There's and old joke that goes like this:
Q. What do you call someone who can speak 3 languages?
Q. What do you call someone who can speak 2 languages?
Q. What do you call someone who only speaks one language?
DeKalb is a collection point for refugees in the Metro area. While we expect our students to be proficient in English in order to graduate, it is necessary that we work with our newest students in their own language while they learn English.
The new budget cut a number of translation positions. This will stunt the growth of English for our students who are newest to this country. That will stunt their learning ability for every other topic.
Translation is a hard task. I took 2 years of French in high school. I never made the milestone of being able to think in French. I have translated from one computer language to another. That's quite difficult. If I was suddenly transported to the French country-side, I would be in big trouble!
Now, we start foreign language early, first grade. So what languages should we emphasize? The two obvious ones in my mind are Spanish and Mandarin just because of the extensive business trading interests in Asia and Central/South America. I know we offer German (at Brockett at least) and French at Tucker High. We also have a huge national trading interest in Japan and South Korea. India is another hot trading interest. Vietnam, Thailand, and Maylasia are also proving many of the finished goods we have on our store shelves as well as providing a home country for many of our student's parents.