Education - Other

English as a second Language Critical Thinking ESL Learning a Language English Language Learners – Yes

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Should all school pupils be made to learn at least one language?

Yes, all school pupils should be made to learn at least one language. Learning a language in this country would give the student an edge over the one who does not. There are many foreigners in this country today and it is amazing that a number of them do not know English well enough to communicate with Americans. Learning another language would help.

In some states, people are able to acquire English as a second language teaching positions without a teaching certificate or degree because they have a degree in another language. Did the ability to speak another language help them? I should say that it did. What they learn while in the classroom is astonishing. The majority of the adult students have been in this country for at least twenty years and can barely speak, read, write, and understand English.

The students are immigrant workers from a number of countries. Often, they have just been laid off from their jobs after an average of twenty years of working, because their companies had moved overseas. So how were they able to work in a factory in the United States for twenty years without knowing English? They were assigned to a department with team leaders who spoke their language. They were never encouraged to learn English because work was a priority, not communication. The team leaders could motion to the workers when something needed to be done and demonstrate the procedures and job duties.

It is unfortunate that these workers never learned the language because now, they need to integrate with Americans in order to acquire better jobs as their companies have moved overseas. Not learning a second language has caused a problem for immigrant workers.

Studies have shown that people who learn another language have higher cognitive skills and have better critical thinking skills as a result. These cognitive skills are very useful for jobs such as claim representatives, lawyers, and financial analysts where analytical skills are necessary. The sooner children learn these skills, the better prepared they will be when they enroll in colleges and finally apply for jobs. These skills are also utilized at colleges and universities when writing term papers and conducting research for more advanced writing. Studies have also shown that when students do not acquire these skills at a young age, they struggle in college.

Not learning the English language prevents the immigrants from integrating with the Americans because of the language barrier. Instead, they stay in their communities where they can speak their own language. As a result, there is no incentive for them to learn English as they can communicate with their own people and even do business with them.

While many of the people living in European countries speak more than one language, the United States does not encourage students to learn another language in order to communicate with the immigrants. If American students want to experience a foreign language and make use of it, they must travel to another country, even though there are plenty of immigrants here in the United States. Instead, the immigrants must learn English in order to integrate with Americans.

In conclusion, if Americans learned another language and immigrants learned English, we would have a better society where people are better able to understand one another and lives would be richer.

More about this author: Gail Cavanaugh

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