By: Rivor Johnson email@example.com
“Hoy es Martes, Febrero quinto dos mil diecinueve.”
How many high schoolers actually understand that simple sentence? Not very many. Many high schoolers feel obligated to take a foreign language in high school, mainly because most colleges require it, but also because all of their peers are taking it.
It seems like an easy task. Every kid walks into their Spanish or German class thinking that it can’t be that hard or that they only have to do this so they can get into the college they want to succeed in.
“I am in my third year of Spanish and you would think at this point we would all know a decent amount of Spanish. Enough to where when the teacher says a sentence we can easily understand it and respond back. Unfortunately, I and many others aren’t to that point and getting there seems impossible,” states junior Ellie Waterbury.
So what if there was an option to enroll your kids into a foreign language class right in their elementary schools?
According to Suzanne Robin’s article, “Why Is It Easier for a Child to Learn a New Language Than an Adult?” younger kids learn other languages easier than older kids. Young children are literally made to absorb all the information they can without even realizing it. So if they are exposed to that language all throughout elementary school it could increase how many people would be able to speak it fluently by college.
“I think that having foreign language as an option in elementary school would be very helpful; I think it would make it way easier to take Spanish in high school. I mean it’s almost as if I’m wasting my time. I definitely don't know how to speak it, so what's the point of it being a requirement to get into college?” says sophomore Jaelynn Ernst.
Almost every child in elementary school is proud of who they are. They speak and say what they want even if it doesn’t make sense. This is another reason why it would be good to start teaching them a foreign language because they will practice it more out loud and not be afraid of how they sound and if it’s wrong.
That’s is one issue a lot of high schoolers can relate to. If a fluent Spanish or German speaker walked into the classroom and asked all the kids a question how many of them would actually answer due to the pure fear of saying it wrong?
As the child development teacher at CCA, Mrs. Hayes, states, ”I think that's a great idea! I believe research shows that children learn a 2nd language much faster than adults do and the best time to start is around the age of 10. I personally, would love to see the introduction of a second language in the elementaries and I think research would prove there are many advantages to doing so.”
Making it an option could benefit many, many kids in the long run. It would also make communication more fun because most people would know at least two languages.
“I think it’s a great idea, I would be all for it. I mean the younger the kids the more they seem to remember. The thing is the schools will have to be able to afford it and hire someone to do it, but the kids would learn the days of the week, numbers, months, just the basic so by the time they get to Spanish 1 they will have an understanding of what it is like and it is amazing how much they remember,” states CCA Spanish teacher, Ms. Meister.