PRO: Colleges Should Require Foreign Language

Commentary by Bella Eddy, Staff Writer

The reason why colleges should require at least one year of a foreign language program is because learning a new language expands the world view. Although learning a new language requires a familiarity to the language with one’s own and a bit of time to learn, starting a new language can even help one struggling with English comprehension.

According to the AACLL (American Academy’s Commission on Language Learning), a research study showed that
a “second language helps students tackle the nuances and complexities of their first language.” Although the study mentioned was done from 2012-2015 and studied 5th grade students enrolled in dual-immersive language classes until the 8th grade, the study shows that incorporating a second language into a curriculum can have positive benefits.

College is about getting as much life experience that you possibly can to help fur- ther your goals in life. By learning another language in college, although at an older age, this extra skill is valuable and is seen as an asset to big companies. According to the AACLL, several job studies show that from 2012-2015, companies sought more bilingual applicants. The study shows that “one in five job postings from some of New Jersey’s largest employers (including Bank of America, H&R Block, State Farm Insurance Companies, and Crossmark, Inc.) sought bilingual employees.”

By offering a language program, col- leges also give students with low credits an opportunity to bring them up without depending on filler classes. A language such as Spanish is easy to learn and has
a rich history attached. By crediting language classes higher at a two-credit class, more students will find interest in taking them. Also, offering a wide range of languages such as Japanese, German, or even Farsi (an ancient Persian dialect still spoken today in modern-day Iran) opens
a student’s mindfulness and tolerance to diverse cultures other than theirs.

Even though college is stressful enough, I believe that even learning the alphabet and grammar of another language is still helpful. By requiring college students

to take one year of a foreign language program, students develop better critical thinking skills and also learn vital communication skills. By learning another language, you are also learning a different culture full of customs and history wait- ing to be understood. Learning another language means more than being bilingual but being multicultural, which is a priceless life affiliation to have.