Example for Grade 7: Argumentative – Second Language Learning - ID: 993
Dear the School Board,
“Knowing a foreign language may be a path to a future job” (Source 1). This is only one of many advantages that come with being bilingual. Learning an additional language has many benefits that can help people succeed in school and in life. The ability for people to communicate with each other, allows them to share thoughts, opinions, and ideas with people from around the world which is very influential. The inclusion of second language classes in elementary schools are an important part of a students complete education.
It is important that schools start language classes in elementary school instead of middle or high schools because it is proven to be easier and more beneficial to learn a second language earlier. “Young children, in general, are able to pick up languages very quickly…” (Source 4). Children have an easier time processing and remembering information than adults do. “Children are often more open and curious with new languages…” (Source 1). Also, younger students have a sense of energy and excitement to learn new concepts. While it is easier to learn the information at a younger age, there are also mental benefits that go along with learning a foreign language.
Taking an additional language class can help students in other areas of learning. Source 4 informs how a foreign language can increase a students grammar skills. In addition, learning a language is a good way to exercise the brain. “Students who learn a second language also tend to perform better and have higher test scores…” (Source 4). These advantages happen because learning certain skills increases the overall brain function. In addition with brain development, languages help people succeed in life outside of school.
Being bilingual gives people advantages in certain situations. A common statement is communication is key; being able to speak to people from other places and cultures is very important. According to Source 1, “People who speak two languages are able to communicate to more people in better ways than those who only speak one.” For example, if someone goes on a trip to a different country and knows the native language of that place they will get more out of the visit by being able to communicate and interact with the local people from that area. In addition, for certain jobs, businesses are looking for people who can speak multiple languages. This means being bilingual can help people find a career path. While there are many benefits of learning a foreign language, some people argue that these classes are not important.
Some people wonder if learning languages earlier is actually valuable. Source 1 states, “Many parents worry that their children will be confused by hearing two different languages…” People think being bilingual could be confusing but there is research that shows that learning a foreign language improves understanding of the native language. An additional concern is the school’s time and budget constraints. “There are only so many hours in the school day and dollars in the budget” (Source 3). A solution to the length of hours in the school day is to shorten the other classes by five or ten minutes. Also schools could have language classes three days a week instead of everyday.
At my middle school, they offer french and spanish classes. At my elementary school though the did not. I wish I had an opportunity to take a language class earlier because I take French and it is challenging for me to remember the vocabulary. Whether someone takes French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese or any other language they will have developed many significant skills that they can use for the rest of their live. People can help by talking to elected officials or their school district about the importance of second language classes. People could also start after school programs. Schools should try to include foreign language classes in their curriculum.