Home Forums Subject Areas Foreign Language the myth of Spanish…from a French teacher

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    Sara Carothers

    Hola! Bonjour! I am here to debunk something that is a bit of a burr under my saddle and that is that parents think of Spanish as the only “practical” foreign language for their children to learn. It’s just not the case. If you have a 10 year old that comes to you one day asking to learn Swahili, please don’t say no because “no one around us speaks Swahili.” An interest in other cultures is never a bad thing, and they may want to learn French next year, or German, or Chinese. There are ways your child can test- drive a language before you spend money on a fancy curriculum. Look for songs in the language, videos of people speaking it online, learn some geography about where it is spoken, find out about foods and make a couple of them, go the library and see what can be found about it. You can make all of this part of your social studies course. After all of this, your student will either be so enthusiastic to learn Swahili that it is now worth an investment in language instruction, or… he will move onto something else. Learning a second language fluently, whatever it may be, is a huge gold star on any job application. It shows interest in other people and the ability to learn something in depth. Your child may grow up to do business with African countries, go on a mission, or even have a neighbor who speaks Swahili someday. I get why parents want their child to learn Spanish, really I do. Just let it be their idea ;) ~Sara

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