The Instigator
sardar
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Grape
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

The foreign language options in High Schools should not include French

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Grape
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/6/2010 Category: Education
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,821 times Debate No: 12268
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

sardar

Pro

French is no longer a "second language" to most nations and definitely not in the United States. There are so many more useful languages to teach students, French is just a waste of education money going to the teachers.
Grape

Con

Introduction: Thanks to my opponent for offering this interesting debate on the subject of education. I think his position reflects a misguided perspective on the purpose of education as a whole. I am going to assume we are talking about high schools in the United States.

Let me first address the claims made by my opponent in the first round:

"French is no longer a "second language" to most nations and definitely not in the United States."

French never was a "second language" in the United States. However, it is the official language of 29 countries. In any case, I do not believe that this effects whether or not it should be offered.

"There are so many more useful languages to teach students, French is just a waste of education money going to the teachers."

Care to name some more usefully languages to teach students? I'm sure there are many, but I doubt there are so many that teaching French no longer a viable option. Certainly Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese, and Japanese are all good options, but there are only 5 of these and most high school students probably do not have the commitment to learn Chinese or Japanese. Also, every high school that I have encountered has been extremely inept with spending and budgeting and firing French teachers to save money would be very far down on the list of good cost-saving ideas.

Now a few points of my own:

C1: Schools should seek to offer as many languages as possible. Cornell University is considered one of the best universities in the United States and it offers 52 languages. Harvard University offers more than 80 languages. The reason for this is simply: offering more languages increases the education options and opportunities for students. These universities offer as many languages as it is reasonable to do within their resources and high schools should do the same. Of course, it is not possible for high schools to offer 80 languages, but they should offer as many as possible. As I said before, I doubt French would be very far down the list of languages to pick.

C2: The purpose of using a language is not necessarily to speak it. The experience of learning the language is often far more important. While learning French, students improve their ability to understand grammatical concepts, vocalize unfamiliar sounds, and memorize new terms and ideas. This is beneficial to their education overall.
Debate Round No. 1
sardar

Pro

It is very useless to learn French as there are very few native speakers in the US. There actually are dedicated people wanting to learn Mandarin, the worlds most spoken language. French is no where at the top of the list. Learning Mandarin, Arabic, Persian, Urdu are far more useful. As you may know there are no oppurtunities for jobs in France. In China there is a huge job market. In Dubai there are many opportunities. The tech industry is in demand for Indian workers. Dari and Pashto is needed for translating jobs in Afghanistan which are in demand and pay well over $150k the first year just for knowing a language. French is useless.
Grape

Con

Rebuttal: I do not deny that there are people who would learn Mandarin, Arabic, Persian, or Urdu. However, the number of students that would sign up to take these languages is extremely small compared to French, which is much easier for English speakers to learn. The large majority of students take Spanish because it is considered very easy to learn and is the second most commonly spoken language in the United States.

In any case, as I said before students are not taught a language with the intent that they will later use it in their day-to-day lives. The number of aspiring Arab-English translators is rather small and they will probably pursue higher education (nearly all large universities offer some if not all of the languages you mentioned).

The purpose of learning a language is not to communicate with native speakers, nor is it to get a job communicating with native speakers. It s for the educational experience of learning a language. As such, as many languages as possible should be offered to increase students' opportunities. Given limited resources, French should remain on the list because of its popularity and the fact that it is considered slightly challenging but not too difficult. Mandarin, Arabic, Persian, and Urdu are comparatively less popular and require a higher caliber student for equal results, so they would be preferred less than French. However, if possible all of these languages should be offered.
Debate Round No. 2
sardar

Pro

sardar forfeited this round.
Grape

Con

All arguments extended.
Debate Round No. 3
sardar

Pro

sardar forfeited this round.
Grape

Con

All arguments extended.
Debate Round No. 4
sardar

Pro

sardar forfeited this round.
Grape

Con

All arguments extended. My opponent never posted any counterarguments to the majority of my claims and never addressed my rebuttals, due to the repeated forfeits.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
French is fairly common in the United States near the border with Quebec. I once rented a light plane in upstate New York and discovered that a lot of the pilot chatter on the radio was in French. Mon dieu! Fortunately, air traffic control always speaks English.

Of course, even if the language is uncommon in the US, that is no reason in should not be taught. A better resolution would be "In the US, Mandarin instruction should be more common than French."
Posted by sardar 6 years ago
sardar
Viva Sag Pedar
Posted by Sonofkong 6 years ago
Sonofkong
Viva le francais!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Valtarov 6 years ago
Valtarov
sardarGrapeTied
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Vote Placed by Grape 6 years ago
Grape
sardarGrapeTied
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Total points awarded:04