
124. As an elective yes.. if a requirement no
Had Spanish in high school and it's of no use to me whatsoever these days.
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rebecca_herman Donating Member (494 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #124
192. Same...
Edited on Sat Feb-06-10 11:05 PM by rebecca_herman
I took two or three years in middle/high school (don't remember if it was 2 or 3). I had very little practical use for it where I've lived and now over 10 years later I really only remember a few words. I would have rather taken a subject I would have gotten more use out of at that point.

Although perhaps I would have done better at it if learned at a younger age... I don't know. I didn't learn it well enough to read a book, which would have been about the only practical application I could have found for it. I enjoy reading and have always thought it might be fun to read a book in another language, but I just haven't had the time - I did learn enough Japanese in college to play PS2 games, heh.
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fishwax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
127. some foreign language should be, ideally with multiple options
But absent multiple options I'd pick Spanish.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 01:28 PM
Response to Original message
129. any language is good -
though Spanish does seem the most practical - for a number of reasons. Ease of learning, level of Spanish use in this Country (and all over the world), a Latin-based language that helps with English.

Learning a 2nd language at a early age so a "secondary language center" can form enables a person to learn any other language later in life EASIER than they would if they waited.

" . . . Substantial evidence suggests the existence of a critical learning period for first languages. A critical period for language is defined as the time period during which a person must be exposed to the spoken language in order to best learn the language. In most cases, if a person is not exposed to a language during the critical period, he or she will never be able to speak the language as well as someone who learned language normally. Although the person may be able to learn many vocabulary words, his or her syntax will probably never reach a normal level.

. . . Research suggests that learning second (or third) languages is easier for young children, and some evidence indicates certain brain areas that might be involved in this learning. Several studies have related second language learning to Broca's and Wernicke's areas. In these studies, researchers compared brain function in people who spoke two languages (bilinguals) and who learned both languages early in life with brain activity of bilinguals who learned one of their languages after puberty. Early bilinguals were found to use very similar, overlapping regions of Broca's and Wernicke's areas for both languages. Late bilinguals also used overlapping regions of Wernicke's area for both languages, but they normally used different, though adjacent, regions of Broca's area for each language. . ." faculty.washington.edu/chudler/second.html

***

My younger son has been in a Spanish immersion program (charter public schools) since K. He's now in 5th grade. He's fluent and can read/write in Spanish as well as English. He learns math and science in Spanish as well as English. I was just discussing the middle school program. Typically they introduce Spanish in middle schools around here, so we're discussing what OTHER language they should begin learning.


My older son - now in highschool - started Chinese when he was 9-ish at a Chinese "Saturday school". That's a program local Chinese families run to make sure their kids are learning Chinese reading/writing/math skills, etc... When we moved three years ago we were unable to find a program to meet his needs so one of the Chinese grad students "tutored" him once a week for a couple of hours (this was easier because we were homeschooling at the time) - she also got to practice her English! Son also attended Concordia Language Villages** - a summer camp immersion program for several years. Last summer he went to the 4 wk highschool credit program.

Some funny things - he attempted to go to middle school a couple of years back, they put him in Spanish II because that's what "8th graders take"! It didn't seem to matter to them that he'd never had Spanish I! As it turned out, it didn't matter - he still had the highest grade in the class before we went back to homeschooling until he could go to highschool. He's currently "teaching himself" Russian on the side and wants to add Italian and "more French" later. I say "more French" because as a ballet dancer, he (and my other son) know quite a few "french phrases" lol...

**Concordia Language Villages - this is a great program. They offer fifteen languages languages. They have 1 and 2 week camps, plus 4 week highschool and college credit camps. Family camps. Teacher camps. They really do an excellent job.

Arabic Finnish Japanese
Russian Chinese French Korean
Spanish Danish German Norwegian
Swedish English Italian Portuguese

http://www.concordialanguagevillages.org/newsite/index....
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farmout rightarm Donating Member (680 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
130. I think it (and others) should be -offered-...I believe I could have learned it much more easily
if I'd had the chance in elementary school instead of high school. It would be great if schools could muster the resources to offer Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, French just to name a few but the logistics are probably undoable. shrug

:-)
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
133. You bet. Give kids a working vocabulary in a second language
Edited on Sat Feb-06-10 01:36 PM by Warpy
at a young age and you start setting them up to learn additional languages as they get older.

Spanish is the second most common language in this hemisphere. It's high time we recognized that and started to teach it.
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keep_it_real Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
134. Yes - I don't speak Spanish but wish I could - Spanish speakers all around
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JustAnotherGen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
137. No
I think Latin Should be taught in the early years.

