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Should Spanish Be a Required Subject in School?

gungadin

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EDITED: This is old data that used to be contained on the Wikipedia site on Spanish language in the U.S. (link below) The site has changed, and no longer gives those percentages by state (although it does give percentages by country, as does this link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Spanish_in_the_United_States_by_countr.gif ) I'll try to find another link.

The 2004 American Community Survey (from the U.S. Census Bureau) these are the percentages of Spanish speakers living in the U.S., by state:

New Mexico: 43.27%
California: 34.72%
Texas: 34.63%
Arizona: 28.03%
Nevada: 19.27%
Florida: 19.27%
New York: 15.96%
New Jersey: 13.89%
Illinois: 12.70%
Colorado: 12.35%

The remaining states have less than 10% of their populations speaking Spanish.
Spanish language in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Spanish is also predicted to become the world's second most spoken language (after Chinese) by 2050.
newamericamedia.org/2011/02/us-will-be-biggest-spanish-speaking-country-by-2050-says-scholar.php

Should Spanish be a required subject in school? If so, for which states and starting in what grades?

Pam
 
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YoungConserv

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EDITED: This is old data that used to be contained on the Wikipedia site on Spanish language in the U.S. (link below) The site has changed, and no longer gives those percentages by state (although it does give percentages by country, as does this link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Spanish_in_the_United_States_by_countr.gif ) I'll try to find another link.

The 2004 American Community Survey (from the U.S. Census Bureau) these are the percentages of Spanish speakers living in the U.S., by state:

New Mexico: 43.27%
California: 34.72%
Texas: 34.63%
Arizona: 28.03%
Nevada: 19.27%
Florida: 19.27%
New York: 15.96%
New Jersey: 13.89%
Illinois: 12.70%
Colorado: 12.35%

The remaining states have less than 10% of their populations speaking Spanish.
Spanish language in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Spanish is also predicted to become the world's second most spoken language (after Chinese) by 2050.
newamericamedia.org/2011/02/us-will-be-biggest-spanish-speaking-country-by-2050-says-scholar.php

Should Spanish be a required subject in school? If so, for which states and starting in what grades?

Pam
Never this is America we speak English it's fine to speak your native tounge but you will learn English. Learning a secondary language should always be a choice.
 

gungadin

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Never this is America we speak English it's fine to speak your native tounge but you will learn English. Learning a secondary language should always be a choice.

Why? Learning geometry isn't a choice. Besides, many other countries require students to study a specific foreign language, for their own good.

Pam
 

RabidAlpaca

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EDITED: This is old data that used to be contained on the Wikipedia site on Spanish language in the U.S. (link below) The site has changed, and no longer gives those percentages by state (although it does give percentages by country, as does this link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Spanish_in_the_United_States_by_countr.gif ) I'll try to find another link.

The 2004 American Community Survey (from the U.S. Census Bureau) these are the percentages of Spanish speakers living in the U.S., by state:

New Mexico: 43.27%
California: 34.72%
Texas: 34.63%
Arizona: 28.03%
Nevada: 19.27%
Florida: 19.27%
New York: 15.96%
New Jersey: 13.89%
Illinois: 12.70%
Colorado: 12.35%

The remaining states have less than 10% of their populations speaking Spanish.
Spanish language in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Spanish is also predicted to become the world's second most spoken language (after Chinese) by 2050.
newamericamedia.org/2011/02/us-will-be-biggest-spanish-speaking-country-by-2050-says-scholar.php

Should Spanish be a required subject in school? If so, for which states and starting in what grades?

Pam

Hell no. Because not every student will need spanish. I took German in high school, I ended up getting stationed there, and marrying a German. I now live there permanently, am going to school in full German, and work in German. The only thing spanish would've ever brought me is being able to impress the waiters at mexican restaurants.

I think our schools already put far too much emphasis on that language. It's not our job to learn their language. "Oh, there are a lot of spanish speakers here who are too lazy to learn english, we should learn spanish for them" is a pathetic excuse.
 

Rainman05

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It's been proven that knowing a second language can decrease your chances of getting alzheimers or any number of mental diseases.
Knowing three languages decreases that chance even more. In other words, the more languages you speak, the healthier your mind will be.

Another reason why you should learn a second language is for the same reason you should read books. A man who only speaks one language will live a single life, a man who speaks more, will live more. It's a proverb :D; A man who reads lives multiple lives, a man who doesn't, barely lives his own. Another proverb :).

