Foreign Language

March 6, 2012
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Sophomore student Virginia Stewart says the one thing she wishes she knew how to do, was to be fluent Spanish. She is not alone in this desire, many students agree that they wish they were able to communicate by means of another language for reasons such as traveling abroad, understanding the increasing amount of foreign language in our own American society, and others just want the skill for fun. While most people do agree that knowing a second language has plenty of advantages, they tend to argue over what the best age to begin learning another language is. After doing research, learning a language at a young age is the best time to begin studying.

Many studies have been completed to determine the best age. One study had the kindergarten class in the Kansas foreign language magnet school in 1988 tested with a standard national test every year. The students at this school were taught a foreign language as a core subject. By the fifth grade all of the students had surpassed the national average on every subject on the national test. A similar test was conducted when 13,200 third and fifth graders at Louisiana public schools all took the same standard test. The students who were taking a foreign language all did better on the English section.

The list of advantages that come from learning a language at a young age is also very promising. It includes improved comprehension in English, better complex problem solving skills, more creativity, as well as promoting cultural awareness. Another opportunity of knowing a different language presents, is improving chances of college acceptance. And even further in life, this skill becomes appealing and impressive if you were to apply for a job.

By being introduced while the child is young the child grows up being more aware of the different cultures that they may have been unaware of before. A language is one of the best ways to learn about a different culture as it is an everyday occurrence. You don't have to be completely fluent in another language for a foreigner to appreciate the fact that you took the time to try and understand their language. Many other countries are taught English and could come to our country and keep a conversation. However, less than half of Americans could be able to do the same thing in another country. I believe that this should be changed.

Learning another language presents advantages that can only be achieved through knowing this skill. This is also a lifelong skill to have that can benefit you in many things at any age, especially with the growing amount of foreigners speaking their native language in America. Learning another language also shows that you have respect the other country enough to take time to study their way of life.

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