School Systems Should Provide Foreign Language Classes

1757 WordsApr 15, 20168 Pages
Hello. 你好。Bonjour. Gutentag. All of these words are communicate the same greeting. However, I bet that if most students were to elaborate on each language they wouldn’t get much farther these generic greetings. While we are introduced to the various worlds of languages from an early age, there is a lack of consistent and in depth education. From a young age, I had a desire to learn any language other than English. I took two years of Spanish in middle school and then took three years of Chinese in high school. However, it wasn’t until college where I decided to minor in Chinese that I truly began to grasp and appreciate the language. And only now in my sixth year of learning Chinese are the concepts starting to come together.…show more content…
As they begin to feel comfortable, they start repeating after words they hear usually beginning with “mommy”, “daddy” and “no”. While this initial speaking usually happens around thirteen to fourteen months, a baby can begin learning their language skills before they are born. This concept is explained in the article “The Power of the Bilingual Brain”, “The human auditory system is functional from the third trimester on, and the loudest thing an in utero baby hears is its mother 's voice, speaking whatever language or languages she knows. Those sounds, with their characteristic rhythms and phonemes, are poured straight into the baby 's brain and become comfortingly familiar” (Klugger). We begin developing our languages before we are even aware we have a voice. (Echoing salience) Starting the language skills at an early age is crucial and while not all have the chance to begin hearing multiple languages before birth, introducing your child to a foreign language soon after is key. At Spring Lane Elementary School in Utah the children take half of their classes in English and the other half of their classes in Chinese. Their teacher, April Ridge, studied Chinese in preparation for a two year missions trip remarks on their success, "They made steady progress through the year," Ridge says. "We started school in August when they could speak only English. They were able to follow directions in Mandarin by January. After that came speaking, then reading, then
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