Why National Foreign Language Week Is So Important
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Why National Foreign Language Week Is So Important

"Isn't monolingualism the illiteracy of the 21st century?"

Why National Foreign Language Week Is So Important
Today I Found Out

This week (March 7–13) is National Foreign Language Week. What does that mean? It means that it is time to celebrate foreign languages! It was an event created by Alpha Mu Gamma in the spring of 1957 to help make the United States aware of how important it is to study foreign languages.

Why is it important?

“Isn’t monolinguism the illiteracy of the 21st century?” asked Gregg Roberts, a World Languages and Dual Immersion Specialist, at the National Chinese Language Conference. With the shrinking world, due to easy modes of transportation, the global market and international business, knowing more languages than English is not only helpful, but necessary. The number of people who speak a language other than English at home increased 158.2 percent between 1980 and 2010, while population that spoke only English at home has increased only 22.7 percent in that same time according the the US census.


Last year in high schools across the United States, the Pledge of Allegiance was broadcast in many languages throughout the week. Unfortunately, at Pine Bush High School in New York, students lashed out when it was recited in Arabic. While students claimed that “English is America’s only language,” there is no federal document that names English the national language of America. Additionally, as Steve M. says on No More Mister Nice Blog.

Still, why is it so anti-American to have the pledge recited in a foreign language? As it is exists now, the pledge is an oath of loyalty to America. In any other language, it's still an oath of loyalty to America.

Learning other languages is a good thing, and we should encourage it! According to a study on bilingual children

Well-designed and carefully implemented bilingual education programs can have a significant positive effect on student achievement both in English literacy and in other academic core courses when compared to English immersion.

How can I celebrate language learning?

1. Duolingo is a free website where you can learn up to 27 different languages through a Rosetta Stone like process.

2. Have dinner at a restaurant with foreign food or cook food from another culture.

3. Attend a festival like this one in Louisiana.

4. Look for events near you. You never know when they might have a foreign film festival or a global beer fest.

Henderson State University, the week after National Foreign Language Week, will be hosting at least two events: Around the World in 80 Seconds and the International Food Bazaar.

Around the World in 80 Seconds is an open forum on the Quad put on by Alpha Mu Gamma that will allow community members to speak about another language they speak, a country in which they have lived or a country that they have visited, for 80 seconds each. Each speech will be short and to the point. It will be a great opportunity to learn about the world. The date is March 15 at 12:15 p.m.

The International Food Bazaar is an event put on by Henderson’s International Student Association (HISA). They ask community members to create a dish from their country or to create a dish from another country. They sell tickets and people can come to taste all of the food and to see singing and dancing. Information can be found by clicking here.

Coursera has free classes in Chinese and Korean.

Travel! Book a plane ticket to that place you've always wanted to go.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments