Languages are critical to our needs

I love to learn languages!  Unfortunately, too many Americans don’t share my opinion.  They think that knowing English is sufficient but that’s myopic.  Why? Because in this global era, we need to expand our linguistic horizons.  Will we be like the biblical Tower of Babel with people unable to communicate with each other?  Can Americans continue to insist that the world learn English but Americans don’t need to do so?  The fact is that most Europeans learn a number of languages from elementary school onwards.  They share a continent that is home to many different nations, histories, and cultures and communicating is essential for getting along with each other.  Learning languages is second nature to them.  That’s not the case in American schools where language instruction is and  has been declining.  Someone might argue that  the U.S. shares borders with only two countries–Canada and Mexico — and so many of their citizens know English. Why then should we bother learning French or Spanish in school, or any other languages?  In this ongoing blog, I will be giving a number  of very good reasons why Americans need to broaden their linguistic horizons and how we can try to make some changes.

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