24th August 2017

English Speech- Languages

 

Speech

 

In the world currently there are 7097 languages that are being spoken right now on this planet, however of these 7000 plus languages it is predicted that 1 language dies roughly every two weeks, experts are now predicting that in the next 100 years,  nearly half of the languages that are currently spoken in the world will no longer be around. why when there are so many languages in the world that we can learn, why are schools not pushing learning languages onto their students?

 

The benefits of learning just one second language as massive. You essentially become smarter having improved memory,  higher multitasking skills, you become more perceptive , you will improve your native languages skills, languages also helps greatly when travelling, employees are more frequently looking for employers to know another language as requirements for job positions, with all these benefits how come studying a second language in school is not a priority. And what could we do to provide better education in New Zealand surrounding languages?

 

In New Zealand, schools languages are the only non-compulsory learning area. This creates a culture where languages are often thought to be not as important as the typical school subjects such as English and Maths. In primary schoo, languages are not taught throughout most schools in the country. This is where the push for learning languages should be at the highest. Due to the known fact that children learn languages faster and easier than adults do.

 

Studies have shown that the reason behind this is because of the way children’s  brains function, their brains are programmed to absorb new information unconsciously compared to older children and adults who have to consciously make ourselves learn in order to remember new things.

 

Kids use a part of their brain called their deep motor area when learning a language, this is an area that controls unconscious actions. Meaning children learn languages somewhat unconsciously This is how children learn languages differently compared to an adult. Not only is the learning of the language easier at a younger age the benefits of learning a second language when you are young are massive.  The cognitive benefits that have been proven in kids who learnt a second language at a young age massive  Some of them include things such as , improved problem solving skills, better critical thinking skills, more flexibility of the mind , enhanced memory and better multi-tasking abilities.

 

These benefits while awesome are not only limited to kids that learn a language when young, Adults also better their memory, and become more flexible thinkers,. People who learn other languages become more open to others cultures and it can expand your career options.  So really learning a language at any age has multiple benefits that will better your life.

 

These benefits while awesome are not only limited to kids that learn a language when young, Adults also better their memory, and become more flexible thinkers,. People who learn other languages become more open to others cultures and it can expand your career options.  So really learning a language at any age has multiple benefits that will better your life.

 

The girl I was staying with, who was only one year older than me spoke 5 languages, Spanish, basque, arabic english, catalan and was learning german. When I first heard this I was shocked, how did she know all these languages at such a young age because I know how hard they are to learn from my experience in trying to learn spanish. She obviously told me that spanish was her native language, along with growing up in a family that spoke arabic, and she also learnt basque from her family. She learnt english at a very young age through her school and had just started learning german also in school. I can’t quite remember how she learnt catalan but i think my point is clear. In countries in europe languages are a very vital part of culture. Being surrounded everywhere by different languages and and cultures, learning another languages is somewhat crucial. Also many jobs in Europe require employees to speak english do to the vast number of tourists that come and visit for countries that speak language and have no other language skills because of how ignorant in someway we are to other languages, thinking they will just learn our language.

 

In europe in 2014 99–100 % of primary school pupils in , Austria, Spain and Italy learnt English in 2014. More than nine out of every ten primary school children learnt English in Poland, France and Croatia. This shows the heavy importance they put on learning english as a second language, however many of these students don’t just learn english they opt to learn 2 or even 3 new languages. Because languages are offered at their school and pushed for students to learn them from a young age. This is a considerable difference compared to New Zealand where most primary school do not even offer the chance for students to learn another language.

 

In New Zealand last year , 144,322 students ranging from primary school to secondary schools took a language class. This is a considerable increase from 2016 where only 116, 260 students learn a language. The cause in this increase could be due to increased number of kids attending school or it could be because languages are becoming more popular in New Zealand schools and the demand for them is increasing. For whatever reasons behind the increase it is, is a good thing it show new zealand students are opting to learn language more often.

 

I think while New Zealand doesn’t have the worst education around languages there is definitely a gap in the school curriculum that needed to be improved.There are so many useful skills that you gain when you learn a language that we should make them more of a priority.

One thing i believe we could do to make our country’s education for foreign languages could be to introduce languages classes to our primary school kids. This would give them a awesome base for learning languages latter in school and life and would make languages more normal and thought to be  more of a compulsory learning area rather than optional as it is now. If we learn them from a young age it will seem normal and be easier for students in high school so more people will choose to continue to study them later.

I also think we should allow for a bigger variety of languages to learn. Here at Mac you can only learn Te reo Maori and Spanish. This is a very small selection to choose from.Sure you could study it via correspondence but with languages speaking is crucial and studying it alone with no one to have conversations with makes learning languages more difficult, and really the main purpose of languages is not to know how to conjugate verbs it so you can communicate with others. This makes speaking to others also learning the same languages is very crucial. I know it’s impossible for some schools to offer more languages because of class sizes and lack of teachers.However i think we should try and provide a larger range of options for  students to choose from whenever possible.

I feel if we changed these small things in some way, New Zealand students would become far more highly educated surrounding languages. With all the benefits and usefulness of languages in the world, i believe we do need to change the approach we take to teaching kids languages in this country, or else many students will miss out on the pretty cool experiences that come with learning learning other languages. Overall i thinking the benefits of learning a language are so extensive we should  really just try to encourage the youth of New Zealand to study them more often and in if in order to increase the number of people learning then we need to change a few thing in how we teach i think we should take the necessary steps in order to open students to the beauty of learning a second language.

 

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Category

Speaking, Writing