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Foreign Language Classes in Lower Grades «

Foreign Language Classes in Lower Grades

In high school and college, foreign languages become a necessity for a lot of people in a lot of different career paths. They need to be trained in a certain language whether it’s because it can just get them a little bit of a higher paycheck or because they need to speak with foreign diplomats. Really there can be a variety of reasons. While this all makes sense, what are the reasons for doing it in the younger grades? Are any of them legitimate?
Foreign language classes now are often taught from the middle of elementary school all the way up until college. The idea is that they want to start these kids early on a foreign language, whether it’s Spanish, French or whatever they deem is necessary. They feel like these kids don’t even have a grasp on the English language yet so it’s probably early enough to indoctrinate them into a new language. The younger you start learning a language, the easier it will be.

But what they don’t seem to understand is that it’s already too late for these kids to learn it to the same efficiency they know English. You have to start these kids when they’re about one year old to make it work. There’s a reason kids who grow up in ethnically diverse households oftentimes are the most fluent. They start young and also live with it. This is another key factor in all of this.

It’s often said that the best way to learn a foreign language other than having it in your home is to go to a country and be fully immersed in it. Your natural language isn’t anywhere to be heard, so you have to learn the foreign language to be able to function. You pick up tiny cues and eventually realize what everyone is talking about.

Schools should embrace this with foreign language education. English should never be spoken. It essentially functions as a way to get out and make things easier. The second you hear English, you probably will give up on whatever you were trying to say. In the end, we’ll all win.

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