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Linguaholic

Should colleges for their students to take a foreign language?


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I really don't think I agree with your comment. I mean, yes, it is college, and one should be able to take what they want, BUT, sometimes people don't know they need something until it is forced upon them. Having a second language is really a good skill to have, and if one goes for a major in something like business, for example, the importance of the global economy is something really stressed in an area like that, and it would probably be required as part of the major anyway.

Here in the US, foreign languages are often frowned upon, and a lot of people feel there's no reason at all to need to take another language, more-or-less be required to do so. I feel our country is too lax about language-learning and really needs step it up. Other countries easily have people who are bi- and trilingual. Here, not so much, unless people grew up with other languages in their home or family. It's sad really.

Also, because of the negative view of other languages here in the US, most probably wouldn't decide to take it if given the choice. By being required to take a second language, though, many have found out that they really love that language and would like to become fluent in that and/or other languages as well.

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Should colleges demand that students take a certain number of credits in a foreign language?  What do you think?  My vote would be no.  The student should want to learn it himself and decide to enroll.

I can see what you mean about wanting to learn as that is a key factor to actually learning a language. However, the world is today globalized, and no matter where you live, you will likely have something in your life that extends over the boarders. Therefore, I think it would be good if colleges made foreign languages intergral in the programs. The target language could be one that is most needed in the area that you study.

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I think foreign language study should be a requirement, especially for a liberal arts degree.  I see such study as an integral part of a well-rounded education. 

Learning languages also has pragmatic as well as others have pointed out.  But beyond that, the discipline of learning a new language can help build character as well as expose students to different cultures and traditions. 

Here in the US, foreign languages are often frowned upon, and a lot of people feel there's no reason at all to need to take another language, more-or-less be required to do so. I feel our country is too lax about language-learning and really needs step it up. Other countries easily have people who are bi- and trilingual. Here, not so much, unless people grew up with other languages in their home or family. It's sad really.

Yes, I agree this is unfortunate.  Many people here in the U.S. do not even master their own native English language either.  For that reason, I think colleges should require more study of English, including grammar, composition and study of literature.

Beyond the study of languages in college, I think that students should be studying languages in grade school, middle school and high school in the U.S. as they do in many countries around the world. 

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Yes, I believe that learning another language in college should be mandatory.

In Poland it is, and I think it's great. Usually other than normal English, students are also taught vocabulary related to their field of study.

I study linguistics, so I'm learning two languages in college anyway  :angel:

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Technically, in India we are already forced to study a foreign language. The language of course, being English.

Assuming that we discount English from the conversation, I don't think a foreign language should be forced on an individual. Unless a language is necessary for growth in your field, then I think learning it should be the student's prerogative.

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I think it should be mandatory for students to take a foreign language class.  When these students take such classes, they are more prepared in the real world with whatever job they take.  You encounter all sorts of people of different cultures and languages.  Equipping them with some familiarity with these languages can greatly benefit them in those situations.

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I think a person should learn foreign language because she/he wants it and not because it is a requirement in their school. That person should be interested with the subject. Learning new language is a choice and it can be done with joy if your doing it willingly and not just because it's a must.

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  • 1 month later...

I don't think learning another language should be mandatory in any school. The reason I would support that, is because some people may never need another language in life. Although I think learning another language should be enforced in colleges. The reason I think learning another language should be enforced in colleges, is because they are beneficial to anyone learning them.

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Guest isabbbela

I guess it solely depends on what their graduation/major/course is. For me, for example, English and Spanish were mandatory - but that is because my course was International Relations. But I think it's beneficial regardless.

For example, my cousin went to medical school and complained she had English. But her course was centered towards medical terms and practices. Now she has to read medical books in English, and I bet she thanks the college for the English classes!

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My college tried to give us more well-rounded cultural learning opportunities by requiring 6 units (2 classes) of cross-cultural credits. In theory, this is a great idea. In practice, however, my college was a very small school (1200 students), and the diversity of our faculty and course offerings was obviously limited. I was able to slide through these credits on "California History" and "Ethnic America." These were both just niche history classes taught by two of the history department professors. My friend took "Beginners Italian," offered by one of the English department professors who happened to speak Italian. I would have taken French, but none of the faculty was either qualified or willing to offer it as a course, let alone a major! Spanish was the only language offered as a minor, so it was difficult to add real and chosen language learning to our experiences.

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Making it mandatory might be overkill. But yes, by all means, have it promoted well that people would get interested as part of learning another culture and being more open to diversity. If they make it mandatory for college, there will be people who won't really enjoy it and the exercise would be useless.

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I don't think foreign language should be a college requirement. While it's nice to know different languages, it's not useful to a lot of majors. Not to mention, I would HATE to sit in a class with a bunch of people who are taking a language just to get credit. It'll make the professor's life difficult and it'll ruin the class.

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I don't think colleges should require students to take a foreign language. It's totally a personal preference because it depends on what major the students are focusing. Students aren't required to learn a foreign language on some of the majors because their focus aren't on communication. I would think students are required to learn a foreign language only if they want to reside in a new country or if they will be doing business internationally.

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I'd make it as a requirement, but only alongside other useful skills, and not just requiring students to learn a second language as a whole. There are tons of other ways to gain advantage through skill, and learning a second language is only a part of that whole spectrum. Some people are much better at communicating when it comes to their craft or art, and we must never forget that.

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In my university, for my course specifically, we have a foreign language requirement of twelve units. I think it's good that it's required because it adds breadth and variety to our curriculum. I'm not sure though, after reading everyone else's opinions, if requiring a foreign language subject will affect a student's motivation to learn the language. The student may not want to learn the language because it's required. However, I'd like to argue that having a foreign language requirement might help some students find that they enjoy learning languages. Like they wouldn't have found out otherwise that they like learning languages if not for the foreign language requirement.

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  • 6 months later...

I think it would be ok if colleges operate like high schools. If they demand that students study at least one foreign language, it could actually turn out good for most students. A lot of times we just need to be forced into something good and it so happens that in the end we are happy we did.

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