Apr 282008

It’s about time Americans hop aboard the foreign language train.

If you ask around, most foreigners speak their native dialect plus one or more other languages. Here in the U.S., though, most of us are lucky to muster out a few basic sentences in Spanish that we learned from Speedy Gonzales on Looney Toons.

Being an active member of the global community requires more than just being fluent in English and democratic capitalism. As university students, we should engage in the opportunity to broaden our worldly communication skills.

Whether it be Spanish, French, German, Italian, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian or American Sign Language — all require respect and discipline to master.

In addition to the obvious benefit of expanding your communications skill, learning another language often brings with it sympathy for those who may not speak your language. You learn that raising your voice to inaudible levels and speaking like you’re in slow motion does not make what you’re saying easier to understand.

Of course, it’s not so bad for your resume, either. In fact, speaking a foreign language is often a requirement for many jobs post-graduation — something to keep in mind before you pass on the five-credit lower level classes.

As of Fall 2007, the new All University Core Curriculum recognizes 200-level and higher language classes toward your arts and humanities requirement. The students who put the hard effort into learning a language certainly deserve this recognition within the core curriculum.

We commend the students of foreign language for representing the students of CSU as internationally minded citizens rather than typical “American tourist” stereotypes.


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