Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another Word on English as a Global Language

I do not have a problem with a person not becoming fluent in a second language. I do think language is an essential part of any curriculum, regardless of grade level.

I do not "have it out" for Americans, however. There is a funny joke about Americans that people often share with me* and of which I certainly appreciate the humor. (Though I have no statistics, from my personal experience I think I can say that you could insert many, maybe any, other nationalities in the joke for American and it would still be funny.)

And yet, I am not all chagrined (even as a multilingual and language teacher) that a majority of Americans (quickly shrinking due to demographic shifts) do not speak a second language. To be quite honest, millions of Americans (and many others around the world) have no use for bilingualism.

*What is a trilingual? Someone who speaks three languages. What is a bilingual? Someone who speaks two languages. What is a monolingual? American!

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