The Instigator
elkay27
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
AlwaysMoreThanYou
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

More Foreign Languages should be taught/offered in High Schools

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
AlwaysMoreThanYou
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/10/2012 Category: Education
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,408 times Debate No: 26131
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

elkay27

Pro

Students must have the opportunity to learn another language because that increased knowledge will help students prosper in the career the choose. Learning about more languages and cultures will enable students to connect with the entire world. Professionals who know other languages are called upon for amazing opportunities that require that person to communicate with other countries. Bilinguals have a larger advantage over those people who only know one language. More languages need to be offered so all students will have the chance to increase their knowledge.
AlwaysMoreThanYou

Con

I accept.

Mark well the resolution: "More foreign languages should be taught/offered in High Schools" (emphasis mine).

I will be arguing that most High Schools that have foreign language programs offer a sufficient number of foreign languages.

Rebuttals:

Pro writes "Students must have the opportunity to learn another language because that increased knowledge will help students prosper in the career the choose."

Not necessarily. If I get a job as a farmer in the midwest, I'm unlikely to realize a tremendous benefit from speaking Estonian.

Pro writes "Learning about more languages and cultures will enable students to connect with the entire world."

Possibly. Of course, if I spend all my time studying Yazoo [1], I'm unlikely to be better able to connect with the entire world than someone who only speaks English.

Pro writes "Professionals who know other languages are called upon for amazing opportunities that require that person to communicate with other countries."

Again, depends on the language. Sure, I might be made a great offer that's only valid if I speak Reformed Egyptian, but the odds of that are long.

Pro writes "Bilinguals have a larger advantage over those people who only know one language."

Even though this is not sourced, it is probably true. However, Pro has failed to show that more obscure languages are preferable to the mainstream ones generally offered by schools.

Pro writes "More languages need to be offered so all students will have the chance to increase their knowledge."

Pro completely fails to justify how more languages will help all students to have a chance to increase their knowledge. I have never known a student (anecdotal evidence, sue me) that was fluent in every single language offered by the school. That means that every student I knew (anecdotal evidence, oh the pain) could have still gained knowledge through the language programs already offered by their school.

Arguments:

1. Cost

Self-explanatory. There's no way you can advocate for adding additional language classes, and then claim that these additions will be free. More language classes will cost more money, the school will probably need to hire teachers who know how to teach the language, and it'll be a hassle.

2. Inconveniences

There are probably already language programs offered at most every school. They'll be languages like Spanish, French, Chinese, Arabic, nothing too fancy. A school only needs a few language programs for students to choose a language from; adding additional languages causes a "slippery slope" issue. If my cousin successfully advocates for getting himself a Kusunda class [2], what grounds does the school have for refusing me a Kwadi class?

3. Kids are stupid

Fairly self-explanatory. If you stick kids with three or four language options and say "Pick one", they'll pick one. If you say "Hey, we're expanding the language classes, sign up for whatever language you want", you'll have a ton of morons signing up for languages they never even knew existed and would have remained contently ignorant of.

Plus, you'll probably get a bunch of languages only a couple of people want to study. Tie this in with my argument above, and you can see why this would be a problem.

4. Bilinguality

Most schools offer decently usable, fairly common, modern languages like Spanish and Chinese. If I learn one of those languages, I'm about as equipped as can be. It's certainly of more use than that dunce who spent his whole high school career learning Latin [3]. If I'm going to receive an opportunity that requires me to speak some obscure language, the odds are definitely against me knowing it. Only in exceptional and overly uncommon circumstances would knowing some obscure language be of benefit.

In conclusion, the small selection of languages offered by most high schools is sufficient.

Sources:

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...;
2. http://hotword.dictionary.com...
3. http://www.debate.org...
Debate Round No. 1
elkay27

Pro

I understand that not every job in the world requires the person to be bilingual. My point was many students aspire to work in a high paying career, as in Law or Health. Imagine if someone that has only ever been taught Spanish comes into a hospital. If no one in the hospital knows Spanish, what happens to the person? They won't be able to get the patients personal information.

At my high school, we have 2 language classes. Students (like me) that want to have a career that involves languages should be able to have a larger variety of languages to choose from. I am not content with only being able to choose between French or Spanish, and I cannot be the only person unhappy with the language program at their high school.

