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Do any of you refuse to teach your children a foreign language? If you do, why?

Because my friend and I were just in this discussion just now, and I was telling her about this nintendo DS game that teaches Spanish. Well we have lived in Spain and both my youngest know at least a little Spanish because of that. I love that my kids are interested in learning another language because with the military we travel alot, and Spanish is a great language to know. Well my friend said her and her husband don't even let their kids watch Dora because they don't think that kids living in America should have to learn other languages, and especially not Spanish as Spanish is becoming the main language in the US. WHAT?? Is it just me or is that prejudice? I may be thinking about it all wrong or something so if I am I'm sorry, please give me your opinions and reasoning. I don't think it's a good reason just because you don't want your kids speaking one particular language IMO.


Asked by AprilDJC at 2:29 PM on Mar. 6, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

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Answers (116)
  • I agree that every child should be taught to speak another language I just wish school offered more langauges! The 3 they generally offer are just some of the easiest to learn.

    Anon 9:18, part of learning a second language is having a choice in the matter. I do not believe that making children learn Spanish as their second language would help this country. The children should have a say in the language choice and if the kid chooses Spanish, fine but offer other options like French, German, Chinese, Japanese, etc. This is still America. I also think that by forcing our children to learn Spanish will slow those children whose first langauge is Spanish from learning English. As they won't HAVE to learn English because everyone else will speak it. And I do believe that EVERYONE who lives in the USA needs to learn English.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:13 PM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • No but we didn't enrolll our daugther in a foreign language at school because they only offer french and spanish.

    So hopefully we'll move before sophmore year and she can start German, Italian or Japaneese (some of the languages in the "lesser" school districcts that are offered....) If we don't I will teach her German at home and she can use some test out opportunities in college.


    Answer by Praying at 2:36 PM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • People who refuse to teach their children at least a little bit of another language are setting their kids up to miss out on some major opportunities and life experiences. My boyfriend is Hispanic, and if I was close-minded, I never would have learned about his culture. I never would have had my daughter. Bi-lingual people have a lot more job opportunities nowadays. It pays to be bi-lingual.

    Answer by caitxrawks at 2:37 PM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • Personally, I won't teach my kids another language because I don't know another language. I don't have a problem with them learning Spanish in school (or whatever language they choose if it is elective). Most High Schools require foreign language classes, and many middle and elementary school curriculum are starting to implement Spanish. Not sure how much though.
    I wonder if Chinese would be a more pragmatic choice of languages to learn though, since they pretty much own us.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 2:37 PM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • I'd love to learn German lol. I already know enough Spanish to get by, I'd love to add German in there as my heritage is part German. I've never been and hope to go there one day.

    Answer by AprilDJC at 2:38 PM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • EDIT: I'd like to add...personally not teaching them another language is no problem, I understand that the majority of parents speak only one language. But outright refusing to let a kid learn another language in school or not letting them play games or watch bilingual stuff is just wrong. Some schools won't even let you graduate until you've taken at least two years of a foreign language.

    Answer by caitxrawks at 2:39 PM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • April: I studied in Germany too which was a growth experience as to why socialism is a PIA lol, I loved the beauty, food, people and pace of life there - Sundays were really sundays that's for sure!!! I just wish I had done it at another school, it was gross where I lived.

    Answer by Praying at 2:42 PM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • i don't have a problem with teaching my kids another language but if the only one that they offer is Spanish that is crap because there are tons of other cultures and languages out there besides that one. and when some one states that Spanish needs to be learned because most people in the united states speak it, that is sad to me because all of the other immigrants that came here had to learn the language and i don't understand why these people do not have to, they are not special or any thing. if i went to another country you better bet that i would learn the language at least enough to get by if i was only going to be there for a while. why we bend over backwards for other nations is be on me because they do not do the same for us.

    Answer by mrssundin at 2:42 PM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • I can understand not being able to teach the children yourslef but i think not letting them watch cartoons that speak another language is just being ignorant. I am teaching my son both spanish and ASL.

    Answer by Chandra034 at 2:42 PM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • I've been thinking the same thing about China, QuinnMae!

    I actually want my kids to learn as many languages as possible. With the world the way it is today, knowing other languages almost ensures job security. I don't see any disadvantages in knowing a couple of different languages.

    Answer by nwdeserangel at 2:46 PM on Mar. 6, 2009