Learning a language

Language programs prevent the loss of native tongues – The Daily Titan


(Camila Vallejo / Daily Titan)

Learning a foreign language has been a constant thought throughout most people’s educational experience. However, there might not be an option to take a foreign language course in the near future. It was reported by the Modern Language Association that, in a span of three years, more than 650 foreign language programs were cut, ultimately leading to colleges’ loss of linguistic programs. 

Contrary to popular belief, the U.S. does not have an official language. There has always been an array of languages in the country from its creation due to the different ethnic and racial groups that resided here.  

While many immigrant communities hope that living in the U.S. would maintain their children’s bilingual status, the increasing lack of language programs in schools is proving to be a prominent issue. Years of non-language-based education has a hand in aiding children of color’s loss of their native tongues and reduced cultural diversity. 

One reason why language programs have become undervalued is due to the emphasis on STEM programs in high schools and colleges. Colleges want to keep the money where they can profit the most from it. STEM programs, like engineering and science, tend to be programs people are interested in for the sake of getting a high-paying job after graduation. These programs also tend to receive generous donations from alumni who want money to remain within that structure. 

Another reason why language programs have become less prevalent in today’s educational system is that students are not encouraged to continue developing their language skills after K-12 years. 

For children, learning a language is easier if it is consistent throughout their education, because it allows them to develop it along with their other curricula. As adults, learning a second language becomes difficult, because there is no more day-to-day exposure or a learning environment dedicated to teaching that language. College students can take a class, but, according to Expatica, learning a language is a process that requires regular practice. Some classes only meet once or twice a week. 

Most college students have also shown little interest in taking a foreign language course. In a Modern Language Association study published by Language Magazine, only 8% of college students are enrolled in a language course and most are taking it as part of their education path. 

However, learning a different language can aid people’s post-graduate careers. Having a record of biliteracy can enhance someone’s career by allowing them to relocate, travel or be the voice of representation in two languages. Bilingual and biliterate people also have the opportunity to earn better pay compared to people who …….

Source: https://dailytitan.com/opinion/language-programs-prevent-the-loss-of-native-tongues/article_426032c0-4668-11ec-a72c-83434a958e61.html