Researchers predict a growing need for foreign language skills A new study from the Center for Applied Linguistics says the U.S. education system should be doing more to support the teaching of foreign languages to all students, writes Edward Alden. Children should start learning a second tongue at younger ages because these linguistic skills will become crucial to the country’s economy in the years ahead. About 30% of the U.S. economy is based on international commerce
Item from ACTFL. Here’s a research project: how many articles like this have been written over the last 100 years. We’re on the cusp, boys, we’re about to kick off the renaissance in foreign language learning. Why don’t people stop writing blurbs like this and making stupid predictions and actually go out and recruit the sort of fl teachers who can get kids learning. Oh yes, the part about starting kids out younger always in there. Has anyone told these people that elementary school teachers are already tearing their hair out over the pressure between pull-outs for music, for art, for the other peripheral subjects and the increase-your-scores-or-get-fired mentality of the school systems? BTW, what language will we be teaching, and where will we get the teachers who know that language? And which of those teachers who know a language other than English (hopefully the one the school wants taught…… OK, that’s a joke, we all know it’s going to be Spanish) and has gone through all the dumb stuff to get certified and maybe even got the national fl teaching certification will be happy with a part-time job and part-time salary. Oh, I see, they will go from school to school in the district giving students an hour a week of Spanish.
You know, I teach kids who have had eight years of Spanish and by the time they reach high school, they know their colors and how to count. And some of them take Latin because they are sick of going over the same thing again and again (can you guess? Verb conjugations!! Lo acertaste!), year after year. I will teach Spanish in this school for the first time this coming year; I will report back on how it goes. I’m not promising anything because I have to prepare them for second year where the expectations are based on……….. get ready for it….. here it comes……VERB CONJUGATIONS!!!