Critical Window for Learning a Language [BBC]

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In an article BBC shared today, researchers suggest there is a critical cut-off age for learning a language fluently. According to recent studies, research suggests that if you want to have "native-like" knowledge of a language, you should ideally start before the age of 10.

Our research along with plenty of other research on multilingualism also proves that the earlier you start, the better, but that that the cut-off age is 6 when it's easiest for children to learn a new language. This is when our brains are hard-wired to learn 2-3 languages with ease. 

In the study, an online grammar test was given to nearly 670,000 people of different ages and nationalities. When the data was analyzed, researchers discovered that grammar-learning was best during childhood, which persists into the teenage years, and then drops off during adulthood. The researchers suggest the drop off during adulthood could be due to the brain becoming less adaptable.  

There are many benefits of introducing your children to a new language before the age of 6.

  • Bilingual children demonstrate superior reading, writing, social & cognitive skills.
  • Learning a new language develops a natural curiosity about world cultures
  • Early multilingual exposure benefits emotional health and social development
  • New studies indicate that multilingual exposure improves children's social skills
  • Bilingual kids score higher in creative thinking and problem solving in many studies
  • As children tune their hearing to learn new sounds and words, their listening skills develop

Give your child an extraordinary advantage. Start teaching your kids a second language at the age they learn best which is before the age of six. Watch it pay off over a lifetime! Little Pim is the leading early language learning program for kids ages 0-6. Start watching today for your child's first introduction to a new language!  

 

[Infographic] Are Bilingual Kids Are Smarter Knowing Two Languages?

 Infographic shared from our friends at  BilingualKidsSpot .

Infographic shared from our friends at BilingualKidsSpot.

We recently shared this infographic by BilingualKidsSpot on our Facebook page and loved it so much that we thought we'd share it on our website's blog. As parents, aunts, uncles, and more, we’re genuine believers in the importance of learning a foreign language at an early age.

Growing up in a multilingual household, I experienced first-hand the benefits of multilingual exposure at an early age, learning English, Gujarati, and Spanish simultaneously. When I joined the Little Pim team, I quickly grew passionate about educating new parents and early education teachers about the many benefits of raising bilingual and multilingual children. 

Our founder, Julia Pimsleur, inspired by her own bilingual childhood, created Little Pim for her children to have the same opportunity to learn a foreign language. Little Pim is the first comprehensive at-home program that can be effectively used by parents and teachers even if they don't speak a foreign language.

We love seeing the benefits of bilingualism shared across the web as it's our mission to spark inspiration, remove obstacles and provide encouragement and support to make learning a second language easy and enjoyable for kids. We hope you're inspired to introduce your child to a new language and if you need help along the way, please feel free to contact us

5 Things to Do with the Little Ones in Madrid, Spain

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Little Pim is in Spain!

Little Pim kicked off this year with a European adventure. He’s spending a lot of time with some true Spaniards, practicing his Spanish and learning some new vocabulary words to teach you really soon!

Ever been to Spain? Here are 5 things to do with the little ones when you travel to the great Spanish capital, Madrid.

1. “Barcos en el Parque del Buen Retiro”

(Boat rides in Buen Retiro Park) All of Buen Retiro is worth checking out with the little ones, with 350 acres of space and some of the most beautiful gardens in the city, but the boats are sure to be a hit! While you’re at Buen Retiro, be sure to check out the Palacio de Cristal (Glass Palace) and the Galapagos fountain. Buen Retiro is also a great place to explore by bicycle. Get a “good rest” at “Buen Retiro” with the whole family.

2. Children’s Theater at “Teatro Sanpol”

One of the greatest parts of Madrid is the amazing culture you get to experience through different stage performances, like theatre, opera, and flamenco shows! Don’t let the kids miss out! There’s so many affordable children’s theater options, like Teatro Sanpol just on the edge of the city center. At a children’s production, kids can see familiar stories, or new ones, performed in Spanish. They will totally immerse in the language, and the culture!

