Foreign languages need to be taught sooner

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By: Madigan Crowley @crowleymadigan [Activities Editor]

High schools across the country teach students to speak a different language at some point or another. Colleges recommend taking it in high school while some even require two years of it to get in and four years to graduate. While it’s good to learn a new language, is it too late to learn one in high school?

Learning a new language is difficult but it’s extremely difficult when students have been speaking English since they were little. Some schools start teaching different languages like Spanish or French in the younger grades so kids get used to hearing it. Marion, along with other schools in our area, don’t start teaching foreign language until the beginning of high school, which is often too late for students to really learn it.

By learning a new language at a younger age students get more familiar with the words and become more fluent by the time they reach high school and college. They gain more experience with the language. They also don’t have to try to learn a new concept just to get into a college.

Some people think students are too young to learn a new language in elementary school because they aren’t ready, but by learning the language in younger grades, students will hear the other language multiple times, making it easier for them to speak that language. If schools wait until high school to make foreign language a class students might not want to take the time to learn it.

The classes are set as an elective, so students can choose to opt out of them. However, doing this could cause students to not take the class and then later discover they are not able to attend certain colleges. For these reasons, schools should have small foreign language classes in their elementary schools. To make a change, talk to the local school administrators to get these classes added into the elementary curriculum.

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