While promoting my new book, I’ve repeatedly argued that foreign language requirements in U.S. schools are absurd and should be abolished. For two distinct reasons.
Reason #1: Americans almost never use their knowledge of foreign languages (unless they speak it in the home).
Reason #2: Americans almost never learn to speak a foreign language very well in school, even though a two- or even three-year high school requirement is standard.
This double whammy is easily generalized. If studying X for years yields minimal knowledge, and you wouldn’t use X even if you knew it, you could defend X as an elective. But how could anyone defend X as a requirement?
Yet plenty of people I’ve met can and do stand by such requirements. Indeed, they think I’m the crazy one.