This blog post is the next in a series written by Marlin Detweiler to explain the Veritas Approach to subjects in your child's Classical education. We invite you to read the entire series as we publish it each week on our blog in the coming months. If after reading the post you find you have any questions, please contact our service department for more information.
The old joke asks, “What do you call someone who speaks three languages?” Trilingual. “Someone who speaks two?” Bilingual. “And what do you call someone who speaks only one?” American.
The joke works because it pokes fun at a deficiency in American education. Many believe there’s no use, no benefit, to learning more languages than one—English. Veritas aims to dispel that notion and retire the crack’s humor. Those who receive a Veritas education will never be the butt of that joke.
Students study a modern foreign language (MFL) for different reasons.
All these reasons are valid; all have their place.
The world’s home to about 7,000 languages. Like any education that teaches modern foreign languages, Veritas has to be selective. We currently offer courses in four key languages: Spanish, French, German, and Mandarin.
Each has a rich history. Each will be useful for years to come. German, French, and Spanish are “founding languages” of the modern West. Mandarin hails from China, and about a billion call it their native tongue.
Regardless of why someone learns an MFL, doing so enriches both the student and the world. Learning another people’s language is learning something about them. And learning about them can lead to better communication and greater understanding.
We recommend students study MFLs after they’ve had Latin and, hopefully, some Greek. Consequently, most Veritas students are taking MFLs in their high school years.
Veritas wants to equip students to exchange ideas with others. When we can communicate in another’s language, we’ve removed a barrier to understanding. If we can do that, we may be able to make the world a little more peaceful place. And that aim is nothing to laugh at.
Learn more about the course options for Modern Languages!
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