3. “Parque de Atracciones Madrid”

That’s right, there’s a theme park in Madrid! Madrid’s largest park, “Casa de Campo” is home to one of the most popular children’s attractions in the city. When you and the kids need a break from the city, jump on the Metro, about 30 minutes outside of the city center, and experience Madrid’s “Parque de Atracciones.” With roller coasters, water rides, and live shows, there’s fun for the whole family!

4. “Templo de Debod”

Templo de Debod is an Egyptian temple that was disassembled and rebuilt just on the edge of Casa de Campo in Madrid. It’s a fascinating structure, and it’s an awesome way to see the whole city, get a taste of more European culture and a beautiful place to watch the sunset over Madrid.

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5. “Palacio Real”

You can’t miss out on the royal culture of Spain while you’re in Madrid either! “Palacio Real” is Madrid’s largest building, and the largest royal palace in Western Europe! It is the official residence of the Spanish royal family, although they no longer reside there year round. The kids will love seeing a real-life castle up close, and entry is free for everyone under 5!

Don’t miss out on all that Madrid has to offer. Take the kids to Spain and have fun with the whole family!

Benefits of Raising Bilingual Children on Fox 5

Recently on Fox 5 NY, the International Academy of New York discussed the benefits of raising bilingual children, sharing that their students spend around 40% of their week functioning in either Mandarin or Spanish. Research shows that some of the benefits of raising bilingual children include:

  • Children are much more focused and less distracted
  • They are more able to switch tasks spontaneously
  • They have more flexible and nimble brains
  • By middle school, bilingual kids typically outperform their peers in both math and verbal standardized tests

The interview also explains that human contact is important when teaching children a new language. Singing, reading, and talking with your children in the new language and taking children to cultural events also help encourage language learning. At Little Pim, we believe introducing your child to a new language at an early age can give your child many advantages. The best time to learn a language is under the age of 6. Don't miss the window of opportunity when it's easy for them to learn. Invest in their future…A little language goes a long way.

Little Pim Thanksgiving Coloring Page

Happy November! With Thanksgiving coming up, download and print Little Pim's Thanksgiving Coloring page!

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Don't forget to incorporate language learning into your holiday while cooking, spending time with family, and during playtime! Teach your kids how to say "thank you" in different languages and other seasonal vocabulary, like the Spanish word for "leaf" = "la hoja."

A post shared by Little Pim (@littlepimhq) on Nov 6, 2017 at 5:01am PST

For other fun activities, check out our blog post on 4 Fun Thanksgiving Activities you can do with your little ones!

Little Pim Autumn Coloring Page

Happy Fall! What fun activities do you have planned this weekend? Celebrate the start of the beautiful season by printing out your free Autumn Coloring Page of Little Pim picking apples! While you're coloring, teach your little ones how to say "apple" in the 12 different languages we offer on our website: English - Apple

Spanish - Manzana

French - Pomme

Mandarin Chinese - Píngguǒ

Italian - Mela

German - Apfel

Russian - Yabloko

Korean - Sagwa

Portuguese - Maçã

Arabic - Tafaha

Japanese - Ringo

Hebrew - תפוח עץ (tah-POO-ahkh)

Share your child's finished work of art with us by using #littlepim on Instagram or Twitter and we'll send you a FREE Little Pim Panda Plush.

Click here to download your free coloring page.

Brush Strokes of Genius

A child’s grip on a pencil starts out loose, like their understanding of cultures and worlds beyond their own. As they master holding the pencil, drawing basic shapes, and later letters, more and more of the unknown comes into focus. They begin to recognize the semi-circular shape of an Iranian mosque’s dome. They are familiarized with the square shape of mosaic tiles in Roman churches. The muscles in their hands know what it’s like to write out characters, the same ones that Shakespeare used to assemble his sonnets. Via these examples, we see how motor skills underlie art, which is a vehicle of cultural exchange. While we at Little Pim often emphasize learning languages as a means of cultural exposure, we want to use this post to highlight learning motor skills as a perfect time to introduce your children to different cultures through art. Accordingly, below is a list of artists from around the world who can inspire activities that will reinforce your children’s motor skills, cultural awareness, and familiarity with art as a tool of self and cultural expression.

