11/09/2008

St. Louis Park schools are considering eliminating French

St. Louis Park schools soon could bid adieu to French classes taught by district teachers at the junior high level.

St. Louis Park Junior High Principal Les Bork told school board members last week that eliminating French could help the district put more resources into remedial math instruction to meet "Adequate Yearly Progress" goals on statewide standardized tests - the tests that measure compliance with federal "No Child Left Behind" rules.

The move comes at a time when experts say French is waning as an international language while the popularity of English and Asian languages is on the rise and German still thrives in...
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Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), April 4, 2007, Patrice Relerford

3 comments:

Brian Barker said...

There is an alternative to English as the dominant World Language, and its name is Esperanto.

Esperanto is now within the top 100 languages, out of 6,800 worldwide, according to the CIA factbook. It is the 17th most used language in Wikipedia, and in use by Skype, Firefox and Facebook.

Native Esperanto speakers, include George Soros, Ulrich Brandenburg the new German Ambassardor to NATO, and World Champion Chess Player, Susan Polger.

The World Esperanto Association enjoys consultative relations with both the United Nations and UNESCO.

Evidence can be seen at http://www.lernu.net

An interesting video can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LV9XU

Unfrench Frenchman said...

So it took Esperanto about 120 years to make it into the top ten (provided you believe the most optimistic numbers)? Even Quechua has more speakers. People don't learn a foreign language because it is simple or regular but because it is useful. And what makes such a foreign language useful to learn is the fact that many people already speak it, or at least many of the people that count.

As such even French is a better candidate for a global language than your beloved Esperanto.

Ronduck said...

It seems every time I think there is a useful comment posted on this blog, I instead find it is just this Esperanto-monger.

My personal opinion is that only about 10% of US students should be taught a foreign language. Most US students will never leave their own country, even just for a vacation, and will therefore never have the need for a foreign language.

Also, we need to raise the level of English education here, and teaching a foreign language just distracts from that goal.