Why Teach Modern Foreign Languages?

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Why teach Modern Foreign Languages? The argument that this question entails is going to be reviewed from the level of importance and utility that learning a Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) has within the English Speaking Schools. Why teach Foreign Languages in Schools? What is the justification of the place of Modern Foreign Languages in secondary education? The philosophical argument derived from these questions will focus on explaining Utilitarian Rationales and applications of the specific values that MFL has in the Educational Enterprise within the population of Great Britain. During the 19th century Latin, Greek and Modern Languages had a type of self-evident intrinsic value, Foreign Languages were included in the school curriculum as it was considered that acquiring knowledge of and skill a foreign language would able the learner to gain access to the rich bank of uplifting and edifying literature (Keith Sharpe, 2001:19). At the end of the 19th and first part of the 20th century, one was expected to be able to read Moliere (French Author) or Goethe (German Author) to lay the notion of one being an educated man or woman with high cultural enrichment and a member of the educated classes (privileged elite). Reading ancient classics used to be regarded as an uplifting experience in its own right. It developed the mind and did not need to be justified with orientation to anything else. It was not until the 20th century that the instrumental justifications’ discussions started to appear and philosophers of education questioned the primary practical purpose of teaching Foreign Languages. Thereby Greek and Latin languages started to suffer decline as they could never lead to direct communication with native speakers. At that time French German Spanish and other European Languages were increasingly being taught in schools according to the widespread

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