I was devastated to learn that I am an arbitrarily required foreign language teacher. Until Barry Paschal informed us in his Jan. 29 column, Spend money on sure thing, I thought that I was a valued member of a profession that I love.
Language teachers all agree that children benefit from beginning foreign language at a young age; however, if use of the language does not continue, the early advantage is lost. We high school teachers help students to communicate - to speak, to read, to write - in the target language.
Make no mistake: speaking alone does not make one educated or literate in any language. When my former students contact me to tell me how well they have done on the written placement test at the University of Georgia, not one has mentioned being asked to sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider in Spanish.
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