Dual Language In Education

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Language is something that separates humans from animals. The ability to teach language, to use language for entertainment or deception, and to learn more than one language are qualities unique to humans. Consequently, there is great emphasis placed on speaking languages well. There are many benefits to speaking more than one language that span across several aspects of life, such as increased mental flexibility, better memory, better selective attention skills, more job opportunities, and increased empathy. Yet, the teaching of foreign languages in the American education system leaves American adults lagging behind their European counterparts when it comes to language proficiency due to the fact that America does not typically begin language…show more content…
Unfortunately, most of the research conducted in schools with dual language programs is mostly focused on unproven concerns that bilingual education will harm student test scores (Bacon, Burkhauser, Li, Miller, Slater, Steele, 2016). Nonetheless, many universities and language organizations are interested in remedying this in order to encourage Americans to learn languages and be able to compete with Europeans when it comes to language skills (Stein-Smith,…show more content…
Currently, there is no comprehensive national policy on foreign language education, so the decisions are left entirely up to the states. In order to graduate from an Indiana high school with a standard, or Core 40 diploma, the state requires 40 credit hours. Of these credit hours, 5 have the option to be from classes of world languages, but there is no formal requirement. This means that a student could theoretically graduate from high school without ever spending a moment learning a foreign language. It should be noted, however, that many high schools do individually require some world language education, and that many colleges do as well. It is also important to note that in order to earn a Core 40 with Academic Honors diploma, 6-8 credit hours in a world language are required (Indiana Department of Education, 2014). The Indiana Department of Education claims that knowledge of world languages is essential for being a well-rounded student and encourages the highest standards in the teaching of world languages. Nevertheless, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate language classes, the highest levels of which are most likely to result in fluency for the students, are well beyond the scope of both the requirements for languages and
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