May 21, 2010, Newsletter Issue #81: Why Learn a Foreign Language?

Tip of the Week

Studies have shown that children who learn a foreign language develop stronger academic and intellectual skills in other subject areas. For example, one researcher found that students who had taken a foreign language in high school had a significantly higher grade point average in all high school subjects as well as in freshman English courses in college. Even "dead" languages such as Latin seem to have a positive impact. Novelist John Updike attributes the overall decline in the quality of writing over the last few decades to the disappearance of Latin from the general curriculum. As he put it, "In some curious way, the study of this dead and intricate language enabled writers to write a beautiful, clear idiomatic English."

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