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Columbia Missourian

TELL US: What is the value of children learning foreign languages early?

By Anlan Li, Joy Mayer
April 6, 2012 | 11:14 a.m. CDT

Census figures show that the percentage of Americans living in homes where languages other than English are spoken is on the rise. The country is becoming increasingly diverse, and it stands to reason that future generations will be exposed to more languages than those who came before us. (And research has shown that being bilingual is good for the brain.)

At the same time, the percentage of elementary and middle schools that offer foreign language courses has fallen significantly since 1997, according to a Missourian article from last year. In a country that is gaining diversity, some parents are responding by taking their own steps to expose children to foreign languages. For some people, that might mean checking out books in Spanish from the library. For others, it could mean enrolling their students in Columbia's schools that specialize in French and Chinese teaching.

We would like to hear from you about your experiences with and feelings about early childhood foreign language learning.

What is the value of children learning foreign languages early?

This project is part of the Missourian's partnership with the Public Insight Network. Learn more here.