We call someone who speaks two languages bilingual, and a person who speaks one language . . . American. Barack Obama wants to end that reality. He told parents yesterday "to make sure your child can speak Spanish. We should have every child speaking more than one language."
According to Obama, not only is America's lack of languages embarrassing, but learning a foreign language will make Americans more employable in a global economy. Considering China's economy will be number one by 2035, Americans may no longer have the ability to dictate the world's language preferences. It might make sense to teach second languages to all children when they are young enough to pick it up.
Should American schools seriously dedicate more of their limited resources to realizing second-language fluency?