Why aren't American kids being required to learn a second language, much as Mandrain or French?
Starting in grade school like other countries do, and not just as an elective for Jr. high and high school students.
I remember French class in fourth grade. Maybe the change has to do with English having become even more the language of commerce and higher education than it was back then.
I thought they did. We learned Spanish starting in 5th grade on up. In high school we got to choose the language.
The standards here are much different and in some people's eyes, lower. Also, there are a large number of Americans that don't even like hearing other languages spoken. Getting this to be done in grade school would be a very tall order considering all the other problems with our public schools.
American kids are learning Mandarin and Spanish; Latin too, in some schools. The whole idea of 'requiring' steps on our particular sensitivities about being told what we can and can't do. So at many schools an extra language is an 'option.' For instance, my kids have taken both Mandarin and Spanish, but we could take them out of that part of the curriculum if we wanted too.
We didn't have the option. I would bet each school district is different. More money, more options. Our government continues to put education on the back burner. Also, there are so many immigrants from other countries that the focus is just getting them all to English so that they can become a productive member of society, an issue most countries don't face in the same percentages we do. Every year more and more latin children come into this country not speaking any English at all. Then we have Asia, Russia, and all of the European countries contributing to the pot.
By the way, when visiting another country, I'm constantly amazed at how everyone in that country looks sort of related. Of course, that's silly but still shocking for an American who is used to so many cultures and gene types mixing together.
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