I think it is high time that America stepped up it’s game. This is a GLOBAL economy and if we are going to be competitive, we need to wise up and stop letting the world beat us at our own game.
So far, every industralized nation on Earth (e.g. China, India, Zimbabwe, Israel) has citizens who speak English…
This is what I have to say: When I grew up in Germany and went to school there in the 60’s, it was MANDATORY to learn 2 languages when working on the goal of getting a higher education. We had no mercy from our teachers, we went to school on saturday mornings, we had a tight plan for each day of the week and we had to learn 2 languages, without that would we not have been able to graduate from a higher graded secondary school. So when I met my husband I already spoke, wrote, and read 3 languages. I noticed that Americans like to look down on us immigrants who have an accent—but I have had the nerve to ask them how many languages they were able to read, write, and speak besides English. I have not met many bi-lingual Americans, that is one thing for sure. When my son went to school here I noticed the slack in education given to the kids in America—so I added education to it. I forced him to take languages, including latin, I also forced some serious reading and math on my child because I felt that he would not be able to be competetive with the standards in education being so low in America. It is a sad thing, but it has a lot to do with arrogance….Americans like to look down on others who speak English imperfect, yet, they don’t have the guts to learn another language…..so aside from all the troubles we have already do I think that there will be a lot more trouble to come because of the low education given to our young….I have to say that even though my son hated me when he grew up, he is grateful now: he speaks, reads, and writes German like a German(I taught him), he also speaks, reads, and writes Spanish but it’s a little stiff because it is his second language, and then he knows all about latin—that in addition to his other first language which is English. His dad spoke English with him, I spoke German with him—and that got the child to learn both languages in terms of a first language. Not ever kid is that lucky—but I really think that there should be more pressure on these schools to get a tighter, more up to date curricilum, not allowing the kids to pick so many courses they won’t need, and adding languages as early as elementary school and keeping them up throughout high school until the kids graduate….
If it is a choice , then sure learn another language. I took 6 years of spanish and got an A all 6 years but I never have an opportunity to use it so I lost most of it. I don’t think Obama’s comments were fair at all though. There is a big difference between Europe and the US. If you drive for a day in Europe you will find yourself in another country with another language. If you drive for 3 days here you are still in America. We are not Europe nor do I want us to become Europe. I am sick of Dems worrying about how we look to others rather than our own success. We need to worry about our kids mastering English, Math and Science before we worry about them mastering a second language. I want to see future doctors, lawyers, teachers, cures being found, etc not drop outs that can speak another language.
Sorry to say the reason we are getting skilled jobs from other nations is because we have 11 different work visas for companies to obtain those individuals at a much reduced pay rate. Skill has nothing ot do with it and neither does language.
Most schools require kids or at least colleges to have a certain amount of foreign language. There is no reason we don’t have it in grade school here like other countries that require student s to learn sometimes 2 foreign languages so they are able to service the wealthier tourist that come to their country and they rely on the income…We are not far behind that sense we have helped other nations to take over our productivity in manufacturing,clothing,etc.
I dont think any one wants to be ignorant, I think its a shame we do not get more down to real old fashioned learning and teaching sense it used to work and all the easy methods we have today, prove to be not cutting the grade.
We have lost sight of the importance of education and focus too much on the electives instead. We are falling short because good education and secondary education is too costly for most. Some countries like people to not be educated, they can use them cheaper and they are trying to accomplish this here.
Its too bad our government is looking more to help big business( that they get nice perks from) get richer, then help the future of this country. I guess too many just dont care. We are more concerned with taking charge overseas of others business interest, then to preserve this country and its people.
I think that there’s nothing in the Constitution about languages, English, Spanish, or any other. It’s not a subject to be running a Presidential Campaign on.
I think Obama can’t speak Spanish, or any other language besides English, so who the hell is he to tell Americans to learn another language? (by the way, I’m fluent in two languages besides English). Is having a second language an indication of education and intelligence? Obama 1, Bush 2 then, he’s fluent in Spanish.
I think that eve if an American is going to learn another language, Spanish isn’t the only choice. Why not Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, or French? Is Obama unaware of the fact that there are a lot of places inside of the United States where Spanish is useless, but those languages would be a benefit? Has he considered that Americans might go someplace besides Spanish-speaking countries for their vacations or business?
I think that not all of the people he presumes are “Spanish speaking” immigrants actually speak Spanish. Some speak Oaxacan as a native language, and their English is often better than their Spanish.
Those are my thoughts. Basically I think that Obama isn’t as smart as you think he is, but you might well be precisely as smart as he hopes you are, as in “not”.
Tell you what, when Barak Obama can converse fluently in another language, Then and ONLY then can he tell me I need to teach my kids to speak Spanish..
I teach my kids German, And the Nanny speaks Greek to them.
I can Speak German like a Native, Italian like a spy and French like a tourist.,
For the Poster below:***
This is an arrogant and flawed argument which has been completely debunked. Educational standards in the US may be low in spots, But I can promise you that I would stack up American Prep School kids against German kids attending “Gymnasium” any day of the week. The German System breeds elitism and fosters class envy, so that everyone knows their place.
A typical GED recipient in the US can out do a “Hauptschule” flunky all day.. bred to work in a factory in Germany.
If you think the US educational system is that bad, why does the best fruit come from the tree with the best fruit?
American Universities are well respected and are at the cutting edge of technology and science worldwide, second to none. How do you get a top notch University system if those running them come from a second or third rate system.
Another typical arrogant Euro-trash/elitist argument..
Imho *This is SPARTA!* no wait, this is AMERICA!! the language is English.
In the name of economic competition other languages and better all around education are sound ideas, I left Miami A LONG time ago because most employers thought I a natural AMERICAN needed to speak Spanish.
I did not agree, for myself at the age of 40 MAY learn a new language only because I want to not because I NEED to.
Duh!! English has been accepted as the universal language by most of the countries around the world. Don’t forget Great Britain and Australia also speak English. Foreigners can do what they want but the facts show we have the most of everything from A to Z. No other country has the level of living that we enjoy. If You enjoy kissing foreign butt so much that is fine with me but I respect my country and those that built it to much to ignore reality.
As for education the problem lies with the teachers unions that shield lazy instructors. If we really wanted to improve our schools going to cyber schools would be the answer. Cutting back on waste full busing and the purchase of outdated school books could do more than adding a language agenda.
Sorry but i feel you should only have to speak English when you live here. There are to many people in this country that can not speak English so why should us Americans be forced to learn another language. If you want to live here learn the language and if you want to work here you really should learn English not the other way around!!!!
It would be helpful if Americans first learned to speak English correctly BEFORE they attempt to master a second language.
It’s not that he asked us to learn a second language it’s which language he suggested , when he suggested it and how he suggested it that makes us mad.
He suggested our children learn Spanish at a campaign event addressing English language only legislation and illegal immigration.
I think if we quit spending all our money on English as a second language curriculum we could invest more money in foreign language programs for our CITIZENS.