In today's World of increasing Globalization, transport around the globe in under 24 hours and instant communication combined with large numbers of foreign investments, knowing a Foreign Language is no longer a luxury, dream, passing thought or something that can be ignored. It is now an economic necessity and national security issue to have a bilingual population. In order to help America increase its Foreign Language speakers, this section will look at new learning/teaching methods. It will then propose how to work learning foreign language into the curriculum for all students, before laying out a plan of Summer Language immersion camps for Jr. High/Middle School Students. It will then release a plan for study abroad language immersion in High School before covering College/University goals.
NEW LEARNING OPTIONS:
This 1: Auditing a Foreign Language Course at your local Community College or University: (12/29/18). Currently under US Law (subject to change by Congress or IRS Interpretation of the Law) there are tax credits/deductions/refunds that a student can take advantage of. During the 1st four years of College a student or their guardian (if still calssified as a dependent) can claim up to $4,000 as a tax deduction. After the first 4 years there is what is called the Life Long Learning Credit which allows you to deduct up to $2,500 a year for tax purposes.
2: http://www.openculture.com/freelanguagelessons This is a free self-paced 100% online site that teaches the basics of many different Foreign Languages.
3: PIMSLEUR: ( http://www.pimsleur.com/ ): This is a site that sells CD's for repetition focusing only on the oral part of the language. No Writing whatsoever.
4: Rosetta Stone ( http://www.rosettastone.com/ ): This is by far the most popular choice when it comes to learning a Foreign Language. It is a software cd with online support that is constantly updated for slang & accent changes. While they are expensive, their method focuses on reading, comprehenision & speaking.
5: Private Personal Tutors: Ways vary on how people find Private Language tutors. However Wyzant is a very popular website. Pick any language and they are bound to have a tutor in your local area. ( https://www.wyzant.com/ )
6:You Tube Videos. Extr@ Series (French, German & Spanish developed in the early 2000's by Channel 4 News out of the UK).
INCORPORATING FOREIGN LANGUAGES INTO ALL LEVELS
1 hour a day in every grade for 1st-12th grade.
Elementary & Jr. High/Middle School: 1 hour each day with no letter grades.
High School: 1 hour each day. If a student earns the equivalent of a B OR A it goes on the transcript as a letter grade. If its a C or less the student is awarded credit without a letter grade being calculated into the GPA.
While each public school district would be required to learn a foreign language, they would have complete control over their foreign language offering(s).
JR. HIGH/MIDDLE SCHOOL SUMMER FOREIGN LANGUAGE IMMERSION CAMPS:
$500 Million USD should be set aside in the budget to build Foreign Language Immersion Camps. Then each year there after for scholarships, staff and maintenance $200 Million USD should be set aside. This would allow a large number of Jr. High/Middle School Students to go to a Foreign Language Immersion Camp over the Summer. One camp would be built in each of the 50 states and the ground set up to host a minimum of 4 different languages. This would help students at a younger age gain fluency and avoid distraction from other subjects during the Summer while helping students gain fluency.
HIGH SCHOOL STUDY ABROAD LANGUAGE IMMERSION
The US should invest $2.5 Billion USD a year. ($5,000 per student for 500,000 High School Students a year.) Of that the US should send 150,000 students in the Fall, 150,000 students in the Spring and 200,000 students in the Summer. Restrictions would be that the destination must be a NON English speaking country, approved travel destination by the US State Department and Parent/Legal Guardian Consent. In addition the foreign language teacher of the school that the student attends, must certify that the student has obtained at least an intermediate level prior to departing and the student must be advised of Consular Access rights and how to contact the Embassy should something go wrong.
There should be two areas covered in College/University. The first is a set of goal and the second is Foreign Language Certificates.
2nd: FOREIGN LANGUAGE CERTIFICATES: While all languages are important to learn, there should be special emphasis placed on learning these 13 specific foreign languages in University.
1: ARABIC because it is an important Middle Eastern Language with economic potential and the US keeps finding itself involved in Foreign Wars.
