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senate Bill S. 2307

Should the Feds Support Elementary & Secondary School Foreign Language Programs With Grants?

Argument in favor

Americans’ low rate of foreign language fluency is a problem for many branches of the U.S. military, intelligence community, and foreign service. To create a pipeline of foreign language-speaking employees for these agencies, it’s important to invest in foreign language programs at the elementary and secondary school levels now.

burrkitty's Opinion
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08/21/2019
The normal human brains ability to pick up linguistics easily is confined to under the age of 8. After that it becomes progressively and progressively harder to pick up foreign language. Waiting until junior high or high school to start teaching foreign language is waiting 10 years later than the natural human ability to pick up language evolved. So the time to teach foreign language is the very earliest possible. Preferably in preschool and kindergarten and elementary school because that is when the human brain is most keyed to absorb linguistic information. Children that are bilingual or poly lingual inevitably were exposed to those languages very young. Either by having a family language that was spoken in the house that was different than the main language spoken outside. Or by having grandparents or a family members or domestic servants that spoke different languages. But intrinsically the human brain evolved to pick up languages young and so that is when we should teach it because that takes advantage of a natural evolutionary process to the benefit of children.
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William 's Opinion
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08/21/2019
I’m all for kids knowing two or more languages. Start as early as possible and it will be easier for the student. I’m not quite sure why the Secretary of Defense is involved but the Congress can sort that out.
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jimK's Opinion
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08/21/2019
I support language skills training for youth- but for different reasons than cited in the preamble. Our country has often made grievous mistakes in dealing with other countries whose cultures and values are different than our own. We think that they have the same cultural norms as we do- and that leads us to presuppose our 'approaches' are best for their societies, when in fact, they are not. Early language skills opens channels for meaningful dialogue and understanding. For example, in a casual gathering an exiled Iranian engineer and naturalized citizen was asked: " If you had to choose between your children or your parents, who would you choose? His answer without hesitation, was that he would choose his parents, since he could always have more children. I don't know if that is generally reflective of Iranian culture, but this shocked most of us with Western values of protecting our children first. It is not a 'wrong' view- it is one I do not personally accept (sorry Mom!). I could never have begun understand his views if I were not able to openly speak with him. That is why early language skills are valuable for our youth- particularly in a world that is getting ‘smaller’ and increasingly interdependent.
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Argument opposed

School classrooms are a poor place for meaningful language acquisition, as evidenced by the fact that less than 1% of students who take a foreign language in high school attain fluency. The government should instead find ways to encourage parents to teach foreign languages at home, which has been much more effective than classroom instruction.

