Foreign Languages: How Pertinent?

Pillet, Roger A.
October 1971
Education Digest;Oct1971, Vol. 37 Issue 2, p54
The article focuses on the study of foreign languages. There are professional justifications for preparation in foreign languages. In the last decade there was much publicity about opportunities abroad in industry, communication, science, politics, diplomacy, and the armed services for those capable of handling a language other than English. For many students academic exposure to a foreign language will bring no vocational rewards, but this is true of other subject matter areas as well, and cannot be a serious argument for excluding languages from the curriculum. A flexible foreign language curriculum, preferably involving early exposure as an exploratory period, can be used to determine whether the total experience or any part of the subsequent experience will be productive. The concept of flexibility can be applied to the content of the sequence as well as to the curriculum pattern. The most rudimentary exercises in listening-speaking provide a new experience. Language can also stimulate a number of peripheral activities. The social context of foreign language instruction is expanding. A new sense of reality is beginning to permeate foreign language study for Americans.


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