Languages Magazine

Aspiring Young Learner Learning Critical Languages

By Tlb
Students - learn foreign languages

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Foreign language learning is not new to most people nowadays since we have embraced already the globalization that our world is practicing today. Aside from English, most learners would take common foreign language courses from languages like Spanish, French, or Italian.

But a 9-year-old girl named Coryn Harris took foreign language learning into a different level. According to Tiffany Lanks, writer of Democrat and Chronicle, Coryn Harris thinks it would be fun to have the talent every time she hears people speaking different languages.

That is why she has decided to sign up for a City School District summer program where students learn Chinese and Swahili. This has been a countrywide encouragement of their country to get kids learning languages for their nation’s international relations.

Just like a typical language school that offer quality language courses towards the students, the school district continuously offers its STARTalk summer program on its third year. This has been part of the federal government’s National Security Language initiative.

They aim to encourage schools to teach students the not-so-common foreign languages: Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Hindi, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, Turkish and Urdu. These are not the typical languages taught in language schools’ classrooms, right?

The STARTalk summer program allows “students in kindergarten through college to start learning basic dialect and culture, and aims to spark an interest that they might pursue later. That is especially important among younger elementary school students, who do not typically take foreign language classes.”

Moreover, the four-week summer program is open to students who are in the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades. Students may choose the kind of languages they want to learn, and may be spending three hours a day learning its vocabulary, going on field trips, and eating its traditional foods so that they will have a more open mind understanding the culture of their target language. There are at least 50 students participating in such program.

I see lots of people speaking these other languages and I wanted to speak another language, too,” said Coryn, who will be in the fifth grade in September.

Isn’t it wonderful to read such good news from people like Coryn who are inspired to learn unique languages? The desire of someone like this young child plus the full-blast support of her country makes the perfect combination to raise the current state of the country to become successful in the near future.

“They’re going to leave not only with language skills, but a better understanding of these cultures,” said avid Baez, who runs the school district’s program. “It’s about preparing these kids to be citizens of the 21st century.”

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