Skip foreign language? American education is on a path of reducing foreign language requirements, even at the college level. Should we go along with the herd on this one, and toss out learning a new language?
I mean, why bother to study something that’s so hard?
You can’t fake your way through a foreign language. You either memorized the vocabulary and grammar enough to pass the test, or you didn’t. That’s one reason why more and more US students are deciding to skip foreign language.
Less than one percent of Americans become proficient in the foreign language they study in an American public school, anyway. So why bother trying at all?
If you just want to get an A, don’t take an academic course like Spanish. Take something without firm evaluation requirements. School is about getting A’s, not about learning skills or improving your mind, right?
It’s not like scientists need to know anything about foreign language. They don’t really need to know any Latin nowadays because they can just google it, right?
You’re probably already really smart, so there’s no need to bother with getting all the cognitive benefits of learning a foreign language, anyway.
You also probably aren’t interested in the numerous potential scholarships and subsidized or free travel and study abroad opportunities that come with learning a foreign language. Who needs extra money for college?
It takes 2000-4000 hours to become proficient in a foreign language, and that’s just too long. Let’s just toss out learning musical instruments, since they can take somewhere around 10,000 hours to master.
We’ve all got loads of extra time. So, we stretch out a subject like math, which actually isn’t that complicated and doesn’t take that long to learn when it’s stripped down to the basics and the child is motivated to learn it. We’re willing to spend thousands of hours teaching and studying a subject that shouldn’t take very long at all. But we won’t put thousands of hours into learning a subject that actually does take thousands of hours to learn – even if those hours can be really enjoyable, interactive, social, and absolutely fun. Even if there’s a lot of guidance that can show you how to be effective and enjoy teaching language to your kids.
The herd is telling us to follow its general decline in education and toss out learning languages, along with those other hard subjects. But I have to admit, my kids and I do enjoy learning a new language, at least once I stripped it of all the unnecessary drudgery and toil. And I happen to like brain development, scholarships, and allocating study time efficiently and effectively. What do you think?