Foreign Language Curriculum Essay

975 words - 4 pages

The U.S. government has acknowledged the demand for foreign languages, but managed to reduce funds that support language programs for K-12 grades. However, advocates have been emphasizing the importance of learning a foreign language at a younger age to promote the program. School districts have developed a plan to incorporate a foreign language curriculum in grade schools, which is designed to improve communicative competencies. Learning a language at adolescent years helps with the memory, creativity, and critical thinking. Also, students develop a positive attitude towards diversity and are receptive to learning about other cultures.

During the 1950’s and 1960’s the foreign language program in grade schools were

abolished since teachers were not qualified to teach languages. The program also lacked necessary funding as well as adequate policies and guidelines. When implementing a foreign language program the language committee has to incorporate a viable systematic approach that’s structured to teach adolescents. They should engage in exploring a feasible model that would help teachers articulate in the foreign language at various levels. Nevertheless, the language committee should consider professionals who are proficient in the language to avoid future discouragement in students. The ideal language program for elementary schools provides language choices, such as the romance languages (Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Italian) that play a historical role in today’s society. Student evaluations are recommended to determine the level of proficiency of the language spoken and a minimum of 30 minutes of in class instruction.

According to the American Educational Research Association, a child tends to absorb a language through explicit practice and exposing them to native speakers as they may build confidence in speaking the language. Research has proven that learning a language at a younger age can benefit students in the long run since they will articulate at a sophisticated level. For instance, many foreigners are incompetent in the history of their native language and eventually face issues with sentence structure and orthography standards. Exposing students to their native language in elementary school would probably grant them the advantage to acquire another language. Foreign languages were not emphasized therefore; languages have been broken up into substandard languages such as Spanglish or foreign slang.

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Parents and teachers have objected the proposition of a foreign language curriculum. They are concerned that learning a foreign language may impede students learning progress in English, Math, and History classes. It is probable that the student may lag in his or her subjects, although studies have proven that full immersion students score at an average rate in their classes and surprisingly above average. In the event that parents are involved and are knowledgeable about the foreign language program and whether they are...

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