Have you ever been in an area of your city and was unable to communicate with its residents due to a language barrier? You remember the frustration you felt? It is an age old discussion. Should more Americans be bilingual in order to be able to communicate more effectively with the Spanish speaking individuals who emigrate here from other countries? Thinking rationally it would make communication and relationships between Spanish and English speakers in the USA much more relatable.
When you look at the statistics in some regions there are more Spanish speaking residents than English speaking. Having said that it makes sense that our children should be taught Spanish in school at an early age. They should at least know the basics. The main argument against this policy is that some English speakers feel that if someone moves to an English speaking region then they should be the ones to have to adapt to their environment and learn English. Not the other way around. I agree that they should also have to learn the language of their region but there is one big flaw in that argument and that is the fact that as the numbers grow, there are more Spanish speakers than English speakers. So sure it sounds good to try to maintain a sense of ownership over your region but when the numbers are laid out, the truth is that Spanish speakers do outnumber English speakers. So in reality, we have to adjust to them as much as they have to adjust to us.
English still is a widely used language in the USA. However raising a child to be bilingual does have its advantages. One being that in their job search they will have a competitive edge by being bilingual as many positions now require that you know Spanish to serve their diverse consumers. Two being that it is widely noted that it is easier for a young child to learn new languages as opposed to waiting till they are an adult when it is much more difficult to pick up a new language as quickly. The last reason is that with a second language under their belt, the opportunities for them are endless.
Is it a good idea to teach your kids a second language? Or should the responsibility of learning another language lie on the non English speakers only?
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