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Thread: First Choice of Second Language

  1. #21
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    Re: Second language

    In Slovenia teaching English begins in kindergarten, and is obligatory in all
    grades of school.

  2. #22
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    First Choice of Second Language

    Moderator note: Two threads on the same subject were merged.


    In the UK, choosing a second language to learn is a bit hit and miss. Back in my school days we had to learn some Welsh but without having Welsh speakers in the family it is truly difficult.

    Next came high school and everyone did French for while.

    I wonder why Spanish wasn't more available as it is so widely spoken. In the UK we tend to think that choosing English as a second language is an easy decsion because it is spoken all over the world.
    Last edited by Mate; 4th December 2008 at 1:23 PM.

  3. #23
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    Re: First Choice of Second Language

    In Uzbekistan they taught us (aside from russian) uzbek and english as second language. In Canada the 2nd language was french.

  4. #24
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    Re: First Choice of Second Language

    In Spain, we do not have to choose one but two second languages. Usually English and French. But when i was little only one language was mandatory. Besides some areas has two oficial languages and clindren have to take both.

  5. #25
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    Re: First Choice of Second Language

    In the United States:
    The south (particularly in and around California and Texas) starts Spanish in middle school (ages 11-14)
    Northern states tend to learn French in high school (ages 14-19).
    Those of us in the middle have a much larger selection. Most pick Spanish, but French is available in most high schools. German is available in a lot of schools as well.

  6. #26
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    Re: First Choice of Second Language

    Quote Originally Posted by Earth Dragon View Post
    In the United States:
    The south (particularly in and around California and Texas) starts Spanish in middle school (ages 11-14)
    Northern states tend to learn French in high school (ages 14-19).
    Those of us in the middle have a much larger selection. Most pick Spanish, but French is available in most high schools. German is available in a lot of schools as well.
    I went to school in a middle state (Colorado) so we had Spanish, French and German. I had just assumed that all states had at least those 3. Is Spanish really not a common language to teach in the northern states? That seems odd. Although native Spanish speakers aren't extremely common in those states (or at least not as common as in the Southwest), it still seems like they'd be much more common than native French speakers.

  7. #27
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    Re: First Choice of Second Language

    Unless one considers that Canada is right there, and there's a lot of francophones around…

    D
    ¿88 relatos descarriados? Un leve desliz…

  8. #28
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    Re: Second language

    Quote Originally Posted by Lourdes Luna View Post

    In México the goverment schools only teach basic english, if you want that your children learn a good english you have to pay for a private school but private schools are expensives and many people can't afford to pay them.
    Lulú you are right in your state that private schools in Mexico are so expensive, even I have to say English schools are the most cheaper in comparision with French, japanese or german schools.

    But I have to say I dont agree with the state, public schools are only basic, It's true the english given as a subject in secondary and high school is really basic, but we have some public schools where obly languages are taught; and They're really good, I'm talking about the Languages Centers which are part of the UNAM and IPN; We have to rememeber the UNAM is one of the best universities in the world and the first in Hispanoamerica; so believe me languages taught there are really good level.

    And extremly cheap!!!!
    Friends are difficult to find so if you have them, take care of them, and the most important ¡Love them!

  9. #29
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    Re: Second language

    Quote Originally Posted by Annwn View Post
    In Sweden there are 5 minority languages considered by the government as "second" laguage, but neither of them are taught in school as mandatory subjects, unless the student so requires. These are Meänkieli(also called Tornedalfinska), Finnish, Yiddish, Romani and Sami languages, spoken in the far north of the Scandinavian peninsula.

    But I guess everybody, when in school, picks English as second language, even if later on, when you´re older (13-17) you can choose to learn Spanish, German, Italian or French.
    I don't think there's even a choice for 2nd language. It's English, which is required for University studies. In the 60's, the compulsory sequence was English - German - French, addding Latin and/or Greek for one stream and possibly just adding Spanish for others.

    On 3rd language, German now has declined and French seems to be more en vogue. Some schools usefully offer Chinese. Any language when asked for by x pupils and where teachers are available will do.

  10. #30
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    Re: First Choice of Second Language

    Well, it is sort of understandable that English is the most studied language in most countries since it has become the new lingua franca of the modern world. In the future this title might go to Chinese, Spanish or even Arabic. In Slovenia, English and Serbo-Croatian are the most widely spoken foreign languages, followed by German and Italian. Among other languages Spanish is becoming increasingly popular and French is also gaining in popularity again.

  11. #31
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    Re: First Choice of Second Language

    In the UK it is no longer compulsory to study a second language after the age of 14 (what we call year 9). Given that we only start studying a second language at the age of 12, this means our foreign language skills are not the best. Typically the second language studied is French, although in schools in Wales it's commonly Welsh. Most schools also offer German or Spanish as a third language.
    Nimm den Ring vom Finger denn ich will den Ring zurück!

  12. #32
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    Re: First Choice of Second Language

    In my high school, we had a choice between Spanish, French and German, but you weren't required to take a second language at all. I took Spanish from 7th-12th grade and French from 9th-12th, but I never really liked French class due to my teacher. It is probably required now. I know that a lot of schools are starting Spanish classes early now, which is a good idea. I am in the Northeast and there are tons of Spanish speaking people around here, not just in the south.

