Archive for category Elementary School
According to a popular biblical story, before mankind decided to build a tower that would reach all the way to heaven (the Tower of Babel), there was a single language, universally spoken and comprehended by all. As the story goes, mankind was punished for the hubris of building this tower by having their one universal language turned into dozens of different languages. The inability to communicate in each other’s languages resulted in mass confusion and the ultimate destruction of the tower.
Whether the story as a whole is fact or fiction is not the salient point to consider here: what is true is that today there are between five and six thousand different languages spoken around the world, and that the inability to communicate in each other’s languages can indeed cause mass confusion and, at a minimum, an erosion of goodwill between different cultures.
Being able to speak another person’s language is a critical skill, especially as increased travel opportunities, satellite programming, and international use of the internet have begun to create a truly global community. But when is the best time to begin learning a foreign language? Many experts would say the sooner the better, and in fact, there have been numerous studies and reports, some dating back to the 1960s, indicating that the ideal time to begin studying a foreign language is in elementary school. Read the rest of this entry »