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Should studying a second language be compulsory?

While some countries make it mandatory for students to learn a second language, many leave it up to the students to decide. Studies have shown that there are cognitive benefits from learning a second language, like improved memory, so should studying a second language be compulsory? Why or why not?


@Debaters

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I don’t think it should be compulsory, no, but highly recommended, sure. Only in cases where schools do have the options of many languages to choose from. ‘Cause some just don’t have the resources or teachers to cater to teaching multiple languages.
So based on that, no, I don’t believe it should be compulsory

And I am going to say compulsory, because if I was forced to learn a second language, I want everyone else to be forced to, as well. :rofl: There are so many benefits to knowing another language. Sneak-talking to family in a country where your language isn’t usually heard, making all kinds of new friends, being your own tour guide…

In my school we were given mandatory classes on French and Spanish until year 9 then we had the option to pick it at GCSE. I don’t really mind the basic studying we did from year 7-9 but I still don’t think even that should be compulsory, at the end of the day some people struggle picking up on other languages even in their basic form and they will always be at a disadvantage. Plus imagine if someone was only able to communicate non verbally, they wouldn’t be able to do the spoken stuff. No matter what your cut off is, somebody gets excluded.

So no I don’t think it should be mandatory I really think people should be able to pick what clssses they want to do!

We HAVE TO learn a language starting in 7th grade and ending in 12th. But I don’t think it should be mandatory

while it annoys me that some gringos will somehow forget the fact that languages other than english exist (i have personally lived through this), i don’t think a second language should be compulsory.
english as a second language IS compulsory for me, from first grade to now that i’m trying to graduate uni (we either have to take classes or to take the TOEFL or the IELTS and get a certain score on them in order to be able to graduate). but i know that learning languages, as anything else, kinda becomes more boring when it’s compulsory, and i’d hate if people came to hate learning languages because they were forced to

Okay, I think I might actually have an interesting perspective on this as someone who was forced in high school to study 4 foreign languages (English (6 years), French (3 years), German (3 years) and Spanish (5 years)).

When I was in highschool I wasn’t too happy with all these languages, learning 3 different languages with different grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, it was a lot and very confusing at time. Sorry not sorry, but I especially didn’t like French in school, so much grammer, it just wasn’t fun, and they always had so high expectations from us (only talking in French to us from the 2nd year onwards, and if you dared to make a mistake, well, they weren’t happy). So no wonder all that work didn’t pay off and I don’t remember much but Bonjour, Merci, de rien and counting to 10.

This is kinda my main point, teaching kids a language simply for the sake of teaching them a language, that’s not good. The usability of the language after school is very important, how much will you be putting it in practice? Does that weight up to all the effort you have to put into learning a language. You can teach someone a language, but if they don’t get into contact with it enough, that knowledge fades over time. In this is also some casual criticism on the way languages are taught in schools in my experience, mostly focused on one to one translation of words, I remember getting points multiple times as I had written a synonym instead of the one word on the list. This just leads to studenten who ‘stamp’ words, learning the list with almost brute force, which will usually end up in the short term memory instead of contributing to the knowledge on the language. Skills like listening, speaking and reading is much more important. Skills you actually need to be able to interact with a language, not a ton of useless words.

So, in short, yes, I do think 1 language is great, as long as that language is actually useful in the life of students after school, but I think the way we teach languages should be adjusted a bit.

(Also, I still feel a bit salty they forced me to study all these languages even if I had dyslexia and it was a challenge for me. All because I ‘scored sufficiently’ in them, yeah, because at times I sacrificed my mental health by working so hard on them to keep up)

It would be cool for self-development to know several languages