A lot of white Americans hold this racist view that “this is America we speak one language” as a tool to discriminate against non-English speaking immigrants (and immigrants who speak with an accent) and it’s basically backfired because we have this whole country of people that don’t place importance on speaking multiple languages when it would actually be super beneficial. To answer your question though, I took three years of Spanish in high school but learning foreign languages in public schools tends to be kind of a joke (at least where I live) and most people are only taught enough to pass the class.
Excuse me but not all of America is like that. My highschool makes you take two year of a foreign language and many people are happy about this. I know plenty of kids who enjoy these classes. There are also middle schools where I live that offer Spanish and French classes and most of my friends took those classes. America as a whole may not be entirely found of learning more than one language but we are making progress and I think that is something very important to recognize.
NOT ALL AMERICA
My point is, based on the way that a lot of high school foreign language classes are structured, two years is not going to be anywhere near enough to become fluent in any language. Also, might I add that many schools and universities are cutting ethnic studies programs, rather than adding to them because they don’t understand their importance. It’s also incredibly difficult to implement these programs in the first place.
OK so in the UK languages are no longer compulsory at GCSE level (normally taken between ages of 14 and 16). The UK has seen a serious drop in the number of language students, language programmes are cut everywhere, and typically students aren’t given a strong, functional level of education in a language until maybe around A-level (normally taken between 17 and 18), depending one’s view of that description.
Languages other than French, Spanish and German are rarely taught at state schools in the UK, despite the fact that these languages are losing relevance in the UK compared to languages frequently used within our communities such as British Sign Language, Urdu, Polish, and Bengali.
So the point is that here language learning isn’t offered to the right standards, isn’t offered frequently enough, and on the whole language learning at secondary school is pretty irrelevant unless pursued at a further level.
Still, I, and a large number of other language learners I know, seriously pity the American education system, because its flaws when it comes to language education are far more severe than those in the UK, which is one of the two most monolingual countries in the EU.
In both cases, the lack of language programmes and enthusiastic learners stems from, as Marina puts it, a lack of awareness of the importance of these languages and the communities who use them. Multilingualism is seriously undervalued, and we cannot ignore the fact that racism plays a huge part in how polyglots are viewed. Speaking English - at whatever level - with a foreign accent or patchy grammar is ridiculed, while white UK and US citizens are congratulated and praised for knowing a handful of words in a second language.
Additionally, the importance of languages learnt in the UK (as I suppose it is in the US) is always placed on the economy. When one reads articles about the UK’s monolingualism and how this is a problem, the communication issues within our communities are never mentioned. The importance of different cultures is completely ignored. We’re being told ‘learn languages for money, not for people’.
tl;dr: yeah no Marina’s right
This is terrible news what
In case anybody is interested and/or doesn’t yet know, until tomorrow you can download The Sims 2 Ultimate (all expansions and everything woohoo) for free and completely legally etcetera on Origin yaaay yaaaaay
So I found this CD on the street today on my way to work, right? So I decided I’d bring it home and listen to it.
And it was the best decision I’ve ever made in my life.
I am dancing through my room.
what IS this
I bought my friend an elephant for their room.
They said “Thank you.”
I said “Don’t mention it.”
Is there a joke here that 15 thousand people get but I don’t?
we’re not supposed to talk about it.
Sheffield :) yep, I think only us, UCL and Nottingham do it? But Sheffield is the biggest Dutch department and by far the nicest and best! All the Dutch staff are such wonderful people and if you never meet them your life is not complete!
i told my mom that god has killed babies in the bible and she didn’t believe me so i searched it up and to my surprise
there’s a list???
JESUS FUCKING CHRIST
in conclusion god is an asshole
okay well I mean ten murders is still bad though so
god gambles with your souls pass it on
This week on “I Didn’t Know I Was a Satanist”
when you have a conversation with someone fluent in your foreign language and you make a lot of mistakes and it’s like
take me back
i can do better than this, i swear
'how long can i hold a conversation with this person before they realise that i'm english and start talking to me in english instead?' is a fun game to play in any country with a different language to your native one
So many Dutch people arrived here today and I can hear them everywhere and want to talk to them all, but I don’t want to just be all “Oh hoi hoi hoi waar komen jullie vandaan wisten jullie dat er eigenlijk Britten zijn die Nederlands praten hè hè hè?” because that would be weird and creepy but it’s so frustrating agh
I haven’t been able to properly practice my languages (except Spanish, which is new!) for ages and I’ve having withdrawal symptoms
Oh well, Utrecht holiday in three weeks hooraaay