Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Don’t Swap Coding Classes for Foreign Language

“I firmly believe in the value of education and career development to create economic opportunity for oneself. This is certainly an important aspect of education, though not the only one. That said, I cannot say which kind of language – computer or foreign – is more important or valuable for the career you aspire to.

I do know though that America is a vast somewhat homogenous country. A foreign language taught well opens up our kids’ mind to the heterogeneous and diverse nature of the world. Kids shouldn’t have to make a choice between a programming class and a foreign-language class. There should be ample room in our education system for both disciplines. Only then do I feel that we will truly be able to realize the full potential of our technology—when it helps us build not only better products and more efficient tools, but also a deeper understanding of human society and ‘Us’.”

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Languages do matter!


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