Now on the topic of should Spanish be required? I don't know. It should be pretty much optional to learn a second language, but it should be mandatory optional to learn a second language. If you learn Spanish, you can enter dialogue with half a billion people. So there are advantages to learning it. But if you don't want Spanish... fine, pick another. But learn it. In an ideal world ,ever school would have on staff multiple language teachers and enable each student to pick whatever language they wanna learn. But since we aren't in an ideal world, if a school can provide a secondary language education, take it! Especially if its one of the most useful languages in the world. And these, in order of increase difficulty to learn: Spanish, Italian, French, Russian, German, Japanesee, Chinesse and maybe Arabic (for certain jobs for which knowing arabic is quite useful, like in military intelligence or stuff like that).

English, of course, goes without saying, that's why its not on the list. It's a must know.

EDIT: But again, it shouldn't be force fed as the ONLY secondary language you should learn in america. It should be one among many that should be made available.
 

gungadin

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...It's not our job to learn their language. "Oh, there are a lot of spanish speakers here who are too lazy to learn english, we should learn spanish for them" is a pathetic excuse.

I was thinking their language is rapidly becoming our language, at least in the border states. Proficiency in Spanish and English is a job requirement in many places. Not knowing both languages puts a person at a disadvantage in the job market. Education is supposed to prepare students for that. Spanish should be a required subject at least in the border states, starting in high school at latest.

Pam
 

GottaGo

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Why? Learning geometry isn't a choice. Besides, many other countries require students to study a specific foreign language, for their own good.

Pam

Ever notice what is proclaimed as being 'for your own good' is usually for someone else's 'good'??

A Language being taught in US schools is usually a choice of several - Spanish, German or French. The choice is up to the parents and/or child. Why should one specifically be required other than the native tongue of the country?
 

gungadin

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Ever notice what is proclaimed as being 'for your own good' is usually for someone else's 'good'??

A Language being taught in US schools is usually a choice of several - Spanish, German or French. The choice is up to the parents and/or child. Why should one specifically be required other than the native tongue of the country?

Because knowing Spanish, specifically, makes someone more competitive in the job market, at least in the border states.

Pam
 

ChuckBerry

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I think some language training ought to be required in school. Since schools may not have the students or the funds to justify multiple instructors in multiple languages, they ought to offer classes in a language that is locally appropriate. Here in southern Louisiana French is typically on local curricula because of our French heritage, but Spanish is usually also offered.
 

Aunt Spiker

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EDITED: This is old data that used to be contained on the Wikipedia site on Spanish language in the U.S. (link below) The site has changed, and no longer gives those percentages by state (although it does give percentages by country, as does this link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Spanish_in_the_United_States_by_countr.gif ) I'll try to find another link.

The 2004 American Community Survey (from the U.S. Census Bureau) these are the percentages of Spanish speakers living in the U.S., by state:

New Mexico: 43.27%
California: 34.72%
Texas: 34.63%
Arizona: 28.03%
Nevada: 19.27%
Florida: 19.27%
New York: 15.96%
New Jersey: 13.89%
Illinois: 12.70%
Colorado: 12.35%

The remaining states have less than 10% of their populations speaking Spanish.
Spanish language in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Spanish is also predicted to become the world's second most spoken language (after Chinese) by 2050.
newamericamedia.org/2011/02/us-will-be-biggest-spanish-speaking-country-by-2050-says-scholar.php

Should Spanish be a required subject in school? If so, for which states and starting in what grades?

Pam

A 2nd language is required to graduate for most school districts - A lot of schools only offer French and Spanish . . . when my 2nd highschool offered German I jumped on it after 2 years of Spanish.

I never cared to learn French because it was too 'classic' and my sisters did - and I was all about being exactly opposite of them.

That being said - I think the methods that schools use (at least my school did - maybe it's changed) to teach are horrendous and part of the reason why so many learn for 2 years but fail to be somewhat efficient.

What i always wished they'd do is construct a course that would teach the basics of major languages - how to identify them and pronounce them well enough to pick up a dictionary if you need to a put together some sentences while traveling/doing businesses.
 

humbolt

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It's been proven that knowing a second language can decrease your chances of getting alzheimers or any number of mental diseases.
Knowing three languages decreases that chance even more. In other words, the more languages you speak, the healthier your mind will be.
I'm saved! I took four languages: French, German, Latin, and I forget the other one.
 

GottaGo

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Because knowing Spanish, specifically, makes someone more competitive in the job market, at least in the border states.