Piet Mondrian

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  • Dutch
  • 1872-1944
  • Was initially a teacher who painted on the side
  • Started out as a landscape painter
  • Was heavily influenced by the geometric shapes and simplicity of the cubist movement in Paris, where he moved
  • Met Bart van der Leck and Theo van Doesberg, who helped him develop his most famous artistic style, which highlights the beauty underlying simple shapes and primary colors

A child just learning motor skills requires a great deal of concentration just to bring these simple shapes to life. Resultantly, they have a heightened appreciation for them, an appreciation that Mondrian relearned. Your child might thereby be able to relate to an important figure in Dutch culture.

Activity

Ask your children to draw 10 dots at random locations on a piece of paper. Then, have them connect one dot to each of the others on the paper with straight lines. (Use a ruler if straight lines are difficult for them.) Repeat for the other 9 dots. The result is a very cool geometric pattern. Take out primary color markers, colored pencils, or crayons and have them fill in the shapes as they see fit. With that, you have a Mondrian inspired piece ready to be hung on the fridge.

Niki de Saint Phalle

  • French
  • 1930-2002
  • Was a sculptor, painter, and film maker, most widely revered for her monumental sculpture work
  • Had no formal art training
  • Was first recognized for angry, battered works that mirrored emotions associated with a troubled childhood
  • Developed a whimsical, joyous artistic style, child-like in its bright color palette

The fun, quirky nature of these pieces will appeal to your child’s innate happiness and creativity. Let their curiosity take over upon asking what the sculpture below on the left represents.

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Activity

Break out the colorful Playdough for this activity! Show your child images of Niki de Saint Phalle’s sculptures and let the fun ensue. You can suggest rolling out small segments of different colored dough and connecting them to make a multi-colored snake, which is what I see in the sculpture on the left.

Joan Miró
Joan Miró

Joan Miró

  • Spanish
  • 1893-1983
  • Painter, sculptor, ceramicist
  • Was classically trained in art school but rejected traditional methods and styles later in life, claiming they were created to appease the rich, who commissioned the works
  • Was also inspired by cubism and moved to its epicenter, Paris
  • Classified as a surrealist, who allowed his subconscious mind to take control of his hands

The abstraction of Miró’s pieces reinforce to your children that there is no such thing as perfection, especially in art. It is all about personal perspective and emotions. Encourage them to make “mistakes” and try something wacky in their own pieces.

Activity

Grab a few hangers from the closet, thread/yarn from the sewing kit, scissors, and construction paper. You now have all the tools necessary to make your very own mobile, like the one above on the right, perfect for a younger sibling’s room. Snip the hook off of a hanger; that is how you will be able to hang the mobile. Then, cut a few straight pieces of wire from several hangers. Twist them to attach them to the hook. Splay them out in different directions. Afterwards, cut some pieces of thread/yarn and knot them onto the end of the wires. Go crazy cutting out awesome shapes from the colorful construction paper. Pierce a hole and knot the other ends of the threads into the construction paper cutouts. Boom! Your very own Miró inspired mobile!

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wang-guangyi

Wang Guangyi

  • Chinese
  • Born 1957
  • Still alive today
  • Went to art school after many failed attempts at college entrance
  • Heavily inspired by the Chinese Cultural Revolution
  • Internationally acclaimed for the “Great Criticism,” which were paintings on top of traditional propaganda
    • Ended the series in fear that its fame undermined its very message, which was that political and commercial advertising is manipulative
    • Continued with political criticism of VISA’s

While less child-like in its appearance than the works of the aforementioned artists, Guangyi is unfiltered and unapologetic for his opinions in his art, just as a child is before he or she is molded to fit into a society that values conformity.

Activity

Let your children make a statement with this next piece of art.  Suggest to your children that they draw how they feel about their least favorite food. See how their emotions translate into art.

