Q: How does learning a world language in elementary school prepare students to become global citizens?
A: “It’s a great way for them to learn about other cultures, learn about other people,” says Michelle Waltz, Lake Ridge Academy Spanish teacher. “Especially for younger kids — it’s hard for them to imagine things are different than their own lives. In our French classes, each chapter is kind of centered on a different French-speaking country, and so they bring in a lot of culture throughout the chapter based on that country. We’ll have little cultural snapshots and things like that in our Spanish curriculum. A lot of times students don’t look outside the bubble of their own world. It’s really important, especially nowadays, just to realize that people are different. People have different cultures and different thoughts, and that’s OK.”