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Cultural Education in the United States

May 10, 2018









In recent years, foreign language programs have disappeared from American schools at
unprecedented rates. Globally-focused classes are of fundamental importance to
students of every age, and their removal is a disservice to the United States as a whole.
Restoring cultural enrichment programs faces several obstacles. Increased emphasis
on standardized testing causes schools to cut “unnecessary” programs from the
curriculum because they do not appear on the exam. This intense focus on scores
causes students to see cultural learning as a means to an end rather than an enriching
experience in its own right. Many students never develop a passion for cultural learning
due to simple lack of exposure. Furthermore, fundamental misunderstandings about the
acquisition process discourage potential learners who don’t think they can learn a new
language. All these environmental factors contribute to a society that, despite its
diversity, tolerates and even promotes cultural homogenization. In this way, the United
States sets itself up for failure because it disregards what could be considered its
greatest asset. The linguistic diversity that gives America life is both underappreciated
and underused, but unlocking its potential could generate significant ripple effects in the
United States and beyond.





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