Learning Foreign Languages a Waste of Time?!!

That’s  exactly what Washington Post Education Columist Jay Matthews wrote in his column on April 22, 2010.  How could anyone make such a claim?  Especially someone who writes an education column in a prestigious and widely-read national newspaper !  Shame on you.  That’s exactly the kind of attitude that fuels the fire for the elimination of foreign language programs in public schools and universities.  At my school I learn nine different subjects at a time — three of which are foreign languages by choice.  Not only do I learn how to communicate verbally with other people in foreign countries but I also have the opportunity to learn about their history and culture.  I consider myself to be well-rounded in that way.  I guess Mr. Matthews and others who agree with his attitude toward languages want to continue the idea of the “Ugly” (and ignorant) American.  Maybe people who look down on language learning should stop and think for a minute about its use for all different subjects — science and math included.  Shouldn’t scientists and mathematicians know a different language to be able to communicate with colleagues abroad and read about significant scientific findings in journals (past and present) that are in a language other than English?  Or, perhaps are the only journals worth reading ones written in English?  Think about that, Mr. Matthews!

Jay Matthews’ perspective can be found through this link:  http://voices.washingtonpost.com/class-struggle/2010/04/why_waste_time_on_a_foreign_la.html


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