Little Pim's Language Learning iOS App for Kids

At Little Pim, we believe all children deserve to learn a second language. Our language learning series makes learning a foreign language easy and accessible to all kids–at the age they learn best, from 0 to 6 years. Now, your little ones can learn a new language with Little Pim on-the-go with our new iOS app!

If you are a recent customer of Little Pim (as of Nov 2016), you can download the app to watch Little Pim on your iPhone or iPad. Simply follow the steps below to setup your iOS device to play our videos for your little ones at home or on-the-go. If you purchased Little Pim prior to this update, please contact us and we’d be happy to create a new account for you upon proof of purchase.

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Download the free Little Pim app so you can watch all of your Little Pim content purchases.

Logging in to the Little Pim app:

Open Little Pim app on your device.

  1. Click the "I Already Have An Account" button
  2. Enter the email address you used and password you created to purchase Little Pim’s video content. If you need help with your account, please email us at help@littlepim.com.
  3. Click Login
  4. Your "unlocked" or previously purchased videos will load on the screen and you're ready to watch!

Watching videos

  1. Once you’re logged in and your library has loaded, tap the thumbnail image of the video you want to watch.
  2. You can also choose to turn on the subtitles in the app by tapping the subtitles icon.
  3. You can also print out our companion guides and scripts on our website to follow along.

If you have any trouble accessing your videos or login information, please contact us via live chat during office hours, via email: help@littlepim.com, or send us a message on Facebook. Thank you and best of luck on your language learning journey!

New to Little Pim? Welcome, Bienvenue, Bienvenido, Willkommen...!

Get started on your child's language learning journey by downloading our new app. Please read below about more information on our iOS app and the volumes you can purchase using your Apple ID. You can also purchase your 3-pak digital set on our website to login via the steps above.

Features

: 12 languages to choose from: Spanish, French, English, Mandarin Chinese, German, Italian, Russian, Hebrew, Portuguese, Japanese, Arabic, and Korean Entertainment Immersion Method® makes language learning fun & easy for kids ages 0-6 Videos are segmented into 5-minute episodes to accommodate a young child’s attention span Teaches your child up to 360 words and phrases Keeps your child fully engaged as they learn a second language with Little Pim Kids respond enthusiastically to Little Pim’s combination of animated and live-action videos Your child will love following along with Little Pim, the adorable cartoon panda bear who serves as the “teacher” Each of our educational videos has a unique child friendly theme, such as eating, playtime and feelings Simple sentences are broken down into easy-to-understand parts and are reinforced through repetition by native speakers No Foreign Language Background Needed (print out our

companion guides and scripts

on our website to follow along)

Our Story

: Inspired by her own bilingual childhood, our founder

Julia Pimsleur

(daughter of Dr. Paul Pimsleur, who created the Pimsleur Method), wanted to give her young son the same opportunity to learn a foreign language.When she discovered that there were no high quality education materials for teaching toddlers a foreign language, she set out to create them herself. She was uniquely qualified given her background as an award-winning filmmaker, language teacher and mother.Pimsleur sought to create a program that would delight and teach young children a foreign language at the same time. Working with leading neuroscientist Dr. April Benasich, educators and native language experts, she spent several years developing the Little Pim language program. Not only is it the first comprehensive at home program, it can be used effectively by parents even if they don’t speak a foreign language.

Little Pim’s program supports foreign language learning which multiple studies have shown improves memory and analytic abilities and strengthens problem solving skills. The program helps children acquire a new vocabulary and a near-native accent. Our unique Entertainment Immersion Method® immerses children completely in a foreign language.

How It Works:

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  1. Download the app to watch a free trial in each language. Ready to start learning? In order to get access to the series, you will need to create an account to purchase a volume set:
    1. Volume 1 offers 3 themes (Eating and Drinking, Wake Up Smiling, Playtime) broken down into a 21-episode set for your child to learn more than 180 basic words and phrases: $34.99
    2. Volume 2 offers 3 themes (In My Home, Happy, Sad, and Silly, I Can Count!) broken down into a 21-episode set for your child to learn more than 180 basic words and phrases: $34.99
    3. Your "unlocked videos" will appear when logged into your Little Pim account so you and your little ones can watch Little Pim ad-free at home or on-the-go across devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch).