I never said high schools should offer obscure languages that barely anyone in the world speaks. I believe languages like German, Chinese, Portuguese, and Latin should be offered at all schools. I know cost is a factor, I never said it wasn't. However, the idea of students succeeding in foreign language courses should motivate the school board to raise money for these courses.

And I conclude, more practical foreign languages should be offered in ALL high schools.
AlwaysMoreThanYou

Con

My opponent has made some interesting arguments. I humbly suggest he offer some sources as well.

Rebuttals:

Pro writes "My point was many students aspire to work in a high paying career, as in Law or Health. Imagine if someone that has only ever been taught Spanish comes into a hospital. If no one in the hospital knows Spanish, what happens to the person?"

Well, imagine if someone who only spoke ancient Hebrew came into a hospital. What happens to him if no one in the hospital knows ancient Hebrew?

Everyone should just learn English.

Pro writes "At my high school, we have 2 language classes. Students (like me) that want to have a career that involves languages should be able to have a larger variety of languages to choose from."

That's nice, but I'm sure other people want things that they're not getting either. In my old high school, I wanted to take AP Computer Science B. The school cut it, however they still had the funding for my Latin class, which consisted of... six students (for the record, there were a dozen people I knew who wanted to take ComSci B, and those were only the people from my ComSci A class).

That's what you go to college for. The school can't offer everyone specialized courses relating to what they want to study, that's not what high schools are for.

Thus, I conclude that a few basic languages offerings should be enough. You can learn languages outside of school if you're that passionate about them.

Pro writes "I believe languages like German, Chinese, Portuguese, and Latin should be offered at all schools.

Well, that's a steep deal. As far as I know, most schools don't set their own funding, so if a school is only offering French and Spanish, there's probably a reason they aren't also offering another four languages, one of which is deader than my Great-Aunt Birte, and that reason is probably cost. Does the school have sufficient facilities for four new classes (at minimum; there are usually several levels of each language)? Does the school have the money to hire (at least) four new teachers? If the school does decide to implement this, from where comes the funding? Probably from things that other people enjoy and are using.

And of course, that example is just one high school. I'm sure not every high school has the capabilities to offer four language programs. The only way school boards can raise money (as far as I know) is from taxes. I really don't want to be paying more taxes so a few kids I don't know can take Portuguese instead of Spanish.

Additionally, there's no reason to believe most people are dissatisfied with their language selection in a meaningful way. As I hypothesized unsourcedly under my point "Kids are stupid", kids probably would prefer to take languages that aren't offered, but for most of them it wouldn't be tremendously critical. If I could add a random class to the curriculum, it would probably be Nigerian Soap Operas, but that's probably not going to be a hit with anyone else, and I'm content to not be taking it. Likely, this is the situation for many kids.

Pro writes "And I conclude, more practical foreign languages should be offered in ALL high schools."

I see nothing wrong in a school ditching its Esperanto program in favor of Chinese, but I think schools should keep the current number of language classes that they offer. If they're going to swap out unpopular languages for popular ones, it should be at a one-to-one exchange ratio to keep costs as close to equal as possible.

Therefore, there is no need for a high school to offer more languages. I rest my case.
Debate Round No. 2
elkay27

Pro

elkay27 forfeited this round.
AlwaysMoreThanYou

Con

Extend all arguments and vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
It's fine. Glad to be of service, and thanks for a good debate.
Posted by elkay27 4 years ago
elkay27
I apologize for not responding in round 3. Something came up at home and I never had time to get on here and finish the debate.

Thanks for a good argument, I needed the other side of the argument for my paper for English. I see why some people do not think more languages are necessary.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by RyuuKyuzo 4 years ago
RyuuKyuzo
elkay27AlwaysMoreThanYouTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 4 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
elkay27AlwaysMoreThanYouTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Not a hard decision. Conduct to Con for Pro's forfeiture of the final round. Arguments to Con because of the forfeiture, but also because Con provided arguments that were not successfully refuted (some were not touched on) while rebutting all of his opponent's arguments. Sources also go to Con because as he pointed out Pro provided none while making some contestable claims.