Tritia's Opinion
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08/21/2019
Because the government is doing so well with the basic 4. Math, English, Science and History. Fix the broken structure you’re trying to leave for someone else to deal with. That’s what every politician signs up for when they run for office.
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Gopin2020's Opinion
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08/21/2019
Get the Federal government out of education and return it to the states. #MAGA
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DougM's Opinion
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08/21/2019
No. The Fedeeral Government(Us) should just make a required and level playing field for all students of a certain grade or level. This assuring that the students are all at that basic level. Then if the State wants to go further in the advancement of the students education, then by all means do it. This is one way a State can attract the citizens to their State. This should be up to that particular State. Sorry to say this, but this should be a States Rights matter.
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    The normal human brains ability to pick up linguistics easily is confined to under the age of 8. After that it becomes progressively and progressively harder to pick up foreign language. Waiting until junior high or high school to start teaching foreign language is waiting 10 years later than the natural human ability to pick up language evolved. So the time to teach foreign language is the very earliest possible. Preferably in preschool and kindergarten and elementary school because that is when the human brain is most keyed to absorb linguistic information. Children that are bilingual or poly lingual inevitably were exposed to those languages very young. Either by having a family language that was spoken in the house that was different than the main language spoken outside. Or by having grandparents or a family members or domestic servants that spoke different languages. But intrinsically the human brain evolved to pick up languages young and so that is when we should teach it because that takes advantage of a natural evolutionary process to the benefit of children.
    Like (80)
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    Because the government is doing so well with the basic 4. Math, English, Science and History. Fix the broken structure you’re trying to leave for someone else to deal with. That’s what every politician signs up for when they run for office.
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    I’m all for kids knowing two or more languages. Start as early as possible and it will be easier for the student. I’m not quite sure why the Secretary of Defense is involved but the Congress can sort that out.
    Like (29)
    Follow
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    I support language skills training for youth- but for different reasons than cited in the preamble. Our country has often made grievous mistakes in dealing with other countries whose cultures and values are different than our own. We think that they have the same cultural norms as we do- and that leads us to presuppose our 'approaches' are best for their societies, when in fact, they are not. Early language skills opens channels for meaningful dialogue and understanding. For example, in a casual gathering an exiled Iranian engineer and naturalized citizen was asked: " If you had to choose between your children or your parents, who would you choose? His answer without hesitation, was that he would choose his parents, since he could always have more children. I don't know if that is generally reflective of Iranian culture, but this shocked most of us with Western values of protecting our children first. It is not a 'wrong' view- it is one I do not personally accept (sorry Mom!). I could never have begun understand his views if I were not able to openly speak with him. That is why early language skills are valuable for our youth- particularly in a world that is getting ‘smaller’ and increasingly interdependent.
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    Yes! Second languages help Americans more easily engage with the rest of the world and help with cognitive growth for children and teens. This helps students process information differently and have better memory and critical-thinking skills, listen better and be better able to concentrate and multitask. The need for bilingual professionals continues to grow, and this sets students up better for entering the workforce and better being able to support themselves and provide for any future family they may have. There are too many benefits to dismiss.
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    To compete in global economy we must speak many languages please pass this
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    Get the Federal government out of education and return it to the states. #MAGA
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    No. The Fedeeral Government(Us) should just make a required and level playing field for all students of a certain grade or level. This assuring that the students are all at that basic level. Then if the State wants to go further in the advancement of the students education, then by all means do it. This is one way a State can attract the citizens to their State. This should be up to that particular State. Sorry to say this, but this should be a States Rights matter.
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    Yes! Make Americans more globally competent by teaching them the value of learning another language
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    👍🏻I support children getting the opportunity of Foreign LanguageTraining Americans’ low rate of foreign language fluency is a problem for many branches of the U.S. military, intelligence community, and foreign service. To create a pipeline of foreign language-speaking employees for these agencies, it’s important to invest in foreign language programs at the elementary and secondary school levels now. SneakyPete............ 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. 8.21.19...........
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    Foreign Language is part of what the US is missing in our education system. Every 1st & 2nd level country except for the US makes learning a foreign language mandatory. Foreign language is a very important part of: Understanding your own language Understanding world history Understanding of another culture which makes the person more accepting of other people Expands the ability to reason - comparing the uses of language And many more. So try learning a foreign language but only by the natural method like TPRS - Teaching Proficiency thru Reading & Storytelling.
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    Yes. Encourage citizens of USA to learn at least one foreign language. Travel around the world and you’ll see that many people around the world are multi-lingual. Americans would be better off for being at least bi-lingual. And languages are easier to learn if you start learning them before age 14.
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    The federal government needs to get out of education all together and let the states run the schools and get back to the basics.
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    No. Smaller government not bigger.
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    Fix the education children need: reading, writing, mathematics, history/social studies, biology, snd icivics//government before you statt adding to the curriculum.
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    The Feds need to get the hell out of education
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    In this day and age, learning at least one other language besides English should be a requirement for all high school graduates! The global dynamics are making it an absolute necessity! We can no longer stick our heads in the sand and demand everyone else in the world conform to our way of doing things if we want to compete effectively in the world. Besides which, increasing young folks knowledge of other countries’ languages and customs can broaden our perceptions overall as a people to the fact that we are only a small portion of the world, and if we intend to remain the one country where the experiment of democracy continues to function we need to foster understanding among our people for our leadership role in the world. Good leadership requires empathy and understanding, as well as strength and a strong market!
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    Speaking multiple languages makes you smarter. And the younger you are, your brain learns languages easier. Americans really need to stop being fearful of other languages.
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    That's exactly what Jim Hensen tried to do with Sesame Street....I remember my son, Dan, when he was 2 (both of my children were avid fans...in fact, my son knew most of the alphabet by the time he was 2, and here, I thought he was too young....I was having a cup of coffee and he was playing with his blocks and handed me one and said "B"...he was right! and I discovered he knew all but a few of the letters)...Anyway, once I gave him a cookie and instead of sayin' "thanks", he said "merci"!.....Might as well teach them when their little minds are like sponges. Only "American's" think others are stupid, if they don;t speak English.
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    Yes. As a child, in first grade over seventy years ago we began learning Polish along with our other first grade studies. After Christmas break it was discontinued because the powers that be at the time, decided speaking English was to be our only language. WWII had just ended. Still remember what we learned and regret we weren't allowed to pursue it further. Learning a second language at an early is highly desirable and recommended.
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