Breaking the language barrier – what language would you choose?

Around the world, at some point in their educational journey, students are given an opportunity to learn a second language. Which language should they choose and what factors should be taken into consideration when making this decision? Are schools offering the appropriate language classes to their students? Does this choice vary depending  on which country you are residing? Is there still one ‘universal’ language everyone should learn?


2 Responses to Breaking the language barrier – what language would you choose?

  1. Jeannie says:

    If residing in US and English language is primary language, I suggest additional mastery of Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.

  2. Kristina says:

    For those living in the US, Spanish continues to be more and more important. However, I still think that the best language for a student to study is the language he or she feels the most passionately about and is the most interested in. As a former Spanish teacher, I can really attest to the fact that when a student develops a passion for a language the chances are greater that he or she will excel in it. It is a good idea to pay attention to language trends, but ultimately if the student does not have an intrinsic motivation for studying the language the chances that they will continue studying enough to reach any level of proficiency are slim.

    It is hard to separate language from culture, so it is a good idea to for the student to think about which culture is of real interest to him or her as a basis for choosing a language.

    Lastly, middle and high school is the ultimate time for language exploration. When I taught Spanish, I saw students who transferred from Spanish to German or vice-verse after discovering that a particular language is not for them. Those students tended to excel in the classes that they transferred to.

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