Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Importance of Language

Language is an important thing to not only a culture but also for people outside of that culture to be able to communicate with others, this is especially true when it comes to different countries. In most cases each country has their own culture and their own language and sometimes not all languages will be the same. Which can take away from the full experience of another culture or it could make it difficult to understand or communicate with others. The article that I found interesting is titled “Northwestern expert calls for more language learning in U.S.”, in this article it talks about  how Brian Edwards, a Professor in Middle East Studies at Northwestern University, is trying to work to make language available to everyone one in the U.S., no matter the region, ethnicity or status. According to the article, the U.S. compared to other countries is behind when it comes to the citizens’ knowing another language. Part of the problem is that there aren’t many qualified teachers. This is a problem because with only a few language teachers in some of the schools they are only teaching a small percentage of students and if they aren’t qualified they might be teaching them the wrong thing. The solution that’s recommended is to increase the number of language teachers. This was something that Edwards does try with his example of trying to increase the number of schools that teach Arabic in Chicago. He does this by connecting university-level educators with teachers from both private and public schools, which does end up helping increase the number of qualified teachers. Being able to understand another language either through speaking, reading or writing is essential for businesses, research and of course international relations.  I do agree with Edwards that the being able to learn another language should be “seen as national need” like English and Math because in the times that we live in now, we are connected to a wider portion of the world and being able to understand different language will help us to understand other cultures and just in general learn more about the world.


Abdelfattah, M. (2017). Northwestern expert calls for more language learning in U.S. Northwestern University. Retrieved from

1 comment:

  1. That is the beauty of cultures and having their own languages even if not all of them are the same. This creates diversity and you can definitely see the different dialects in which each language derives from. This would not take the experience away from the culture but expand it even more because there are different changes and experiences one can encounter. My concern with the article is how teachers who would teach others a foreign language, could possibly be teaching them the wrong material?! This could only pertain to those that are European or white trying to teach others a language, but clearly, that would be an issue if they were not fluent. If the teachers were people of color then there would not be a doubt of them showing the incorrect material to students. I agree on the fact of learning more languages and seeing it as a “National need”, especially to connect with other cultures and people around the world.