Editorial: The role of language in American schools

The Editorial Board

With the world progressively becoming more and more intertwined with other nations, the amount of people who speak more than one language is on the rise. Only, the Land of the Free seems to be a little slow in catching up to the increasingly bilingual world.

In Europe, students are required to take their first foreign language class between ages six to nine. Yes, Americans are also required to take a language, but not until middle school or high school, and they are only required to take the class for two to three years. The percentages show the effect: according to The Guardian and the United States Census Bureau American Community Survey, 54 percent of Europeans are able to speak an additional language to their native one, versus America’s harsh reality of 21.6 percent.

We believe that America should change its policy on foreign language because knowing more about another culture not only helps with job offers but also creates a more open mindset and opens so many more doors for understanding where we all came from.

While most American schools offer Spanish, French, German and Mandarin, languages such as Arabian, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, Russian and many others remain in the dark of the American education system. Maybe if there were more than four options available, more students would choose to take language.

Yes, America does require a few years of foreign language, but the language is easily forgotten when a person isn’t immersed in it. Language is literally the way humans share and spread ideas. Being bilingual should not be a minority, and all places in the world have lots of room to improve in this sector. If America wants to continue its success in the world, we believe that this is one of the places it should start.

The Eagle Angle Editorial Board asserts that language should be taught earlier and that there should be a more diverse pool of languages to choose from. Out of 6,500 languages, there’s bound to be more than four to learn. We understand that this wouldn’t be a two-month process, but if our system begins to work toward encouraging people to embrace the bilingual goal, production would go up, along with communications, trade and peace.