The Standard

Throughout the process of one’s education, learning another language has been a requirement. From basic classes in elementary school to at least two years in high school (although each school varies) to meet the requirements to be eligible for colleges, language has continued to be a constant. But what happens when this requirement that pushes us to excel is no longer there?

The reality has proven to show that even at the collegiate level, the drive of furthering education in foreign language is lacking. But what is causing this problem? Many universities and colleges ranging from private to state require one year while others use foreign language courses as an alternate for general education credits.

Chapman University requires students to complete level 201 of any language offered. Due to prerequisites and the option of testing in or out, the number of semesters or years to complete this requirement varies per student, although many finish within two years. Although students have completed the requirement, more than half will forget what they have learned within a year. The rule with learning and retaining languages is simple, if you don’t use it, you lose it. By raising this requirement Chapman is prolonging the loss of the foreign language and intellectually challenging its students.

http://www.news-medical.net/news/2007/06/14/26324.aspx

http://drsaraheaton.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/how-long-does-it-take-to-learn-a-new-language/

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3 thoughts on “The Standard

  1. I have always had such a huge respect for bilingual people. I wish I had been taught a language besides English in my childhood. The 2 years of Spanish in high school and 3 semesters of French here at Chapman have completely left me. Being bilingual is such an asset that most Americans will be without.

  2. Hey Allegra! I was really able to relate to your blog in the growing importance of being able to be bilingual as a citizen of, not only America, but of the world as well. It is easy for us to get sucked into our Orange County bubbles and to completely forget that we should be engaging with the world around us by immersing ourselves in different cultures, which definitely starts by learning the language first and foremost. When I studied abroad last spring, I felt like an idiot for not being able to speak a solid three languages (even when I was in London where they were only supposed to speak english). This is a very important issue that I am so glad you addressed!!- Ariel 🙂

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