Every teacher thinks that his or her class equips students the most for life in the 21st century. I’m here to make the case for how acquiring a 2nd language can transform the life of not only the student but those the student serves, later during his or her productive years of work and service.
I don’t doubt that quadratic equations, literary analysis or even the laws of the universe are important to know. But being able to communicate with members of various people groups around the world can mean a matter of life and death for many.
That’s a dramatic claim, you say?
Think about it – when my students leave middle school after 3 years of conversational French, they move on to high school to put some grammar depth and cultural breadth underneath their fearless conversational and reading skills. They then might travel before matriculating at a university. Or travel/study abroad during their 4 years.
And afterwards? With their workable language skills, they are BETTER equipped to make a difference in the world, either with the Peace Corps, or with a Christian missions organization or as a public servant with one of the many other humanitarian agencies.
How is that for the potential impact of a World Language teacher!