Then parents should have a selection of Spanish, French (I grew up with native French Speakers), Italian . . . And if the parents choose/select another language - tax breaks so their child can learn. Honestly - with the number of people I speak with daily from around the world (Involved in International Telecommunications) . . . I use my French more than my spanish. Many of the people I work with/take calls with in Finland, the Netherlands, and Germany might only speak English or French or German - French seems to be where we meet in the middle the most and can get through the call with the least amound of understanding.


I lived my first few years of my life in Germany - I'm the only one in my family that does not speak it. :rofl:Mom, Dad, and older brother are all fluent.
I grew up with a French immigrant family member who I learned the South West French 'accent' then took it in grade and junior high school.
Spanish sophomore through junior year.
Now learning Italian.


My Italian is going slow - Spanish and French are both very close and my Italian speakers meet up has a lot of chuckles at my expense. After spending some time on Italian . . . and being in Telecom (wireless).

I want to learn Korean.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #137
139. Latin is not a good choice for a second language because there are no
ancient Romans wandering around who could help kids practice. And the rewards are too slow and too unrelated to English.

Btw, I loved studying Latin but it's more like algebra than a spoken language.
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JustAnotherGen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #139
141. I took classes
A few years ago. . . The only thing that really helped me nail writing in French? Latin.

But again - I'm more likely to spend money on a two week trip to France visiting friends and family. My husband-in-waiting :rofl: is from Italy. Spanish may or may not help our children in America - but there's no guarantee they would grow up entirely in America (he has businesses over there). So I wouldn't mind my children learning Spanish - but I would be afraid it would degrade their Italian speaking skills or French speaking skills.

Don't know if I'm making sense, but we've discussed this in depth. Moving to Italy in 10 years is a very real 'thing' so I'm looking at it from -

If we have children. I need them to master Italian in order for them to survive in a school outside of America. Having Spanish drilled into them in pre-school, kindergarten, first grade might 'undo' their father only speaking to them in Italian. While I speak to them in English and French.


We're all different and come from a different perspective on this. I think what I've read throughout the thread? A second, third, and possibly fourth langauge is extremely important. As a person who loves to travel abroad, you gain so much more from the experience if you can speak with the soap shop owner in Cassis and engage her in a discussion - then if you just go eat McDonalds in Paris. :rofl:
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #141
150. When I went to Italy, I could understand 80% of what was said to me,
signs, menus even though I'd had not a second of Italian. When I went to France, I might as well have been on Mars. :rofl:
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JustAnotherGen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 08:30 AM
Response to Reply #150
194. That's funny! And true!
:rofl: Try getting through a French Regents exam -

When you grew up with a man off the boat from the country who insisted we say "Si" Not "Oui"! :rofl: Totally had to 'un-learn' the dialect and accent I grew up hearing and speaking to get through French classes! :rofl:
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #194
200. I had to take language tests in my grad program but thank goodness
Edited on Sun Feb-07-10 01:35 PM by EFerrari
the French exam was only written! :hi:
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wickerwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #139
146. I didn't find that to be the case at all.
I have some Latin text books used in British primary schools and they're all versions of Greek myths and stories about ancient Rome that the kids are translating. I would have found that fascinating at that age. Latin can be taught in a very engaging way that stimulates kids' imaginations.

And once you know some Latin, French, Spanish and Italian are a breeze. Plus it improves your English vocabulary and grammar immeasurably.

I wouldn't make it Latin the only choice, but it would easily be in my top three (with Chinese and Spanish).
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #146
149. Translating stories in text is not the same as spoken language acquisition
and there's no re-enforcement anywhere. Don't get me wrong. I got to study Latin about 15 years after I first wanted to! But a spoken language like Spanish or French or Italian or Portuguese, imho, is much more useful to children learning English.

I wish I had the money/time to study linguistics and language acquisition. That would be so much fun. :)



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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #146
176. Want a challenge? Try Ancient Greek.
Like Latin but a little bit extra everywhere making things harder. An extra tense with very complicated usage (Aorist), an extra grammatical mood called the Optative that means something like "I would like to VERB", a LOT more insane irregularities, German-style inflected articles, and a pitch accent (higher pitch instead of stress on "accented" syllables). AHHHHH!!!

