Dixie Darr

Words of Wisdom

In Learning, Learning Tools on April 28, 2017 at 3:32 pm

When I first went to college in 1966, colleges commonly required two years of a foreign language for a bachelor’s degree. By the 80s, however, computer science began to replace that requirement although many competitive colleges require at least two years of a foreign language for admission. Now some colleges are again exploring adding foreign language requirements to the requirements for a bachelor’s degree.

Language learning offers many benefit including a sharper mind, increased career choices, improvement of the first language. I learned more about English from studying American Sign Language than any other class I ever took. Nevertheless, college students are resisting this change, and, in their defense, the classroom is not the best place to learn a language. In fact, it may be the worst.

Google “learn language fast” and you will find many alternative self study methods that promise to give you a working knowledge of virtually any language in just a few months. Brushing up on a language you studied years ago is even faster. And it doesn’t matter how old you are. Some recent studies indicate that it may actually be easier and more rapid for adults than for children. Plus, bilingualism can help stave off dementia.

Learning a language is about learning a culture,” Lisa Frumkes, senior director of content for Rosetta Stone, said. “It can take you in so many directions: literature, travel, learning to understand the news of the day or just being able to be in contact with people in other cultures. Once you think about these things, they change the way you see the world.”


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