Thursday, January 21, 2010

Schools stop teaching foreign languages

The NY Times reports:
Thousands of public schools stopped teaching foreign languages in the past decade, according to a government-financed survey — dismal news for a nation that needs more linguists to conduct its global business and diplomacy.
Dismal? This is great news. The USA has too many people speaking foreign languages already. We just don't need very many diplomats. Most diplomacy is in English anyway.
But another contrary trend has educators and policymakers abuzz: a rush by schools in all parts of America to offer instruction in Chinese.
Chinese? That is really a step backwards. Phonetic languages were invented about 5000 years ago, but it is just now getting to China. The Chinese language does not even computerize very well.

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