Want even more of a challenge? try Sanskrit, which is almost identical to Ancient Greek grammatically but has unfamiliar consonants (retroflex and breathy-voice consonants) and a different writing system.
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wickerwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #176
185. It kicked my ass.
I made it to the Optative and then checked out. Only C I got in college. But I can still read the alphabet and remember some of the prefixes.

The hardest language I ever tried by miles was Chinese though. The grammar is a walk in the park but there are a very limited number of sounds so one group of sounds can mean dozens of different things. The tones are a nightmare... I still literally have dreams about my Chinese teachers shouting what sounds like identical words at me and trying to get me to repeat them. And *then* you get to the writing system.

But Chinese is gorgeous and really funny once you learn some of the elements of the characters and you can see how they really are memory aids.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:42 PM
Response to Reply #185
189. When I tried to learn Ancient Greek it wasn't the Optative, it was the verb irregularities.
Christ, I swear every 3rd verb has some damned irregularity in it!
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #139
173. IMO Latin and Ancient Greek are a good place to learn a grammatical system different then...
modern-day "Standard Average European". while still having lots of cognates to help you learn vocabulary.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
142. Yes.
for the reasons you stated.
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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
144. No....but Mandarin def should be.
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JustAnotherGen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
145. BTW - Rec
I love this discussion! Not one you'd ever see at that 'Freeper' thingamajig place. ;-)
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Fleshdancer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
155. I'm pro-learn a second language.
As for what language...well I can understand learning Spanish here in Texas since we border Mexico, but Americans who live near Canada may benefit more from French. The again, if we're going to stick to the romance languages, why not revive Latin?

I guess it would ultimately be up to the individual school districts to see what language(s) they can offer and what's appropriate for their students. As long as something other than English is being taught, I'm happy.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
156. Yes
Spanish is the second language of this country, it should be considered one of the official ones if we must have them.

My nieces are learning it with English as a first language (Dad is English as his first language, and Mom is Spanish and her first and English as her second).

Every high school in the US teaches it.

I learned it as a second language.

Everyone should be bilingual. In the U.S., the people should learn English and Spanish.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 05:03 PM
Response to Original message
159. A second language should be taught at an early age,
when the brain is more receptive to learning a new language.

Any second language.

Spanish is logical when it is the most prevalent 2nd language in a region, but any 2nd language is good.
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whattheidonot Donating Member (301 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 06:32 PM
Response to Original message
163. no
no English should be taught to children in a head start type situation. i think they did this in California and even the Spanish were for it. they can speak Spanish at home, run their businesses in Spanish but I think one strong language thing is good and cuts down on discrimination and hate. Most Spanish people share our culture in many ways so eliminating the language barrier is one more obstacle out of the way. it gets the kids comfortable with English speaking situations.
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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #163
166. "they can speak Spanish at home, run their businesses in Spanish..."
Hello, what about teaching English-speakers Spanish?

And why should "no English should be taught to children in a head start type situation"?
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #166
179. Because in a high tech world, our country's focus is on highly developed countries - Japan, Germany,
etc. Spanish doesn't help us with any of those.
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whattheidonot Donating Member (301 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #166
195. correction
That is No. then English. Spanish should be taught to English speaking but not as foundation for all other education. Teaching or encouraging kids to learn Spanish is good.
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #163
204. This post broke my irony meter
Calling for "one strong language" to cut down on discrimination and calling for segregation in the same post. Impressive!
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
164. Too many Americans think their children are too dumb to be made to learn a furrin language....
Of course they don't put it quite like that. They use a lot of excuses about math and foreign languages being "too hard."

If it's not too hard for kids in other nations, does that mean that American kids are too dumb? Or does it mean their parents are too dumb to see the illogic?

Personally I think languages should be taught starting in kindergarten, when the brain is most flexible. Spanish makes the most sense geographically and demographically, but again, resistance among the masses would be stirred up by Limbaugh and Beck ("illegals" speak Spanish, right?), who seem to have a stake in keeping the masses ignorant.

In my ideal US educational system I'd like to see all kids taught a foreign language starting not later than first grade. But then, I'd like to see music, art, and drama return to the public schools too. All of these subjects are excellent brain food for every child.

It takes political will, and it takes money.

Hekate

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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
167. Si.
Bilingual kids have more opportunities!
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Paper Roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 07:00 PM
Response to Original message
169. Yes. , We are a nation of single language speakers.
Most of my generation went through the obligatory 2 years of French, two years of Latin. I'm left with the ability to figure out latin roots of certain words and a smattering of travelers French. In my day, I wish they taught any language as a second language in grade school. It would be much easier as a child to absorb. Not as easy for a 9th or 10th grader to do as they try to master things like Chemistry, Geometry, and other mind numbing subjects.

