Should American schools teach foreign language earlier?

Vyper 2008/02/06 17:12:16
Why should I learn another language? Everyone knows English anyway.
Add Photos & Videos
Around the world children are taught their language, and then English at an early age, around 2nd grade even. But here in America, we don't have any foreign language class until 7th grade. And I can tell you I didn't learn shit in my middle school foreign language class. Americans travel the world, and just expect everyone to speak English for them.
I say we need to begin teaching foreign language earlier. Not only will it help them if they plan to travel, but I learned more about English grammar in my German class than in my English.
Add a comment above

Top Opinion

Sort By
  • Most Raves
  • Least Raves
  • Oldest
  • Newest

  • BillKaulitzFreiheit89 2009/03/18 18:55:00
    I leave in Greece and here we learn English at a very young age and even a second and third foreign language. Whoever wants more can have private lessons for the language they wish.
    English is an international language and so Americans can communicate with people of other countries. But in my point of view, communicating isn't the thing; by learning a foreign language you automatically get to learn some of the culture of the country and understand better the way they think. Foreign languages shouldn't be a compulsory subject at school, however it should be available for the people who are willing to learn.
  • gloopstick (in Deo non credo.) 2009/02/06 22:41:16
    gloopstick (in Deo non credo.)
    Ojos is right: children are best able to learn a second language before the age of twelve, and it's counterintuitive that American children tend to start their foreign language education soon after their twelfth birthday. Children should start learning by immersion as soon as they enter kindergarten.
  • Ojos40 2009/01/19 22:14:50 (edited)
    Absolutely. Children are best able to learn a second language before the age of 12. After that, physical and chemical changes in the brain make that process more difficult. I learned Spanish and a little bit of French, but not until high school. So, I'm all for second language instruction beginning in the primary grades (K-3). If that was done, then these students could read and discuss literature in the second language that they began studying in their early elementary years.
  • ladypuppylove 2008/11/22 16:27:48
    Because at a earlier age any language is easy to learn
  • MaxxaM 2008/11/03 02:47:54
    YES!!! if more americans spoke more than one language (english) they would have so many opportunities and others would get along more with americans
    ...and besides ENGLISH is such a boring language
  • pink bambi ~ In Muse I Trust ~ 2008/10/23 08:55:26
    pink bambi ~ In Muse I Trust ~
    I wasted my years of Japanese! It is such an awesome language, I should have tried!
  • Suki 2008/10/23 04:25:54
    Absolutely. There is not reason that students shouldn't learn other languages. It is good for the brain to learn something different. It is also a mind-broadening experience to learn about other cultures. Why limit yourself to one language? Limiting oneself leads only to stagnation and dullness. They should be allowed of course which language they want to learn.
  • ***soxx*** 2008/09/22 22:58:42
    i started learning french and latin in 6th grade and it actually helped me with some of my english
  • Nicole 2008/08/22 04:40:20
    Not by force, but as an elective or option. It's a fact that learning a language when you're younger helps it stick in your brain better. A middle school by my house only has the option of Spanish class in eight grade. I know many kids who want to take things such as Italian or French, but don't get t learn it until High School. It's always a lot harder for them to get it after having been influenced by so much English, or by Spanish because it was the only language to take.
  • buzzboygt 2008/08/03 22:21:12
    They should learn foreign languages, but the language and when they should start learning should be decided by parents.
  • Gwynodd 2008/08/01 17:26:22
    I don't know where you come from Vyper but I was learning Spanish in 2nd grade and that was about 40 years ago. I took Spanish, French and Latin with a little Polish thrown in. My Grand niece knows how to speak Spanish and she is just 4 years old. They teach languages in pre-school today.
  • Bardo 2008/07/30 18:22:20
    The younger the better. I have learned a few languages starting from first grade. I learned English, French, & Arabic, from the first grade. German, and Latin started in the fifth grade.
  • RudeRedDog 2008/07/19 18:55:09
    It broadens your potential for employment opportunities. I'd like to see us all required to learn 2+ foreign languages to graduate from high school, GED and also college/university.
  • runningintriangles 2008/07/16 05:09:58
    It's easier to learn a new language when you are younger, and it helps you in the long run.
  • Icedragon1969 2008/07/13 11:33:10
    While other countries may teach their children English, the last time I checked it's simply good manners - and shows a lack of arrogance - to follow the rules of the house you're going into.

    Then there's just the fact that learning something new makes you a better individual, stronger, more capable, and knowledgeable.

