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foreign language in elementary schools

foreign language in elementary schools - Stephanie Karian...

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Stephanie Karian Newby College Writing II 2:00 Foreign Language in Elementary Schools Foreign language programs have been a part of the public school system for many  years. However, they have only been a part of the elementary school system since 1975  (About FLES). This is an issue because there are many benefits in the field of foreign  language. It is proven that foreign language programs in elementary schools open a  wider range of job opportunities, they give students an advantage in scoring better on  their SATs, and students are better equipped to learn more than two languages later in  life, rather than students who were not bilingual at a young age.  A student who learns a second language at a young age allows them to further  explore the language until complete fluency has been obtained. When a student becomes  bilingual, or fluent in a second language, many job opportunities present themselves. In  2006, Maria Glod of  The Washington Post  writes that elementary schools in the  Washington area are adding foreign language programs to the curriculum because of  “government and business leaders who say the country needs more bilingual speakers to  stay competitive and even to fight terrorism” (Glod). There are many important and high  paying jobs that require the knowledge of a fluent second language: court interpreter,  the United Nations, and Immigration and Customs services (Careers for Foreign  Language Majors). The government has put a proactive approach on the demand for  foreign linguistic skills; in year 2000 the U.S. government created the Educate America  Act which recognized the foreign language program as a core curriculum (United States 
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Dept. of Education). Because the government is in such high demand for more bilingual  students, elementary school should be the first place to start. Students who begin 
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