Requirement to Learn Spanish Should Be Dropped
Today in America, there are some schools that require their students to learn Spanish. Some people debate whether or not it should become a requirement for all schools. Should studying Spanish be required for all students in school? I think not. My reasons are simple and straightforward.
There are several reasons learning Spanish should not be required. Some people have learning disabilities that make it extremely difficult to learn a new language. For example, dyslexia is a learning disability that makes it more difficult to do things related to written language. This includes spelling, grammar and learning new vocabulary. Learning disabilities like dyslexia can make it hard enough to write and read in a first language, let alone additional languages. It doesn’t have to be severe to affect a person who has it, either. When you have to learn a new language, you have to learn spelling patterns and pronunciation and vocabulary. It’s already hard enough, but now you have to learn it all over again a whole new way. As a dyslexic, I know this from firsthand experience. Although my dyslexia is not severe, it still makes learning new languages difficult. Even with a great product like Rosetta Stone, I had no success previously trying to learn Spanish. Spanish as a required class also influences your GPA. It wouldn’t be fair to require a specific language that someone may have more difficulty learning. There are other languages easier to learn that might be more practical, and that students would have a better chance of excelling at.
For people who have trouble learning new languages, Spanish is not the easiest to learn. The easiest would most likely be Latin. Latin is considered a dead language and yet many roots in English come from Latin, including scientific terms and our motto for the United States, E pluribus Unum. Learning Latin instead of Spanish would help kids understand what words mean from roots, prefixes, and suffixes that exist in many English words. It would definitely help people who are going into an area of science, like biology. Learning Latin would help because the classification system is in Latin. Because it’s easier, kids who struggle with learning a new language could try Latin instead. As an average American, you’ll most likely use Latin more than you will ever use Spanish, and you may not even know it.
Perhaps most importantly, should any language be required? According to the Bill of Rights, no. The First Amendment states that you have the right of free press and speech. It says that as U.S. Citizens, we have the right to speak our thoughts and opinions the way we want to. Requiring someone to speak and learn Spanish, or any language for that matter, is violating personal rights. I shouldn’t have to speak it in Spanish, let alone any other language.
Some people believe Spanish should be required because the Spanish speaking population is high. However, services are available for kids who don’t know English. We shouldn’t change our language fully. We have the services available. Maybe we could improve situations for those Spanish speaking families and kids, but we don’t need to change so dramatically.
Another counter argument is that students in other parts of the world such as Europe are required to learn new languages in lower grades. Keith Olson says “Since compromise seems to be the goal for solving the nation’s problems, let the politicians support making English the official language and Spanish a mandatory subject in the lower grades.” Making Spanish a mandatory subject makes Spanish a main language. Also many Spanish speaking people in the U.S are illegal immigrants. Should we change for people who are here illegally? Just because something works for Europe doesn’t mean that it’s right for the U.S. Right now in the state of the economy, having to spend extra funds on Spanish teachers for the lower grades is not what we should be focused on.
Therefore, Spanish shouldn’t be required. It’s a harder language to learn than others. In everyday use, Latin is more commonly used; its roots are used for countless things. And requiring learning another language violates the rights of U.S citizens. Learning any language shouldn’t be required. It should be an option and available to people who want to learn it. However if we offer Spanish classes we should offer Latin, a dead but more relevant language to everyday English.