Students in the Wantagh School District are (mostly) required to take a foreign language. The school offers Spanish, French, and Italian and provides multiple after schools clubs for our language enthusiasts.
I remember taking my first class of Spanish in third grade. My eight-year-old self retained words and translations that I still use in my Spanish 2H class. Now foreign language classes are taught to kindergartners and are offered to some pre-schoolers.
It is said that young children have the ability to learn new languages easier than an adult or adolescent, so many parents and educators have jumped on board in an attempt for students to reap the multitude of benefits. In an article in The Telegraph, Catherine Ford mentions a Harvard study that says pupils learning foreign languages at a young age increases the “critical thinking skills, creativity and flexibility of the mind.” The article also goes on to explain that these children tend to score higher in verbal and math standardized tests.
The ability to speak a foreign language is also thought to be valued among many companies and job interviewers. In the United States, at least 350 languages are spoken. We are a country built upon immigration and with each new culture, comes a new language.
So many Americans speak a language other than English, it is no wonder that polylinguists dominate the United States work force. The more languages you speak, the greater the quality of interaction between customer and worker. Many businesses take pride in having bilingual and polylingual employees.
Are the years and years spent of learning a foreign language really worth it to students today? Obviously, yes. Take a foreign language class now and reap the benefits in your very bright future.