Letters to the Editor

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EDUCATION: Benefits to learning a second language

Letter by Carl J. Olsen, Puyallup on Dec. 27, 2012 at 9:49 am with No Comments »
December 27, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: “School takes bilingual path” (TNT, 12-27).

I believe strongly that English should be the official language in the United States. I am annoyed when I hear “Press one for English.” If you want to live in this country, then learn our language.

That said, I applaud the bilingual programs at Holy Rosary School in Tacoma and at Blix Elementary School in the Tacoma School District.

In my opinion, there is no downside to learning a second language, and the best time to learn is when you are very young. I learned and became fluent in Norwegian when in my 20s, but it was not easy. I was living in Norway at the time and was totally immersed in the culture. Getting rid of my American accent was a significant challenge. Young children don’t have that problem.

The benefits of learning a second language are significant. You don’t simply learn a language, you absorb a culture – a major reason to learn our language. The more you understand other cultures, the more you come to love and respect those cultures. Being realistic, learning Spanish as a second language is highly beneficial in our current society.

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