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FOR EARLY LANGUAGES

FOR EARLY LANGUAGES

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Regarding Norman Jarrard's Aug. 24 letter opposing early foreign language teaching:

I taught French for a number of years in several schools in Greensboro. My work was at the elementary level. I myself had also been taught at an early age in the Cleveland Public Schools. I was stimulated by the early exposure, and went on to take a major in French and a minor in German.If children have an aptitude for language it can be found out at an early age. Otherwise, as in many other disciplines, their abilities might not ever be discovered.

Is Jarrard not ashamed of the fact that most educated Europeans have not one but several foreign languages?

I have just returned from Ireland where I learned that every student must study English-Irish as well as the ancient Gaelic. By age 12 they add one or two other languages to their repertoire.

The problem in America is that there are not enough competent teachers to go around. It means that we have to have a lot of new teachers in order to have a continuing program through all the grades. If this miracle could be accomplished then we will not have ``ineffective and useless foreign language learning,' as Jarrard put it. Betty Sink Aydelette Greensboro

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