Ed. Note: A July 16, 2017 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal maintained that “fluency in coding is a more useful skill than French, Spanish or Russian.” Steve disagrees! Here is his letter to the editor that was published in the July 25th print edition of the Journal.
The world is not headed toward one language. The fact that we see signs in English around the world doesn’t mean the Japanese or Chinese or Egyptians are abandoning their native languages. Rather, they are learning English and becoming bilingual. The U.S., on the other hand, is in danger of becoming the largest pot of monoglots in the world, and our citizens risk losing out on the many benefits that bilingualism brings.
In the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings of international education, virtually all of the many countries ranking above the U.S. raise their children bilingually. Those countries ahead of us in the PISA rankings use languages to learn subjects like history and math. Some smart U.S. states are starting to do that too, notably Utah.
Delray Beach, Fla.