Help city kids speak Mandarin, Arabic and more: Foreign language education is shamefully bad in this global city
October 7, 2015
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Mayor de Blasio’s announcement that within 10 years all New York City public school students will take computer science classes is welcome news. But Java, Python and C++ are not the only languages critical for 21st century success. Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic and French are vital, too.
Learning human languages other than English is not only a major career asset, it opens the door to cross-cultural understanding, boosts self-esteem and expands horizons in so many ways.
Sadly, in the nation’s most diverse and global city, home to the United Nations, the benefits that come with learning a foreign language are being acquired by far too few public school students.
The era of intense focus on (and standardized testing in) math and English has taken a heavy toll on foreign language instruction in New York City. Our young people learn in schools where foreign languages have been pushed to the margins.
Only about 5% of our elementary school students receive regular instruction in world languages. Most young people don’t take their first course in another language until high school.”
Read more @ http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/levine-dromm-city-kids-speak-mandarin-arabic-article-1.2372035
Languages do matter!