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Why Foreign Language? 3 Important Purposes

How important is a foreign language? I don’t know about you, but I’m not one of those people who naturally picks up foreign languages. I did learn some Latin along with my kids, but I had to study hard to stay ahead of them, and eventually I realized that they were passing me up no matter how hard I tried! I don’t feel too bad, though, because there are many adults who don’t know a foreign language. 

What about high school kids who want to go to college; don’t they need a foreign language to get in? Well, it turns out that a lot of students are admitted to college without knowing a foreign language. In fact, some colleges don’t have any language requirements at all, although others insist on foreign language study before they grant a degree.

why foreign language

Why Foreign Language? 3 Important Purposes



Why foreign language if you can get away without it? I think that foreign language study can serve at least three important purposes.

1. It’s a wonderful way to learn about English grammar. If you study a foreign language in your homeschool, it will increase your child’s knowledge of the English language. It will also help your child understand the differences between languages. For example, some languages use articles (the, a, an) and others don’t.

2. Learning a foreign language is great for critical thinking skills. There are some colleges that use foreign language competency to see how well your child studies and learns. They figure that if your child has the study skills necessary to learn a foreign language, they’ll probably do well in college. In other words, they just like to see kids work hard.

3. Not all countries speak English. In fact, one of the biggest complaints you hear about Americans is that they think everyone DOES speak English. One of the reasons for this “rude American” stereotype is the people who insist on speaking only English when they go to a non-English speaking country. If you want to interact with people in another country, whether as a guest or a missionary, speaking the language is considered the polite thing to do. Even if you just attempt to speak their language, it can make all the difference.

There are a lot of foreign languages to choose from! American Sign Language is even accepted at some universities, and it’s a great language for kinesthetic learners. Latin is accepted almost everywhere, and can be a great fit for a logical, mathematical, or non-linguistic child. There are many ways to fit this subject into your homeschool coursework and make it a part of your child’s high school experience. Try to make it fun!



Please note: This post was originally published in February 2013 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehension.

If you need any extra help, you will really appreciate my Gold Care Club, full of templates and tools to help you homeschool high school.
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Comments 7

Guest - Erin on Monday, 16 February 2015 14:55

We believe foreign languages are extremely important in our homeschool. Continuing your education is also important at all ages. Why don't you challenge yourself this year to learn a foreign language?

We believe foreign languages are extremely important in our homeschool. Continuing your education is also important at all ages. Why don't you challenge yourself this year to learn a foreign language?
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar on Thursday, 19 February 2015 17:14

That's a terrific idea, Erin!
I re-started Spanish myself again this year.
Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

That's a terrific idea, Erin! I re-started Spanish myself again this year. Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Leslie on Saturday, 08 November 2014 09:27

We have had good success with Living Languages. It is available in several languages. Several were available in our library system so I could check it out first to see if it was a good fit, but the price for the complete set is very reasonable on Amazon. One of our children is on her third language with them after CLEP exams for two others. She also used the REA guides. University of Texas also has very helpful listening material available in online videos. Believe it or not, the Complete Idiots Guides to Spanish - both levels- are interesting and helpful. Greek can be learned to a reasonable level with the Hey Andrew series. Learning other languages has given our children a deeper respect for foreign missionaries and people visiting our country from other places.

We have had good success with Living Languages. It is available in several languages. Several were available in our library system so I could check it out first to see if it was a good fit, but the price for the complete set is very reasonable on Amazon. One of our children is on her third language with them after CLEP exams for two others. She also used the REA guides. University of Texas also has very helpful listening material available in online videos. Believe it or not, the Complete Idiots Guides to Spanish - both levels- are interesting and helpful. Greek can be learned to a reasonable level with the Hey Andrew series. Learning other languages has given our children a deeper respect for foreign missionaries and people visiting our country from other places.
Guest - Erin Eaves on Saturday, 30 August 2014 15:07

I didn't realize that some colleges didn't insist on a foreign language and just assumed it was necessary. However, having lived overseas (Sicily) for three years, I can attest to the relevance of learning another language. It shows dedication, perseverance, and a consideration for other people. The graciousness shown to me as we attempted to speak Italian was incredible. In our own home, I insist that all three of my children learn Latin and I get validation whenever I find Latin sporadically in their other subjects, which I do quite often.

I didn't realize that some colleges didn't insist on a foreign language and just assumed it was necessary. However, having lived overseas (Sicily) for three years, I can attest to the relevance of learning another language. It shows dedication, perseverance, and a consideration for other people. The graciousness shown to me as we attempted to speak Italian was incredible. In our own home, I insist that all three of my children learn Latin and I get validation whenever I find Latin sporadically in their other subjects, which I do quite often.
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar on Tuesday, 02 September 2014 18:04

Dear Erin,
What a terrific way to learn! Total "immersion"!
Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Dear Erin, What a terrific way to learn! Total "immersion"! Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Ellen Joslin on Saturday, 14 June 2014 19:19

One fun way my girls learned a foreign language was to tie it to their planned college major which is Nursing. We found a course entitled "Spanish for Healthcare Workers" put out by the University of Arizona. This course really kept their interest. Although language wasn't required for their major, it gave them a new "tool" to use in their intended career.

One fun way my girls learned a foreign language was to tie it to their planned college major which is Nursing. We found a course entitled "Spanish for Healthcare Workers" put out by the University of Arizona. This course really kept their interest. Although language wasn't required for their major, it gave them a new "tool" to use in their intended career.
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar on Friday, 20 June 2014 09:51

That's brilliant Ellen!

I think I will have my future Midwife check that course out!

Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

That's brilliant Ellen! I think I will have my future Midwife check that course out! Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
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