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The Importance Of Foreign Language In High School

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In Jenifer Lauren-Hall’s experiment on the effects on beginning to learn a foreign language earlier in life, the Japanese college students that began studying English as early as three years to twelve using only minimal effort did better on the tests than those who started later (Lauren-Hall). The study also found that the younger the students started studying English, the more advantage they had on the grammar test (Lauren-Hall). Although in the study, the students who put in more effort did better even if they started later, but in a study by Clare Burstall those who started earlier seemed to be more positive about taking the language (Lauren-Hall). When students are more positive about a subject, they will most likely put more effort into it. “Interest in culture and in learning the language thoroughly—including reading, writing, and speaking it—distinguished continuing students from discontinuing students”(Ramage). This quote shows that when students have more interest in learning the language they will continue learning it unlike those who aren’t interested which makes sense.

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Being more globally aware of other countries and cultures can broaden students’ horizons and show new ways of doing things. Most countries require their students to learn one or more foreign languages before they are even in high school. A three month study with twenty two educators from 19 countries to discuss how the United States could improve their foreign languages study inside the education system (Pufhal et al.). The countries decided that foreign language education should start early, get more backing from the federal government, make foreign language a core subject like English or Math, and learn from how other countries inforce language study (Pufhal et al.) Starting earlier is shown to be one of the best benefits of learning a foreign language. Starting in high school will not be as beneficial as a start in elementary but it’s somewhere to start. High schools already have the teachers they would just have to change the graduation requirements in their school. They could also make sure the teachers are focused on intensive learning with expected hours spent studying outside the classroom.

As our society grows, it is becoming more global. A global economy generally means other languages will be spoken so some schools are trying to prepare students with that. The Saline School District in Saline, Michigan is an example of this; they are implementing foreign language classes in kindergarten through 3rd grade in their schools because its been proven better to start instruction earlier (Manno). Immersion programs are also a big success in learning another language fluently. Once a week at Ballentine Elementary School in South Carolina, elementary classes are taught in Spanish (Manno). Other schools near Ballentine Elementary School have implemented the same thing with German or French (Manno). These immersion programs encourage students to learn the language so they understand and really become fluent as one of the teachers,Diane Mundo, expressed (Manno). Although immersion programs would have to change in more there is an obvious benefit to becoming more globally aware with the intensity of learning.

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The Importance Of Foreign Language In High School. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 9, 2023, from
“The Importance Of Foreign Language In High School.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
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The Importance Of Foreign Language In High School [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2023 Jun 9]. Available from:
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