There are several languages that are spoken around the world that are growing in political, economic, and cultural importance, but there are no courses on some of these languages here in Montgomery County. This eventually needs to change, as the importance of knowing some of these languages in the near future might become very important as the state of the world changes.
The county provides a total of nine language courses throughout the entire school system, including major languages like Spanish, French, and Chinese. The county also provides courses of other languages like Arabic, Russian, and German, but courses on languages like these are small in number and hard to find, which may eventually become a problem as the importance of them grows.
However, there is also growing concern of the languages the county does not offer that eventually needs change. Of the ten most spoken languages in the world, the county offers six, but three of those six languages are not widely available. Languages like Hindi, the most spoken language of India (the world's largest democracy) and fourth most spoken in the world, have no course here in MCPS, and neither does Portuguese, the official language of Brazil, home of one of world's largest economies that is steadily growing. As these countries grow and become more prominent on the world stage, learning their languages will eventually become a priority.
Also, knowing different languages is not just about it's benefits of broader communication, but about personal benefits too. People who do speak more than one language develop lifelong skills of better communication and understanding with people from other countries and cultures, which is invaluable in the modern world. Not only that, but Newsweek reporter Casey Schwartz also touched on the subject on how bilingualism boosts brain development, which is yet another positive of knowing more than one language.
The focus of the MCPS Foreign Language Department , as stated on their website, is "to prepare students to be linguistically and culturally competent in languages other than English." Adding more foreign language classes will benefit students later on in their academic careers and future, as well as providing more diversity and insight into other cultures of the world, helping the Foreign Language Department achieve their goal.
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