2: FRENCH because it is an official government language in 29 countries, 13 countries it is the only government language, it is considered an official language of the United Nations, is used as a business language in many countries and is spoken by more than 130 Million People Worldwide.
3: GERMAN because it is the official language of economic power house Germany while also being the official language of Austria and Liechtenstein in addition to an official language of the European Union and many countries have sizable minority speaking German populations.
4: HEBREW because Israel is America's closest ally in the Middle East and a large trading partner with the US while many major technological advances are made in Israel first being published in Hebrew.
5: ITALIAN because it is the official language of Italy, San Marino, Switzerland and Vatican City while also having sizable minority speaking Italian populations in Albania, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Malta, Egypt, Eritrea, France, Germany, Israel, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Paraguay, Philippines, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Tunisia, UAE, UK & the US. In addition the US has a large trade interest in Italy and many merchants buy, sell and trade goods with Italian merchants/markets.
6: JAPANESE is an important commerce language and security issue of helping US to maintain our strategic relationship with Japan.
7: KOREAN is both important to commerce and national security. With South Korea it is Commerce and North Korea it is a national security issue in an attempt to promote democracy messages of freedom within the oppressive dictatorship and continue to hold talks/warning/monitor their nuclear weapons program.
8: MANDARIN CHINESE is both a commerce and national security issue to learn about due to China's size, economy, trade interest, military, nuclear weapons and unlawful aggressive expansion in the South China Sea.
9: PORTUGUESE is the official language of 10 countries. ( Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Portugal, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Macau, Cape Verde, and São Tomé and Príncipe.)
10: RUSSIAN is a national security issue due to their nuclear weapons, army size, aggression under Putin and the sizable minority Russian speaking populations in other countries that sympathize with Russia.
11: SPANISH is the official language of 20 different countries, has sizable minority speaking populations in the US and is the language of a border country to the US. In addition Mexico is a large trading partner under NAFTA, the US has trade deals with Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Peru. To ignore your neighbor and a language spoken in most countries of the America's is to be ignorant, in la la land and bad policy. Therefore Spanish should be an important language to learn.
12: TURKISH: Turkey is a NATO ally and currently undergoing many changes while being a gatekeeper and changing point between the Middle East, Europe and Asia. It also holds many important historical sites and has the potential to make life difficult in the region for the US OR make things easier. Therefore Turkish should be offered and taught.
13: VIETNAMESE because Vietnam is a developing country and has a huge potential for economic trading with the US.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE CERTIFICATES
WHAT THE CERTIFICATES WOULD LOOK LIKE
CERTIFICATE DESIGN& CERTIFICATE PHOTO CREDITS FROM/TO CANVA.COM
SIGNATURES & MOTIVATION
LEFT SIDE SIGNATURES: 1: President of the United States of America. 2: US Ambassador to the United Nations. 3: Secretary of the Department of Education.
RIGHT SIDE SIGNATURES: 1: President of the University Board of Regents OR Board. 2: University President. 3: Dean/Department Chair of the Language Classes OR College of International Studies.
MOTIVATION/REASON: This would encourage more people to take more languages instead of shying away from them due to GPA hits. In addition it would help increase foreign language exposure among Americans and allow more Americans to be engaged with the World.
HOW AWARDING WOULD WORK: The Certificates would be issued by the US Department of Education with the classes being taken at American Colleges, Universities and VO Tech's across the country. Once the student obtains the hours, they would feel out the application, the school would certify that the student met the requirements, the proper officials would sign the forms and the student would be issued the Certificate. For people that gain a large number of foreign language credits but don't meet the minimum GPA requirement OR couldn't work a specific course into their schedule for a Minor, this would allow them to still receive a credential for their efforts or encourage someone who has taken two intermediate level courses (6 credit hours) in a foreign language to take an additional course plus a study abroad for language immersion OR 2 additional courses for a Certificate instead of being done learning the language. In addition many parents would teach their children the languages they learned and even if fluency isn't achieved in the first generation gains overall in the long term will be noticed and achieved. In addition universities and college admission offices on statistics can claim this many students or percentage of students were issued foreign language certificates by the US Department of Education while at our institution.