Our View-Foreign language should be included in core curriculum

by Simpsonian Staff

The state of Iowa is finally moving toward approving something that has long been lacking in the education system: a core curriculum that will standardize what students need to learn to be successful,

That could potentially level the playing field for students that attend smaller districts that have less resources.

But it’s disappointing that a very crucial part of that curriculum proposal is now missing. The world language component is something that is absolutely necessary for the success of elementary and high school students in the future.

The benefits are numerous and obvious: Students learning another language will inevitably be exposed to a new culture and way of thinking. Students will enter the college setting with more knowledge of the language and will benefit because college professors will be able to teach more advanced topics, helping to make students more globally aware.

The really obvious benefit comes into play when the student graduates from college and begins looking for a job. Let’s face it, we live in a global economy. Employers will look to potential employees that know how to speak at least one other language fluently to help advance the business. And if you know more than one language, you’re even more valuable.

Simpson graduates aren’t just competing for jobs with others from Minnesota, Nebraska or Illinois. They are competing with students from across the world.

Many of those students have been exposed to a second, or even third or fourth, language since they began school as children.

Advanced communication technology and an ever-expanding global marketplace means that we will now work with people across the world on a regular basis. It would be unrealistic and selfish assume that everyone must speak to us in English.

Instead, Iowa should place it’s students at the forefront by educating them in a foreign language at an early age.

As the population in Iowa becomes more diverse, it makes even more sense.

At Simpson, the importance of global education is evident. We are required to take a Global Awareness course, and foreign language courses are needed to graduate. Travel-abroad May Terms are encouraged as ways to expand students’ ways of thinking and expose us to different cultures and ways of life.

Requiring foreign language in grade school and high school would begin this education even earlier.

We sincerely hope that the State of Iowa comes to its senses and includes the world language component in the final proposal for the Iowa Core Curriculum.

If not, the state is only hurting its youth and the future of the state by holding students back.