language learning in the US

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by its_tegank, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. its_tegank

    its_tegank Rookie

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    Aug 14, 2005

    i am just wondering if it is compulsory to learn a language at school in the US? if so, for how many years and what languages are available? do the student like their language classes more than any other class or do they actually really dislike it? :rolleyes:
     
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  3. TeacherRW

    TeacherRW Cohort

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    Aug 15, 2005

    I am only speaking from my junior high/high school experience (which seems to be eons ago.) We were not required to take a foreign language in order to graduate. In junior high (7th/8th grade), we took an "intro" class to foreign languages. We looked at only 3 main languages... German, French, Spanish.

    ~*Robin*~
     
  4. jpre-k teacher

    jpre-k teacher Companion

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    Aug 15, 2005

    I've been out of the US for about 4 years now, but when I was there, I was majoring in Spanish education. At that time (in the state of Minnesota anyway), foreign languages were not a requirement in secondary school, but a lot of universities required them. So, students who planned to go to university would generally take a foreign language in high school in order to avoid having to take (and pay for it) in university. During my student teaching, my cooperative teacher told me that she felt she had fewer behavior problems in her classes because it was an elective. However, most of the kids were taking it because they felt they "had" to for college rather than because they thought it was interesting or that it had any practical future use. So, there wasn't a lot of motivation to learn it well either. The languages that are offered vary from place to place, but I would guess that Spanish is offered almost everywhere simply because of the prevelance of Spanish-speaking immigrants in the USA. What's the situation in Australia?
     
  5. mmeblue

    mmeblue Rookie

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    Aug 15, 2005

    The private school I graduated from required 3 years of a foreign language, which you could start in 8th or 9th grade. You could do more than 3 years if you wanted to; my sister ended up doing 5 years of one language and 2 years of another. I believe public schools in that area required 2 years, but that might've been only if a student was on a college-prep track (i.e., no language requirement if they weren't planning to attend college). I'm not sure what the requirements are where I live now; my school only goes up through 9th grade, and I don't deal with any of the guidance or scheduling stuff.

    I loved my language classes, despite having a couple of poor teachers. Learning another language was fun for me and came easily to me. My sister was the same way (she's continued her language studies in college). But I know a lot of people didn't enjoy the classes. I think it's just like any other class - some students enjoy it, some hate it, most are somewhere in the middle, getting through it because it's what they have to do.
     
  6. its_tegank

    its_tegank Rookie

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    Aug 15, 2005

    the situation in australia at the moment is that students are required to learn a language other than english until year 9. after this they can continue with their lamnguage studies if they want to. at some schools students start their language learning in year 3 but at other schools it may not start until year 8. this is because there are not enough language teachers around. only since 1999 has language learning been compulsory - that is why there is a shortage of language teachers...
     
  7. pfnw

    pfnw Rookie

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    Aug 15, 2005

    The State of Oregon requires students to learn a foriegn language.
     
  8. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Aug 15, 2005

    I taught in a private school for three years and spanish was required Pre-K through 8th grade! Some kids loved and some hated it! In most public schools here, language is not required until middle school.
     
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 16, 2005

    My school is K-8. Every student takes Spanish. Once a week for K-4, twice a week for 5-8. Feelings here are mixed about it, also.
     

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