This app is only available for iOS devices, but customers can also watch online via any browser on our website or by requesting access on our Vimeo/VHX website (the email address you enter must be associated with your account). We are currently working on an Android version to release later this year. Stay tuned!

The Edge of Extinction

What do snow leopards, African wild dogs, black rhinos, and the Arikara language of the North Dakotan indigenous people have in common? They are all endangered. Just as species’ extinctions threaten the food chain and thereby the ecosystem, language extinctions hurt cultural diversity and thereby our society. To best understand the harsh reality of language extinction, we should investigate some statistics. While differentiating between unique languages and dialects, or just variations of the same language, is very difficult, researchers agree there are between 5,000-7,000+ languages alive today. Studies project that up to 50% of these languages will die out by the end of the century. Some even say the figure is higher at 80%, That is one language dying every few months! This slow and steady leak of linguistic and cultural diversity must be plugged for the sake of our children gaining the exposure to different thoughts and ways of life- exposure that stimulates appreciation and innovation. Admittedly, we, here at Little Pim, do not teach endangered languages, nor have we discussed them in prior blogs. We do, however, always hope to impart that a language is:

  • Powerful in the classroom, in the workplace, and on the street
  • Empowering in its ability to help cultivate creativity, cultural awareness, problem-solving skills, and pride in one’s roots
  • Effectively important to personal and societal growth

In spreading this message in the past (as we will continue to do in the future), we hopefully indirectly made the case for the preservation of dying languages. Additionally, in teaching what are currently actively used languages, we aim to prevent their downfall into the endangered category one day. Yet, today, in this article, we will take a firmer stand for endangered languages, giving them a voice that might otherwise soon be taken away. It is with this voice that endangered languages might return from the edge of extinction.

It is with power in numbers that we can spread the word and reach someone in a position to change an endangered language’s course, so share this if you like the rest of the article. I will explain how we classify levels of endangerment, expound on why you and your family should care, and share what YOU can do to create a better future in which we maintain cultural diversity and awareness.

How do we know when a language is dead?

There are two main measurements of a language’s vitality, the number of speakers and the number of avenues of use.

Number of Speakers

Many languages can be said to have few speakers, but the word “few” is loose and open to interpretation. Determining the exact number of speakers of a language, however, allows linguists to be specific in distinguishing between levels of endangerment. Arikara, which you may recall is in our backyard in North Dakota, is a critically endangered language, with only 3 speakers still alive while the Cherokee language spoken in Oklahoma is classified as a vulnerable language, with only 1,000 speakers.

Number of Functions

The number of functions a language takes on, whether that be in prayer, in scripture, in school, in ceremonies, etc. can quantitatively represent a language’s vitality, because the more sectors of life the language is involved in, the more spoken it must be, and the more it veers away from the edge of extinction.

Some other factors linguists consider with regards to a language’s vitality are the age range of speakers, the number of speakers adopting a second language, the population size of the ethnic group the language is connected to, and the rate of migration into and out of the epicenter of the language.

Why do we care?

In history, conquered civilizations have had to adopt the language of their conqueror in order to fit into their social structure and economy. This is the case because language is so integral to a culture. From writing literature, carrying out rituals and practicing religion to voting in elections, all the human interactions associated with a culture involve written or spoken word. Effectively when a language dies, the culture associated with it dwindles away as well. If 50%-90% of languages die within the century, 50%-90% of existing cultures will likely die as well.

