The argument to require foreign language has been around for as long as I can remember. When I finished my freshman year of high school, I had the opportunity to take a foreign language, and at the time I had been hearing all these good things about taking it as a class. It was going to help me get into colleges and come in handy in the future. I took three years of a foreign language and studied the German Language. The first semester went great; however, I cannot say the same for the other 5 semesters. Despite all this foreign language should still be required for schools in the Ozarks because it helps students develop as well as create a more diverse environment.
It is important to realize that just because I had a bad experience with something does not mean that it is not beneficial. I had a bad experience because everything was online and there was little interaction with anyone else. I think if taught the right way foreign language can be useful and worth it in the long run. According to Renate Latimer a professor at Auburn University, students who study a foreign language have positive attitudes and are less prejudiced toward other cultures (1). This is important in a world where equality is being fought for every day, and if people understand each other then our world can blossom into a better place. This alone is why the study of a new language should be required in Ozark colleges because it is very important to boost student morale so that they can learn to the best of their ability. Latimer goes on to say that people who try to make sense of another culture obtain a profound understanding of their own culture (1). So, to put it briefly the study of a foreign language can have an impact, positive effect on students because it helps them connect with their own culture as well as brings a positive force into their lives.
In addition to conjuring a positive atmosphere, studying a foreign language can enhance a person’s ability to learn and think. I found this out because it was the one good thing that came out of my three years in German. I learned how to better comprehend instructions as well as articulate my ideas. I believe if the foreign language class I took wasn’t strictly online, then it could have had the potential to be one of the most rewarding classes I took in high school. Many more skills are increased when you take a foreign language class, such as problem-solving and grasping abstract concepts. It also increases a student’s analytical skills which help enhance a student’s mathematical abilities. Communication skills are elevated also which means learning a foreign language helps a person better understand their language (Latimer 1). So, if studying a foreign language helps a student perform better in other subjects, then why not make it required?
The most compelling evidence is that the study of a foreign language can have a profound effect on the different types of career opportunities a person receives. If a student can read or speak another language many worldwide opportunities begin to open. International companies all over the world value people who can speak multiple languages. Almost every industry needs bilingual people in fields such as education, entertainment, and finance. These companies value employees who can interact with emerging markets in countries like Brazil, Russia, India, and China (“Why You Should Learn a Foreign Language”). The ability to speak and read another language can also affect a person’s net income positively as well. People who reside in the United States who speak English and Spanish make 1.5% more than the national average and if they speak English and German, they make 3.8% more (“Why You Should Learn a Foreign Language”). This speaks for itself people who can speak more than one language make more money and have more career opportunities than people who have not studied a foreign language. Therefore, I still believe that a foreign language should be required even though I had a bad experience with it in high school. The benefits of learning another language are just too convincing to ignore and that is why it should be required by all college students who live in the Ozarks.
Regardless of the benefits that the study of a foreign language brings to the table people will still argue against it being required. Arguments such as college students don’t have the time to take another required class do bring up good points. However, many less important classes can be replaced by a foreign language class, such as classes that are taken just to familiarize students with college. Another argument against requiring college students in the Ozarks to take a foreign language class would be the cost. I understand that the cost can always be a speed bump, but that is just not a strong argument because the immense benefits of the class would be more than worth the cost. Therefore, the study of a foreign language should be required because it is worth the cost and it is a more valuable class compared to some of the classes that colleges in the Ozarks require.
As has been mentioned, studying another language brings about many benefits that a student can use to their advantage. Taking a second language enhances a student’s ability to learn which therefore helps them with their other classes. It also increases the number of opportunities a student can take advantage of after they graduate. Students who can speak and understand another language make more money than those who don’t. So, the answer is simple colleges in the Ozarks should make the study of a foreign language a requirement because of the benefits that come with it. The ability to speak and understand more than one language will always be valued so why not start now.