Pam

I have several family members who have moved to Germany. Spanish wouldn't be doing them a whole lot of good.

It should still be a choice, not mandatory.
 

longview

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I think "required" might be a bit strong, but it should be encouraged.
Some sort of second language should be required.
If the US and it's current freedoms, are to survive the next 100 years, it will become a more Hispanic country.
We Anglo's are just not doing the job of producing enough children to continue our culture.
Our population is still growing, but the growth is in other places.
The Hispanic population is growing, through both larger Families and immigration.
The South Asian population is also growing, but small by comparison.
By 2050 Hispanics will likely be the majority cultural group.
The root of prejudice is ignorance and fear of the unknown.
Learning the language is one of the steps to understanding people different than yourself.
 

gungadin

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I think some language training ought to be required in school. Since schools may not have the students or the funds to justify multiple instructors in multiple languages, they ought to offer classes in a language that is locally appropriate. Here in southern Louisiana French is typically on local curricula because of our French heritage, but Spanish is usually also offered.

I'm not asking whether they ought to require the study of a foreign language. I'm asking whether they ought to require the study of Spanish, specifically.

Pam
 

gungadin

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I have several family members who have moved to Germany. Spanish wouldn't be doing them a whole lot of good.

It should still be a choice, not mandatory.

Geometry never did me a whole lot of good, and still it was required.

Pam
 

Wiseone

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Never this is America we speak English it's fine to speak your native tounge but you will learn English. Learning a secondary language should always be a choice.

You spelled "tongue" wrong. Learn to English plz K?
 

Rainman05

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It already is, most places.

Pam

Well, that is sad... and it should be remedied. But again, we are not in an ideal world and education costs money.

Geometry never did me a whole lot of good, and still it was required.

Pam

You live somewhere yes? A house, an apartment... someplace... thank geometry for that.
You eat on table, yes? Thank geometry for that.

So while you, yourself, aren't involved into expanding or working directly on the basis of the teachings of geometry... it doesn't mean it hasn't benefited you greatly. It has.
 

RabidAlpaca

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I was thinking their language is rapidly becoming our language, at least in the border states. Proficiency in Spanish and English is a job requirement in many places. Not knowing both languages puts a person at a disadvantage in the job market. Education is supposed to prepare students for that. Spanish should be a required subject at least in the border states, starting in high school at latest.

Pam

And do you know WHY their language is becoming our language? Because of stupid suggestions like this. We'd rather pander to immigrants than expect them to learn our language. I don't mind immigrants coming here, not necessarily even by the boatloads. What I do have a problem with is them showing up, refusing to learn the language, and then expecting us to change. It's ridiculous.

Because knowing Spanish, specifically, makes someone more competitive in the job market, at least in the border states.

Pam
We need to change our society that this isn't the case. If we did a lot of business with south america, that would be one thing, but instead it's because there are so many lazy spanish speakers who refuse to learn english.
 

gungadin

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Well, that is sad... and it should be remedied. But again, we are not in an ideal world and education costs money.



You live somewhere yes? A house, an apartment... someplace... thank geometry for that.
You eat on table, yes? Thank geometry for that.

So while you, yourself, aren't involved into expanding or working directly on the basis of the teachings of geometry... it doesn't mean it hasn't benefited you greatly. It has.

The same argument could be made for Spanish. Like I said, a foreign language is required study in most high schools. Let it be Spanish in the border states. It is at least as useful as geometry, which is required.

Pam
 

Wiseone

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Personally I think foreign language should be integrated at every level starting in grade school, it's an excellent way to expose people to other parts of the world which is invaluable in an ever globalizing economy.

I can't say this strongly enough, the lack of attention being paid to real and valuable education in this country is the greatest threat to our national and economic security in the foreseeable future.
 

gungadin

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We need to change our society that this isn't the case.

Yes, and while we're at it, why don't we stop plate tetonics or stop needing to breathe oxygen. These are the facts. It's plain silly refuse to live in the real world because we wish it were different.

Pam
 

gungadin

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Personally I think foreign language should be integrated at every level starting in grade school, it's an excellent way to expose people to other parts of the world which is invaluable in an ever globalizing economy.

I can't say this strongly enough, the lack of attention being paid to real and valuable education in this country is the greatest threat to our national and economic security in the foreseeable future.

This thread is about Spanish, not foreign languages in general.

Pam
 

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Maybe the internet has made me a cynical bastard, but I'd be happy if they just taught English in the first place.
 
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