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Hola a todos, cmo ests hoy?

Si usted entiende lo que estoy diciendo, levanten la


mano. I just said, Hello everybody, how are you doing today? If you understand what I am
saying, please raise your hand. in Spanish. Although there are millions of American citizens
who speak Spanish fluently and thousands more who come to the United States every year, there
is still an overwhelming majority of Americans who cannot speak it. Many admire the ability to
be able to speak a second or even multiple languages, but, despite this admiration, most do not
have the time nor the patience to practice and learn another language. Bilingualism in our
schools is a way solve this issue, as well as enhance what and how children are taught.
Bilingualism offers a more broad variety of viewpoints, texts, and ideas that are now limited by
teaching only one language. My older sister teaches Spanish at Lansdowne High School in
Baltimore County and has always expressed how she understands much more about our world
and other cultures just by learning to speak spanish. In this speech, I hope to outline how
learning a second language is beneficial to oneself, the flaws of our school systems attempts to
teach a foreign language, and why a second language should be taught alongside english at a
young age.
A second language has many practical benefits to those who know one. Knowing one
significantly helps ones career opportunities, both increasing who is willing to hire them and
who they can work efficiently with. The language barrier between english speaking US citizens
and first-generation immigrants, as well as Americans touring the world, would also shrink.
Additionally, a College Board study shows that students who had studied a foreign language
for 4 or more years outscored other students on the verbal and math portions of the [SAT]. Now
imagine if those students had been taking a second language course throughout their life.

In the United States, a second language course is usually begun sometime in middle
school. Most curriculums teach students how to read and write while also teaching how to speak.
This system is incorrect and backwards. Think of how you learned your first language. Your
parents first taught you simple sounds, words, and phrases. You then learned how to write in the
language after you could adequately express yourself through speech. This is how our schools
should be teaching foreign languages, by speaking it with students. It does not make sense to
teach somebody how to read and write a language when they cannot properly engage in a basic
conversation with somebody who is native to the language. The bottom line is, language is most
useful when you are speaking it with someone. Seeing and hearing language are two very
different things. It has also been shown that Excelling at a foreign language at a young age
usually means a child also has better musical skills, according to a study conducted by
professors at the University of Turku in Finland. This idea even further supports my next point.
There is no better time for us to learn a language than when we are young children. After
all, this is when we are learning English, so why would it be any different for a second language.
As Martha G. Abbott, Director of Education for the American Council on the Teaching of
Foreign Languages states,It is critical that foreign language instruction be available to all
students throughout their PK-12 academic experience. and that Knowing other languages and
understanding other cultures is a 21st Century skill set for American students as they prepare to
live and work in a global society. Whether students will be learning Spanish to communicate
with incoming immigrants, or Chinese for international business, it is only sensible for future
American youth to learn a foreign language.

Being bilingual helps you in performing better on tests, effectively lets you communicate
with more people, and can give you more job opportunities than if you hadnt known a second
language. We should be teaching children to speak both English and a second language from an
early age. This is not a matter of destroying our English roots, but rather adjusting ourselves for
the future. Our rapidly changing demographics, along with an increase in globalization, show an
increased need for multilingualism, and instituting bilingualism in our school systems will only
make the process go more fluidly. From this information, I can conclude that learning an
additional language at a young age can only benefit oneself and society as a whole.

http://www.actfl.org/advocacy/discover-languages/for-parents/cognitive
http://www.collegeboard.com/prod_downloads/about/news_info/cbsenior/yr2004/2004_CBSNR
_total_group.pdf
http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/advantages-foreign-languages-elementary-schools-4412.html