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Magdalena Mihaylova: Why (good) foreign language education is important

The Michigan Daily – Magdalena Mihaylova

“In the United States education system, there is no national foreign language requirement. Most kids don’t start learning a foreign language until middle school, when they are forced to pick between limited options, usually opting for either Spanish or French. Their first experience with the language is often through a tired, bored teacher who is usually neither a native speaker nor qualified to teach the language in true depth; the result of this is unmotivated and resentful students. “My Spanish education turned me off to (learning Spanish) as learning Spanish began to seem more like work than a useful skill,” Jessica Baker, LSA freshman, said. However, they trudge on through rudimentary vocabulary games, English movies with French subtitles and unhelpful grammar games until they have fulfilled their school’s requirements. For example, Ann Arbor Public Schools only requires two years of a high school foreign language, after which most students pause their learning until college, where they feel lost and unprepared.” (more)

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