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Topic: What about a foreign language?

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Subject: What about a foreign language?
Date Posted: 8/23/2008 1:36 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 120
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I was just wondering what you guys all thought about teaching a foreign language.  My dd is in 9th grade and I always I assumed I would teach her Spanish starting now.  With that in mind we bought Rosetta Stone level 1 last year and decided to get a head start.  It didn't go well.  As this year approached we were both getting more and more nervous about it.  After a conversation with a friend I began wondering if I should instead teach her French.  I have some knowledge of French since I took it in High School and college - I have almost zero knowledge of Spanish.  My reasoning for doing Spanish however was that we live in a part of the country where Spanish is almost spoken as much as English.  However as I talked to my friend she thought I should do what I'm more confortable with ... what High School students do you know who actually go around speaking the foreign language they've taken for 2 years?!

In the end we've decided to put it off entirely for a year.  I'm not sure why I was so insistant we start in 9th - afterall you really only need 2 credits of a foreign language to graduate.

Anyway, what are you thoughts?  BTW - we sold our Rosetta Stone - it didn't work at all for us.

Subject: Foreign Language
Date Posted: 8/23/2008 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 3/7/2008
Posts: 114
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She will probably be more dedicated and learn more if she is allowed to choose which language.  Has she expressed an interest in a particular language?  I would start by checking your local library for resources before investing in another course like Rosetta Stone.   The BBC (British Broadcasting)  website also has videos, etc. for learning various languages.


I had considered teaching Spanish too even though I know French.  The more I thought about it, lots of people seem to be studying Spanish now, not to mention all the native speakers who live in the US.  I think that by choosing a different language, my children might have more of an advantage as in less competition.  

I am currently teaching my elementary-aged children basic French.  When they are in high school they can continue French at an advanced level or choose another language to pursue.   I would prefer that they study one of the official languages of the UN.

What are the official languages of the United Nations?

An international organization must have effective ways to overcome language barriers to avoid becoming a Tower of Babel. Since almost every country in the world is represented at the United Nations, it is not an exaggeration to say that the United Nation is a microcosm of the world. The Organization uses six official languages in its intergovernmental meetings and documents, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish; the Secretariat uses two working languages, English and French.

Date Posted: 8/25/2008 10:33 AM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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FWIW, I don't like Rosetta Stone - I don't like the method at all.  We've been using Power-Glide online, and I like the content, but not the set up.  I think we'll switch to Auralog's "Tell Me More" next year.

Either Spanish or French would be fine.  You might as well teach what you know.  Are there any HS'ing co-ops around where she could enroll?

My nephew is a chef and learning French would have been helpful.  But then he works in Denver with a mostly Hispanic staff, so that's helpful, too!  It's all going to depend on future career choices.  My high school only had Spanish, so I didn't have much of a choice.

My son is 10 and we're digging heavily into Latin & Greek root words this year.  The Latin only helps the Spanish, and it helps his English vocabulary...especially for high school Biology.


Date Posted: 8/26/2008 5:18 PM ET
Member Since: 4/3/2007
Posts: 699
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My daughter, who majored in Spanish in college and worked in the school's admissions department , tells me that some colleges are actually accepting American Sign Language as a "foreign" language.  I just thought that was interesting and maybe another option???

Date Posted: 9/4/2008 7:43 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 335
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There are many options for foreign language study, and you are right that she does not need to begin in 9th grade if neither of you is ready.  And you are also right that the CHOICE of language isn't important.  Whatever works for both of you.

My son did an online high school French course through Keystone National High School, an accredited cyber institution which offers a full curriculum as well as individual courses.  They offer AP versions of the languages as well.

My DD took Italian at a local university with college profs and students.



Date Posted: 9/5/2008 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 9/29/2007
Posts: 174
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Some schools accept ASL (American Sign Language) as a foreign language - you may want to consider that as an option.