I have no idea what a high school schedule of classes is now, probably a lot more complicated than it was in my day(late 1950's). There is so much to learn. Spanish, French, Chinese, anything at an early age. Youngsters minds are like sponges.

My 7 and 10 year old grandchildren both have Spanish as a regular subject. It is not intense, it is taught in a manner that they can work with and be familiar with until they get a little older and have Spanish as a structured class. I hope they take French too.

Latin, I'm not so sure. It was a beast for me. Sum es est, sumus estis sunt. Good grief, where did that come from?!!

And yes Virginia, you don't pronounce the V in Latin.

The older we get, the more difficult it is to absorb.

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seeinfweggos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 07:02 PM
Response to Original message
171. esperanto nt
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #171
186. +1
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #171
202. God, *why*? (nt)
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seeinfweggos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #202
215. kial ne? nt
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salguine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
174. No, ENGLISH should. Did you know that one third of American adults are
functionally illiterate? ONE THIRD! Go to any internet chart room, message board, YouTube, whatever, and scan around for a while. It's SHOCKING how many people are completely incapable of constructing a paragraph that is grammatically correct, spelt properly, punctuated correctly, broken up into coherent sentences, capitalized properly...the list goes on and on. It's un-fucking-believable.

And while we're at it, we ought to bring civics instruction back into our classrooms, too. America might not be on the rollercoaster to hell right now if our citizens had had some kind of knowledge of how our government works and how to more actively participate in it.
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Lucky Luciano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 07:25 PM
Response to Original message
175. I wish I was pushed more to learn Spanish. With Spanish,
You can talk to 99% of the western hemisphere (including the brazillians who will understand you). I would love to be lke the Dutch who all seem to speak 4-6 languages! So cool and great for traveling!
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eShirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 08:22 PM
Response to Original message
177. YES, it's the most widely-spoken, "living" offshoot language of LATIN
and people who know it will have an advantage when learning Latin terms and phrases (as used in law, medicine, science)

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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #177
183. But science, itself is NOT conducted in Spanish. Russian, German and Japanese are better for that.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #177
191. One of the most fun things about learning Spanish is finding cognates.
English borrowed a lot of words from Old French and Latin, and so has lots of words that are cognate to Spanish words.
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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 09:49 PM
Response to Original message
178. S /nt
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KonaKane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-06-10 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
190. Yes. It's the second most spoken language in the USA.
It's only pragmatic. Those against it are usually so because of some deep seated bigotries in them they do not want to face.

I was certified fluent in Spanish by the 11th grade, although I was speaking it with my friends when I was little.

It didn't kill me. It made me more educated, and more receptive to learn other languages I did as an adult.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #190
198. Wow! I'm a bigot! Who knew! I had no idea I studied Russian instead of Spanish 'cause I'm a bigot
Same with the French I learned.

Fuck off.
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #198
201. Did you oppose people learning Spanish?
if so, you're a bigot. If not, you're flying off the handle in a typically messageboardishly childish way over an insult that wasn't in the post in the first place, never mind directed at you.

Either way, there's a problem there that needs fixing.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #201
207. Not at all. In fact, I like to watch soccer on Univision. I don't think Spanish should be mandatory
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KonaKane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #198
214. Vy govoritye po-russki? Ya tozhe. I eto nye ubivalo tebya, Da?
Ya nikogda nye govoril shto Ty bil "bigot"om. To zhe prinimal. Freudian slip?
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
205. I had it from an early age, and it's been very beneficial
Of course I live in an area where a lot of Spanish is spoken.

I think it's the easiest language to learn as a second language. Once you have two under your belt, additional ones become easier.
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
206. At least one second language should be mandatory from kids' first day in school. (nt)
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That Is Quite Enough Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
210. Maybe not solely Spanish, but I don't see anything wrong with it
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Motown_Johnny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
211. No
it is unfair to all the people who come here who speak neither english or spanish. Why should their tax dollars go to benefit a specific portion of immigrants while they are not afforded the same benefit?


put the money into helping everyone speak english
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #211
212. BINGO!!!! It is specifically because our country is so diverse that English is so important.
It's not fair to assume Spanish speakers are not capable of learning English or to give their language preference over others as we expect Russians, Chinese, Japanese etc. who don't even use the same alphabet to learn English.
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invictus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #211
213. +1,000,000,000,000
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