In response to the gentleman who protested the teaching of Spanish in Columbia County schools, I take issue with his arguments (letter, "Hype and hoopla drives elementary foreign language, by Wheldon Hair, Jan. 6).
Hair failed to see the likely future value of a job seekers having the ability to communicate in the two most widespread languages of our hemisphere. The writer seemed to think that English would be neglected in favor of Spanish. Perhaps he was thinking of those school districts in some other states where all classes are taught in Spanish in a misguided effort to assimilate immigrant children.
His depiction of Latin as a great help to understanding our own English language is valid; but, Latin is not really a living language. To many students Latin is as irrelevant as Sanskrit or Pali. Spanish, a vibrant living language is alive and well.
Having descended from Latin, Spanish provides English-speaking students with a better understanding of their own language. The intricacies of Spanish grammar help to bring about a greater understanding of our own grammar.
An extra benefit in studying Spanish is the exposure to another culture - always an educational plus.
Gene L. Rickaby
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