  13. #33
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    Re: First Choice of Second Language

    Here in New York most larger public high schools offer French and Spanish and the students get to choose. Sometimes Chinese and German are available as well.

    Mi amiga chapina estudió en una escuela alemana y ahí aprendió alemán, pero no creo que sea muy común en Guatemala. Más bien había mucha gente que hablaba inglés, o un dialecto, como segundo idioma.
    Resulta más peligroso cuando creemos que hablamos el mismo idioma - y no lo hacemos. -----Jacobo Schifter Sikora

  14. #34
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    Re: First Choice of Second Language

    Quote Originally Posted by sifueratica View Post
    Here in New York most larger public high schools offer French and Spanish and the students get to choose. Sometimes Chinese and German are available as well.

    Mi amiga chapina estudió en una escuela alemana y ahí aprendió alemán, pero no creo que sea muy común en Guatemala. Más bien había mucha gente que hablaba inglés, o un dialecto, como segundo idioma.
    It's like Span_glish said above:

    Quote Originally Posted by Span_glish View Post
    Although Spanish is the official language in Guatemala, 23 distinct Mayan languages are spoken and for many Spanish is a second language, but this is in the rural area.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayan_language
    The second language is English, some private schools offer a third one such as German and Italian, not so much French.
    These private schools are often far more expensive than the "regular" private schools, not to speak of public schools. Most people will choose English as a second language (or third in the case of the mayan languages speakers), due to the influence of the US in the region.

    Regards.
    "Quando si svegliò, il dinosauro era ancora lì". - Il Dinosauro, Augusto Monterroso.

  15. #35
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    Re: First Choice of Second Language

    In Poland the first foreign language in schools is practically English.
    In the past Russian was obligatory same in Poland like in other socialistic countries around. So now, very many Poles still can use Russian.
    Teaching second language starts in Poland in age 4-5 in kindergardens, paying by parents. So taht is a kind of privet lessons, but usually everybody pays for it. Than, in the school, since 7 years old childern have to learn English. There are some other possibilities, but if a child learn another language than English is like a third. English is usually what the majority kids start learning in the elementary school. Very many people learn German, French, Spanish, Italian and other European languages.
    The interesting thing is, that many teenagers learn Japanes, Chineese, Koraen and other Asiatic languages what 10 or 15 years ago was quait impossible.


  16. #36
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    Re: First Choice of Second Language

    In Serbia, some 70-80% of primary and high school students study English as the foreign language, some 15-20% study Russian, 10-15% French and 5-10% study German. I heard that now Italian can be chosen too.

    This is different than the situation from some 10 years ago when 60% of students studied English, 25% Russian, 10-15% French and less that 5% German, and far different than the situation from some 40 years ago when more than 60% studied Russian, 20% English, 15% French and just above 10% studied English.

  17. #37
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    Re: First Choice of Second Language

    In America, there are many Spanish-speaking people (especially where I live, in North Carolina), so all high-schools teach Spanish and nearly everyone takes it. NOOOOWWWW, that is NOT to say everyone can speak it. Oh, no. I'm in Honors Spanish 3 and I'm one of the few people who are decent at the language. You should HEAR the stupid things people say! Oy...

    I go to a small-ish private school, so we can only afford to offer 1 language right now, but most public schools offer French and Spanish, and I've heard German offered, too.

  18. #38
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    Re: First Choice of Second Language

    I've not heard of a public high school in America that does not offer Spanish. That said, I've also not heard of anyone learning a language at a proficient level relying solely on what they've learned in school.

    In my county, the requirement to graduate is to have taken two years of the same foreign language--obviously there is not a huge stress on the ability to speak foreign languages. Most people take Spanish. We also offer French, German, and Latin, but they don't compare to the number of students in Spanish. Personally, I take French and German, though I don't really learn much in either, and most of what I know in both (especially German--I haven't really learned any German from school at all, and it's coincidentally my best foreign language), I learned at home in my own independent studies. A huge number of people quit taking language courses after that second year, so the first two years really were a joke. They have a very low, if any, level of proficiency in the language they "studied".

    @ Danielfranco: That's very interesting that each state picks the official language! Thanks for posting that. I thought I had heard something a few months ago about a Texas vote about making Spanish an official language, or something, and it kind of confused me.

    In the North East, I would say French is more prevalent than Spanish due to the close proximity of Québec. I know a few people from Maine and they know much more French than Spanish.
    Surely you mean "I, Monkey's Uncle"? - Loob xD

  19. #39
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    Re: First Choice of Second Language

    In the Republic of Ireland, the final set of school exams taken at the age of 17 or 18 is called the Leaving Certificate. To enter university, you are expected to have passed exams in English & Irish (usually, English as a first language, and Irish taught as a second language), as well as one modern European language.

    There are about 60,000 students every year taking these exams, of which about 50,000 take French, 15,000 take German and a few thousand take Spanish. That said, Spanish is growing very quickly.

    When I took the Intermediate Certificate (public exams taken at age 15), I was one of only 4 people in the country who took the Italian exam that year... (!)

  20. #40
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    Re: First Choice of Second Language

    In Sweden you have to learn english at the age of 10, at the age of 13 choose between french, german and spanish, and at the age of 16 you normally can choose to study russian and italian also.

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