    Personally, I recommend German for English speakers. The pronunciation is a bit difficult at first, but English is a Germanic language, and so the structures, conjugations, and other linguistic features are very similar. Thank the French influence for the differences in pronunciation. ;)
  • skaple369 2008/05/26 20:58:02
    my old elementry school started teaching us spanish in second grade
  • Rebecca 2008/04/27 14:45:03
    Children are like a sponge in their earlier years as far as picking up new languages. It is far easier for them to learn a second language and have it more ingrained if they are younger.
  • Céline... 2008/03/30 22:27:32
    Yes because then they adapt the kids to speak without an accent
  • wendol 2008/03/30 14:56:55
    anything we can teach our kids is a benefiet to thier future,but i think we need more schools and smaller classes,longer school days , and theres one more I think that they should stay in school till they have completed anAA/AS degree then decide whether they want to continue or not
  • Pendy 2008/03/29 22:15:03
    THey should start in prescholl/pre-K the younger a child is the easier it is for them to retain the information they would be able to speak another language fluently by mabe 3rd grade I met a little girl who could speak like 4-5 different languages
  • Céline... Pendy 2008/03/30 22:29:45
    In my school they taught us to speak english and spanish since kindergarten, I could speak both fluently by second grade (well spanish was easier cuz it's my first language)... Then in 6th grade they started to teach us french...
  • Pendy Céline... 2008/03/31 23:52:23
    THat is way cool I wish they did that when i was in Kindergarden then I could actually understand my mexican neighbors better(I can speaks spanish but just a little)
  • Josie 2008/03/29 18:59:04 (edited)
    I tried to learn French from a friend in the 5th grade, but that didn't work out so well. I wish they did teach it younger because I might have picked it up more easily, whereas when I was in French 3 as a senior, I had an extremely difficult time because of what was already ingrained in my mind as well as all the issues I had to deal with being someone who was graduating and going to move out.

    When you're a kid, your mind is fresh and you have much less things to worry about. In addition, you have more time to learn it in FREE classes at school. When you get to HS, you have a maximum of 4 years to learn what you can, then you have to pay for courses (this includes college since you have to pay for that) or software to learn sufficiently if you want to do it on your own.
  • jennababe468 2008/03/25 20:08:21
    yes because as a kid your mind is clearer and can fit more knowledge in it than when u are an adult you have to much on your mind so it is harder
  • Roxie 2008/03/25 08:32:27
    Can't hurt.
  • sweetestfairy 2008/03/21 15:26:37
    cuase kids understand it better when young and knowlege it better I been working with Spanish with mine since age 3
  • Maria 2008/03/10 17:02:00
    yes should have since the foregin already learn ahead than America.
    America should take those course early by the time they get older will have no trouble learning.
  • gamman 2008/02/27 20:54:01
    The more languages we know the more we can understand other cultures and of course it helps the mind work more ...
  • Rockies 2008/02/25 22:15:03
    Yes and that would be English, Southern English, and only because we're stuck with it Northern English.
  • Girl, Interrupted 2008/02/25 14:54:12
    Girl, Interrupted
    As an "American school teacher" I believe that learning multiple languages not only allows one to be able to communicate with more than merely a few countries, but also enhances the learning abilities of a child. I do not feel that any particular language should be pushed on to children but I also feel that any particular language should not be kept from a student's learning agenda based on their parents racist views. When deciding what language to choose, make the choice that would be most beneficial to your child, not your political views...
  • mariposa-azteca 2008/02/23 05:57:46
    Of course! Multilingualism is beautiful.
  • Chocolat-In the universe I ... 2008/02/21 19:22:55
    Chocolat-In the universe I trust.
    I think it is a great idea, and Spanish would be very appropriate because we have a large population of spanish-speaking communities. But I would say the students should make the choice of what language should be the second language to study.
  • RAVEN WANTS HER ACCOUNT DEL... 2008/02/21 19:14:02
    Absolutely. I wish I had taken another language before high school (I don't think it was even an option in middle school).
  • Alexis-IN GOD WE TRUST 2008/02/21 16:58:55
  • RAVEN W... Alexis-... 2008/02/21 19:11:44
    Whos talking about spanish being mandated as a second language. Why the specific disdain for the spanish language?
  • Alexis-... RAVEN W... 2008/02/21 20:17:11
  • RAVEN W... Alexis-... 2008/02/21 22:13:23 (edited)
    How did this post turn into an "illegal immigrant" issue? Who cares what language you prefer, if you live in parts of california, arizona, texas...spanish/chinese would probably be more practical (business, social...), if in New Orleans, maybe french, in florida maybe spanish again.. Nobody is disputing other languages, take what you want. The question again is: Should American schools teach foreign language earlier? Stick to the point or go vent your racist view on the other racist rants that are going on about "spanish speaking" people.
  • Alexis-... RAVEN W... 2008/02/21 22:19:37
  • RAVEN W... Alexis-... 2008/02/21 22:32:10 (edited)
    Sie wünschen so hoffnungslos
  • Alexis-... RAVEN W... 2008/02/21 22:48:34

See Votes by State

The map above displays the winning answer by region.


2016/02/13 04:36:56

Hot Questions on SodaHead
More Hot Questions

More Community More Originals