Tim Holt recently wrote this opinion piece for El Paso Herald Post.
He wrote about various automatic language translation services that are available today.
He concluded with:
You can see where this is heading. It is pretty clear that in a few years, the need for conversational foreign language as course of study will no longer be needed. No more conjugating Spanish verbs. No longer trying to understand where the umlaut goes in German. There will be no need, except for those that wish to pursue a college career in languages. But even there, the question I would ask is “why?” Duolingo and Rosetta Stone better rethink their business model.
Losing foreign languages as a course in school may or may not be a good thing, as foreign languages also teach about cultures as well. On the other hand, the vast majority of people on the planet will be able to carry on meaningful conversations with each other without having to actually learn the language of the person they are conversing with, and in the process will learn about those cultures as part of the conversation.
This makes me wonder about the language programs at our local schools. It should not be long before people will be able to carry a device that will translate between languages and thus only need to be fluent in one language.
Please remember that Mr. Holt does not run the school district that he works for.
I applaud him for publishing the article.
We deserve better