Learn a Second Language

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I think it is naïve of the United States to not require a mandatory foreign language in its schools. I believe it is paramount for Americans to learn a second language to not only better themselves, but to strengthen their country as well. Being bilingual has too much upside to dismiss. The United States currently has no foreign language policy in place, but large-scale immigration from Latin America and Asia in recent years has convinced many Americans that English should be made the official language of the United States. I disagree. I propose two viable options: to introduce a foreign language to students at an early age, in elementary school, or to make a foreign language mandatory for a bachelor’s degree. Although some people believe the entire world should speak English, the reality is that all Americans should have some degree of formal education in a foreign language. Foreign language skills could have a positive impact on race relations in America. The number of minorities in America is rapidly increasing. In fact, "minority" groups could soon form a collective "majority" of the citizens in America. Considering the facts that many minority groups speak English as a second language and America has no official language, compulsory foreign language classes are viable options. Of course, opponents of mandatory foreign language courses will say that immigrants and naturalized citizens should learn and speak the main language of the United States, English. It’s a valid point, but misses the bigger picture. People who speak English as a second language are already bilingual, while American-born students typically are not. Language is the most fundamental aspect of a culture. Students who learn the not-so-foreign language of the predominant minority group in their region of the country will gain at least some insight into the different culture of their neighbors and perhaps have a better understanding of them at the personal level. Students around the...
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