There is a need for someone to justify all the hype and hoopla over teaching Spanish at the elementary or even the middle school level. A trial in one middle school was abandoned in the past.
The main argument put forth is that it increases cultural diversity and comprehension. The assumption seems to be that a foreign language introduction is intended to eventually bring the student to a fluent conversational level. This has never been the intent.
Latin was the original foreign language introduced in curriculum. This was to help in understanding the origin of many parts and sometimes whole words in our English language. Many Latin words are found in the legal profession. Until modern times, Latin was the dominant language of school, church and state in western Europe. The so-called Romance Languages, including Spanish, were all derived from Latin which came out of Rome. The original foreign language insert was to increase comprehension of the English language.
Cultural diversity began when the Pilgrims landed and encountered the Indian. It has increased to todays level, where addressing the language of one of the many cultures makes no sense whatsoever.
The diversity in culture must be addressed by those coming into this English-speaking nation. Theirs is the responsibility to learn this nations language in order to exchange cultural understandings.
This proposed relocation or introduction of foreign language at the elementary school level cries for justification. This responsibility lies with the Columbia County School Board, not the politicians getting involved. The board has the financial and scholastic responsibility.
Todays technology enables one to carry an entire language in a purse or back pocket.
Proponents of this curriculum change appear to have their facts blinded by fascination.
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