Many of these cultures that will die out only possess oral histories, so we will lose out on the knowledge they have gained from years and years of experience. Even if some of the cultures whose languages die have been documented, without active speakers, their thoughts and practices will likely be left behind in favor of the ones possessed by the dominant cultures and languages. Accordingly, our future society will lack in a diversity of thought and practice due to a lack of cultural diversity. Not only do we lose diversity of culture and thereby thought when languages die, but also when people conform to speaking one language, as is the case with English in the business world. If we continue along this path, we will become a monolingual, culturally homogenous society. In such a society, people might communicate efficiently because they speak the same language, but creativity would be strangled and progress slowed.

What can we do about it?

To prevent the fate of becoming a uniform society, we must recognize that cultural exchange is a two-way street. People speaking endangered languages are learning other languages to be able to interact with members of their extended community. While it may be hard for us to learn endangered languages, we can educate ourselves on which ones are endangered and why, learn about the cultures the endangered languages are from, and encourage their preservation. For example, the Arikara people were originally a semi-nomadic community that expertly harvested corn and tobacco. This mastery of the land gave way to power over other groups living in the plains until smallpox hit. Would this knowledge of the land past on from generation to generation in their language be lost in translation if the language died? Time will unfortunately tell.

Moreover, to avoid one major language from pushing out the others in the future, English-speaking people could learn other languages to communicate with non-English-speaking people, tapping into a whole wealth of knowledge they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. We cannot become complacent just because English is the “language of business.” Little Pim can open your child’s eyes to these other languages and vibrant cultures in the click of a button… literally. Check out our new iOS app!

Live in a Spanish-speaking community? Try our Spanish for Kids program.

Want to know more than the words for French foods on the bistro menu? Try our French for Kids program.

Works Cited:

https://www.linguisticsociety.org/content/what-endangered-language

https://www.ethnologue.com/endangered-languages

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_endangered_languages_in_the_United_States

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arikara

Featured Photo by Mark Rasmuson on Unsplash

Code or Let Language Learning Programs Implode?

“He who knows no foreign languages knows nothing of his own.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
early-learning

Whether coding courses should be offered as an alternative to foreign language classes in highs schools’ core curricula is the subject of great debate among legislators. To make my position undoubtedly clear early on in this post, I urge our leaders to vote against a bill that allows coding to substitute foreign language learning. As an intern at a foreign language learning company, my bias is evident. However, I will present irrefutable support to my position on the matter to show you I don’t speak out of self-interest but rather popular interest.

Before I delve into why I vehemently disagree with the proposed course of action, I must qualify that I understand the motives behind the bill. With our president using Twitter as his own media outlet, Facebook allowing cute images of puppies and simultaneously devastating snapshots of war and terrorism to reach millions in seconds, and posting videos to YouTube becoming a career path, I do concur that our world grows ever more dependent on technology. I also understand that this dependency on technology implies a demand in the global economy for individuals educated in engineering and computer science. With only 4% of people graduating with a bachelor’s degree in engineering in the US, compared to 31% in China, for example, it logically follows that other global superpowers are fulfilling this demand in the job market. To become more competitive in the job market and contribute to technology-related fields of the global economy, US citizens must be better educated in the associated areas of study. For these reasons, I understand the desire to integrate coding into the core curriculum.

While I recognize the need for coding classes, I do not understand how they can be viewed pedagogically as comparable to foreign language classes and therefore be offered in lieu of them.  Java and C++ are languages in that a combination of good diction and syntax allow for expression. However, these coding languages

  • Only consist of approximately a hundred words (Little Pim can teach you 250 more in the foreign language of your choosing)
  • Are not spoken
  • Don’t underpin a society’s rich cultural history

These qualities that differentiate coding languages from foreign languages may seem unimportant to a decision about the proposed education bill, but they are actually the very reason we must say no to the bill!

