Since 2017, the second foreign language has been a mandatory discipline, but despite the implementation of the educational reform, the initiative has not yet been fully implemented. Many schools have not yet joined the program of introducing a second foreign language due to the lack of qualified teachers.
Over the past few years, the management of educational institutions has independently decided whether to add a new discipline to the school curriculum or not. This practice continues today, and most likely, even by 2021-2022, not all schools will join the program. Still, when compared with previous years, the situation is improving, although not at a rapid pace.
Should I wait for changes?
The main opponents of innovations are parents of students. They are afraid that the additional discipline will increase the workload, and therefore the study will not be effective. The Ministry of education reassured parents that learning foreign languages will take place in stages: English – from the 1st grade, and Spanish, French, German or Chinese – from the 5th grade, and there will be only two lessons per week. An additional subject is required to be mastered only at the basic level. This means the following:
- it is important to master the basic rules of speech and grammatical norms;
- it is necessary to join the cultural values and traditions of the country;
- students should be able to Express their thoughts both orally and in writing, as well as find the necessary information in foreign mass media.
Since this program is designed for 5 years, the innovations will not affect those students who have moved to the 6th grade. In 2021-2022, the changes will affect first-graders: they will study English, and from the 5th grade – a second language from the mandatory category. Changes should be expected in the following years and fifth graders. The reform will bypass those students who will move to the 7th grade. And those who go to the 6th grade in 2020 are already covered by the new program.
The introduction of new language standards in the curriculum is difficult due to the lack of” free Windows ” in the schedule. If we take five-day training as a basis, then the employment of students in grades 5-9 should not exceed 33 academic hours. With a busy program, it is difficult to find extra study hours. A difficult situation is observed in regions where, in addition to American, they also study their native language, as well as several foreign languages.
What are the advantages of a second language?
Since the introduction of an additional foreign language in schools, the situation in many areas, including social and professional, has changed significantly. First, the number of jobs for teachers has increased. Secondly, the curriculum was developed with new manuals and manuals. The school curriculum was adjusted so that students did not experience additional stress. Despite some disadvantages of the educational reform, there are also advantages:
- The more languages a person knows, the more opportunities open up for them. You can find a job abroad, and if he decides to go on a trip, it will be easier to ask a question and generally communicate.
- Knowledge of English today will not surprise anyone, this phenomenon can be compared with the rule of good taste. Employers are already actively looking for specialists who know several foreign languages.
- Scientists have proven that learning a new language has a positive effect on the human psyche, as well as increases their self-esteem.
- Students who abandoned the old “bilingual program” have a better memory. In addition, they are more diligent and think more broadly, which in turn should have a positive impact on the study of other disciplines.
According to linguists, mastering the second and subsequent languages is much easier than the first, even if they belong to different groups and do not have anything similar to each other at all.
Which language should I choose?
If you study the statistics, English is the most popular foreign language in America. Since it is taught in almost all schools, anyone can say at least a few simple phrases or expressions in it. As for other subjects, many parents do not know which second language to prefer. Based on the popularity criterion, the second place is occupied by German.
The Ministry of education and science jointly with The Institute named after him. Goethe began to develop new school programs that aim to motivate students to learn German. French is next in the ranking, and the number of students (or parents?) who have chosen this subject is growing every year. Another popular discipline is Spanish. Although it is chosen by only 3% of students, it is predicted that over time it will “jump” German.
Today, the main problem is that schools simply do not have enough teachers who could teach a particular discipline.