Promoting my own idea

I posted an idea to the Obama Transition’s Citizen’s Briefing Book at Change.gov: Encourage the Teaching of Foreign Language in Elementary School.

This is an idea that I feel has gotten too little play in the national discourse.  We are a country of immigrants and the biggest global power, but we find ourselves lacking in our ability to understand and reach out to those beyond our borders because we don’t teach enough foreign language in our schools and we tend to teach it high school and college, when it is far more difficult to pick up a new language and speak it well.

So, vote it up.

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About Meng Bomin

Real name Benjamin Main, I am a graduate of Grinnell College with a degree in Biological Chemistry.
This entry was posted in Opinions, Politics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Promoting my own idea

  1. Tina says:

    Great thought! I completely support your idea!

  2. Growing up outside of the continental United States, I was exposed to many languages, two of which were taught in elementary school. The only language I actually learned was Japanese, and that was because one of my neighbors required it to be spoken in her home. The two languages I was taught in school never stuck with me. In fact, I think I just sat there and mumbled my way through the class (since there was no test on it). I had the same experience with Latin. I just could not “learn” it, at least not like I did Japanese.

    I don’t have any objections to kids being taught a foreign language at such a young age, but the question is “Which language?” Spanish because the illegal immigrant population won’t learn English? Chinese since they will be the global dominating force in the future? How about we go back 10 years and require Japanese, since they were going to be the technological powerhouse before their economy collapsed? Go back 20 years and teach Russian due to the cold war?

    That’s the hardest part about elementary education. It needs some sort of standardization. If I were to be the one on the school board making the decision, I would pick Chinese, simply due to the math. They are the most populous nation in the world and they are entering the global market full force. When the kids grow up, they will more likely have business dealings with that language than any other. Just as English is the international language of business, I think Chinese will become #2.

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