Why Learn A Second Language?

I was inspired to learn languages when my cousin Gina spent her junior year of high school in France. I loved hearing her stories about exploring Vierzon. Travel became my “why” to learning languages. Recently that same cousin asked how we address the justification and the promotion of world languages. Too often, she noted, languages are a requirement to knock out of the way in order to be admitted to college. This idea was confirmed at the World Language Colloquium in February. I asked world language leaders from around the state to answer the question ‘Why learn another language?’ as if they were high school students. The responses fell into three basic categories: job fun, and for college. I know that all of my Back to School presentations and parent materials emphasized that my class would satisfy a college requirement and save families money. We short change ourselves though in doing this. Why do we learn world languages? Language gives us the power to do everything else with exponential power because we have greater access to resources, an expanded vision, and a larger audience.