Dear Future President,
Language in education is a topic that is important to me. I am a highschool student who has been learning Spanish in school for 3 years and counting. Each year, more and more students have dropped from my class and have stopped taking a language. In several statistics, the trend of avoiding learning a second language is common. Schools in America should require and encourage learning a foreign language. Learning a second language correlates with helping students to understand and accept other cultures, improve memory and cognitive skills, and raise academic achievement.
Understanding and accepting other cultures is very important. According to an article found on gadling.com, 82.1% or Americans speak only English, and that there are 14 million households in America where English is not the first language. The statistics show that about ⅘ of the nation would not understand a large amount of people in America, leaving a gap. These families who are misunderstood are likely to feel left out in a nation that was built upon equality and opportunity. In my own experience, the past 3 years have opened my eyes to the Spanish culture. There are many aspects, including food and holidays, that I would have never known about if I hadn't been learning the language. Knowing something about a different language helps create a sort of link of acceptance between cultures.
Learning another language also correlates with improving memory and cognitive abilities. An experimental study of 60 bilingual and 60 monolingual girls showed that bilingualism increases social problem solving and memory. Memory and problem solving are both qualities that create a good student. A nation should want good students that can use their skills to make the changes they want to see. Having a good memory and cognitive skills is healthier for the brain as well. It keeps students’ minds active and clear. It is ideal for students to study with clear minds and use their abilities to benefit both themselves and their schools.
Since learning another language increases memory, academic achievements rise as well. In many studies, students who study a second language outperform those who do not on standardized tests. In these studies, it has been found that being bilingual helps with reading, improved learning skills, and making predictions. When students get good test scores, their opportunities for different colleges and higher education are increased. Schools also benefit from a rise in academic achievement. Both schools and the individual students can take from teaching and learning foreign languages.
America should embrace other cultures, which can be done by understanding their languages. Students can perform better and increase their own thinking abilities. Schools show high academic success through having students that speak different languages. The benefits of being multilingual are numerous and don't show negative effects. America should require and encourage students to learn a second language. It would show a positive growth in our nation’s education. I hope to see this during the next presidential term.