1. Word Count

Learning the thousands of words of a foreign language requires the brain to become flexible and switch between vocabulary, grammatical structures, and accents. These skills developed to speak foreign languages are believed to be responsible for bilinguals and multi-linguals divergent thinking, or creativity. The fact that coding languages have significantly fewer words than foreign languages means the skills required to jump between languages, skills that translate to divergent thinking and improved creativity, are less developed. Why should you care? Coding is integral to a successful career in technology-related fields, but creativity is equally imperative in technological innovation. Steve Jobs may have been able to program Apple software, but he also needed the creative mind to come up with product ideas and marketing strategies. Without this creativity, he wouldn’t have been as successful. Thus, foreign languages, in cultivating creativity, are just as important in training people valuable to the tech space as coding classes. Moreover, creativity is appreciated in many other fields, too. Thus, to deprive children of foreign languages, effectively limiting their creativity, is detrimental to the US’ position among tech powers, like not having coding classes at all.

2. Spoken Word

Coding has become important, because our society is so technology dependent. Accordingly, many of us have grown more screen-facing than people-facing in our jobs and daily lives. Changing the foreign language requirement to permit coding in place of foreign languages only reinforces this screen-facing culture, which endangers the quality of our face-to-face interactions and children’s people skills. Tech companies might need coders to build products, but they need to know their consumer in order to create desirable products. Surveys and stats are only so telling of consumer response. Face-to-face interactions, where you can see body language and hear intonation can be far more informative. Thus, successful tech companies also require people-facing individuals. These people skills are acquired through conversation, like those had in foreign language classes. Once again, foreign language classes are as necessary in properly educating individuals to enter the tech space as coding.

3. Cultural Awareness

There is a horrible stigma surrounding Americans that we are culturally unaware and self-centered. With English as the language of business, we are rarely forced to accommodate others linguistically. This unaccommodating nature has leaked into our service industries, like tourism, and beyond, tainting our global image. Foreign languages force students to acquaint themselves with a different culture. The AP foreign language examinations offered to high school students who have taken the course test both language and cultural knowledge. Having taken AP French, I can say that the curriculum truly does touch on culture too. We read French literature, discussed historical events, learned of famous chefs and characteristically French dishes, compared the French educative system to the American one, and more. The class taught me a lot, but most importantly that language is merely a window into culture. With this in mind, coding keeps the curtain over that window, bolstering the negative perception of Americans’ cultural awareness. Furthermore, in a globalized economy, cultural awareness, achieved through foreign language classes, not coding, is more and more important to potential employers, including tech companies.

“…allowing coding to replace foreign languages may create more programmers, but runs the risk of letting those programmers be less creative, less congenial, and less culturally aware.”

The fact that coding languages have fewer words, aren’t spoken, and don’t lay the foundation for a society’s cultural background may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Yet, these aspects of coding entail that coding languages don’t heavily improve creativity, don’t better interpersonal skills, and don’t make coders more culturally aware. Foreign languages, unlike coding, enhance all of these qualities, which are desirable to tech employers and all employers, in fact. Therefore, allowing coding to replace foreign languages may create more programmers, but runs the risk of letting those programmers be less creative, less congenial, and less culturally aware.

“In trying to find a solution to the fact that America is behind other countries in the tech space, the proposed bill creates more problems in the form of less well-rounded graduates.”

Moreover, if the same amount of money is allocated to foreign languages while coding classes, which involve very expensive equipment, are included under that umbrella, even less money will go towards foreign language classes. With smaller budgets, foreign language classes will likely have higher student teacher ratios, potentially less enthusiastic teachers, and less immersive curricula. Studies, (like the one in the following article: https://www.thespec.com/news-story/7460958-a-way-to-teach-babies-second-language-if-parents-only-speak-one/), have shown there is a direct correlation between these qualities of foreign language classes and students’ mastery of the language. Effectively, passing the bill wouldn’t only result in less creative, less congenial, and less culturally aware programmers but also less creative, less congenial, and less culturally aware foreign language students, meaning all students suffer. In trying to find a solution to the fact that America is behind other countries in the tech space, the proposed bill creates more problems in the form of less well-rounded graduates.

Works Cited: 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

jane-swift/make-language-

learning-a-priority_b_6801296.

html

https://www.mondo.com/foreign-

vs-coding-languages-in-

schools/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

zach-simon/can-learning-a-new-

langua_b_4998795.html