Learning languages empowers
By Dr. Sarah Elaine Eaton, PhD
September 21, 2010
In response to the letter submitted by Donald A. Moskowitz on
September 15, I agree with you wholeheartedly that the U.S. is
an English speaking country.
You contradict yourself, however, when you first point out that
it can be beneficial for people to be fluent in another language
and then turn around and say that "we should not promote
language diversity" because it will lead to the "type
of divisiveness in numerous foreign countries".
What other countries are you speaking of? Are you speaking of
Canada, where there has been an official policy of bilingualism
since the 1970s? Are you speaking of the 40+ countries in the
Council of Europe who encourage their youth and business people
alike to learn other languages because they know that multilingual
people have more highly developed thinking skills, problem-solving
skills and leadership capacity?
Even President Obama has stated that American children need to
learn other languages in schools. Recently a bill sponsored by
U.S. Congressional Representatives Rush Holt (D-NJ) and Paul
Tonko (D-NY) proposed legislation that would allow every young
American to become proficient in a second language in addition
to English within a generation.
The rest of the world acknowledges that learning languages expands
our world view, our sense of compassion for our fellow humans
and our capacity to problem solve better.
We should absolutely promote language diversity because it will
help us remain competitive in the global market place, challenge
us to think and learn in new ways and provide a cure for cultural
Dr. Sarah Elaine Eaton, PhD
About: "Dr. Sarah Elaine
Eaton holds a PhD in Education, is fluent in Spanish and has
studied French, German and American Sign Language."
Received September 16, 2010
- Published September 21, 2010
Diversity = Divisiveness By Donald A. Moskowitz
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