Thoughts on teaching, technology, learning and life in an era of change.
Why Foreign Language Education Matters
October 12th, 2008

Learning a second language is important. Not for reasons of national defense or the fight against terrorism. Not for commercial reasons.

Learning a second language is for the benefit of the individual and the community.

The acquisition of a second language is important as it allows the learner to develop their brain, the way that they think and problem solving capabilities. As they acquire mastery they speak one language and think the other. They are required to problem solve as they inwardly translate, parse and correct their grammar. These cognitive skills develop, strengthen and are transferred to applications in other aspects of their education and lives. Language acquisition is marked as they begin to dream in the second language.

Learning a second language is a meaningful activity. It is fun. It imparts a sense of achievement. It is a human thing to do.

Acquisition is best achieved during the early years of a person’s life. The writer of the article indicates that acquisition for adults is difficult. That is true. Adults acquire a second language best when they have no choice ~ for example when they are living and working in a country where their mother tongue is not spoken. Governments should support programmes that encourage foreign placement of its people. Not for reasons related to defense, security and profit. But for humanity.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

4 Responses to “Why Foreign Language Education Matters”

  1. Pat Says:

    I had my first mandarin class last Thursday and it was wonderful! The only problem is now that I’m home, I’m not sure that I have the pronunciation correct. I will see if the teacher will let me record the class this week so I can hear the correct sounds. Otherwise I’m just practicing it the wrong way. Thanks for inspiring me to learn Chinese!

  2. John Larkin Says:

    Hi Pat,
    Hen hao! Ni hau ma? Thank you for the comment. I am glad to see that you enjoyed the moment. if the lecturer does not allow you to record the lessons remember there are some excellent Mandarin language podcasts freely available via the iTunes Stores podcasts section. You could listen to those to augment the face to face classes.

  3. Pat Says:

    Thanks. I never thought about the podcasts and I will go try to find some right now.

  4. John Larkin Says:

    Pat, there are some excellent podcasts tucked away in iTunes. They tend to be overlooked if you do not specifically go looking for them.