Foreign Language

If you had a choice for yourself or your children, which foreign language would you learn?  Mandarin Chinese?  Spanish?  French?

In the school district we are in, we have partial language immersion, where math and science are taught in a foreign language to 50 students starting in K-5.  I spoke directly to the principal of her future school today and was put at ease that the teachers are PRAXIS certified and that the content of science and math are being taught, but the median is the foreign language.  I was afraid of foreign language being the focus instead of the subject content, but I am more at ease about it.

Our elementary school is teaching Mandarin Chinese.  However, we can apply to another school for the language.  The other two languages being taught are French and Spanish.  If we apply for another school, then I am responsible for transportation every day.  The Spanish schools would take at least 40 minutes to get it.

The student can also add a second language in the 6th grade if he/she chooses.

Thinking about it:  Mandarin Chinese would be a harder language to learn later on in life since it is a symbol language, so may be easier to learn as a child.  Spanish is easier to pick up on the streets (the two older girls already have several Spanish words and phrases since their old nanny when I worked spoke Spanish to them and they still use it 2 years later!) and is an letter alphabet language.

What do you think?  What language would you pick?

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12 thoughts on “Foreign Language

  1. I am all for Foreign language being taught in the schools. I think it is a good tool to have. I took 2 years of Spanish, but that wasnt until high school.

    However, what I do not agree with is the way our public school does things. Our public school district is “consumed” by at least 35-45% hispanic. I have no problems with that, except for this…. The last 2 years they have taught in english and then stop and teach the same thing in Spanish, therefore they are getting through only half of what they would if they did all english. The triplets are 6 and they have noticed this. They sit there confused for half the day pretty much because of this foreign language, in which is not being taught to them, but is being spoken. But in the same breath, the same thing is happening to these poor hispanic children too. I just do not agree with it. They should be separated for this reason. They are all normal kids and I get that, but I am sorry… it is not fair to the children at all. And Im not saying the classes should be COMPETELY separated, but if they are going to allow all of these hispanics in the school district (that do not know any english at all), then they should be having more translators– perhaps one for each class, that way the teacher is not having to stop in the middle and basically teach in both languages. Granted, not EVERY teacher does this, but the ones that have several non english speaking students are suppose to be doing it. Its just not fair. And how fair is it to those children who do not understand that some of their classmates cant “understand” their langauge.. its tough.

    However, in the case that you are talking about, it seems that they are actually teaching the foreign language, and I think that is great!!

  2. I agree Kelly. Spanish definitely. Like I said below out school district is literally 35-40% hispanic… I dont mind at all that they attend our district, but I do not agree with the way they do things according to that. See my comment below.

    1. Yes they teach the language but they teach the content. Math and science are taught in the foreign language. English and social studies are in English. We have full immersion schools where those that speak Spanish or Chinese or French at home solely go to those school where they teach in that language and then take English as a second language.

  3. I’d say Spanish…seems the most useful. Although a 40 minute drive would stink. Do all districts start foreign languages that early? I never took it until high school.

    1. I think Spanish is the most useful locally, but wondering about globally. I have friends who spoke Tagalog growing up and now one knows French fluently and the other knows French (from living in Canada) and is now living in Switzerland and speaks that fluently. So knowing one foreign language young makes it seem like it would be eaiser to pick up a second foreign language later on. The 40 min drive would stink; and the other thing that stinks is the Spanish speaking school test ok, and the French and Mandarin school test very well. 🙂 And, it’s not promised to those out of the zone, so I could have one kid in Spanish school (there are 3 of them), and another in another Spanish school, then maybe the twins don’t get into a Spanish school and would end up somewhere else. That’s overwhelming to think about. They only reserve 10 slots for people out of zone. But, it’s specific to Lexington 1 schools. And in Lexington 1, Spanish is started in the 3rd grade if you’re not in the foreign language immersion program. I think in the midlands only Lex 1 has the program.

      1. I’m not a world traveler so Spanish would definitely be most useful for me! Yea, I definitely wouldn’t want all my kids at different schools like that.

      2. I definitely think Spanish is useful! I wish the school did Spanish though so they would be fluent. I also just don’t want to end up with one of my children not in the same school…

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