Bonjour, Hola, Hello

Josiah Darnell, Opinion Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

How many of you have taken a foreign language class? Now how many of you remember more than half of the material you learned in that class? I’m pretty sure almost everybody that’s reading this article doesn’t. It seems that no matter when we take foreign language, in high school or in college, the only time we retain that information is during the course.

In fact, a study recorded by The Atlantic stated only 7% of college students are enrolled in a foreign language course. Of that 7%, less than 1% of adults in the United States are fluent.

Another study was done by the US Census Bureau, 8% of Americans are able to hold a conversation in the languages that they learned in High School. Only 8%. That’s extremely low, especially since foreign language courses are offered in many, if not all, high schools and colleges in the United States.

Pace University requires you to take two semesters of foreign language. One class for the basics, which is the introduction to the course and the second would be the continuation to further progress. I understand they want us to take these courses to have knowledge in a language other than English but if it didn’t work in high school, why try it in college? Instead of it being free, it is now something we have to pay for and it takes up three credits per semester. Three whole credits that could’ve went to a more important class, mainly a major or minor one. If we know we’re not going to remember pretty much anything after taking a foreign language course why take two semesters of it? One semester of the basics should be enough and I’m sure others would agree.

On top of that, many of the foreign language classes offered here at Pace require you to purchase an overpriced textbook that you really have no choice to get because of the code that comes along with it. That code is so you have access to the online assignments. We’re talking about a $200 textbook that has to be new, just for you to not remember most of what you learned a couple of weeks after you have taken the class.

Let’s be real here, do we really need two semesters of a foreign language? I don’t think so. The only other reason I can see why foreign language classes are important is to communicate with people coming from other countries or studying abroad. But who’s to say any of us taking foreign language in college will get a chance to study abroad or want to? And the individuals that migrate over here from other countries speak English fairly well anyway, so it stands one semester of foreign language is enough.




Print Friendly, PDF & Email