Why Language Immersion » Which Language to Choose?

Which Language to Choose?

Only 9% of Americans can speak their native language plus another language fluently, as opposed to 53% of Europeans.  The large, growing deficiency in world languages and cultures compromises American security and business interests at home and abroad.  The careers in which knowledge of a second world language is an asset or a requirement is extensive and includes Communications, Business, U.S. Government (Military and the State Department), Travel & Tourism, Education, Medicine, and Social Services.

Ultimately, the decision on which language to choose is a very personal one and should be met with a good deal of forethought.  Whatever language you choose for your child, you should be prepared to support them in this long term commitment of becoming bilingual.
 
German (Colorado Springs Campus)
German is the most widely spoken language in Europe. More people speak German as their native language than any other language in Europe. Germany's 83 million inhabitants make it the most populous European nation. Not only the residents of Germany speak German, it is also an official language of Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein. And it is the native language of a significant portion of the population in northern Italy, eastern Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, eastern France, parts of Poland, the Czech Republic, Russia, and Romania, as well as in other parts of Europe. Learning German can connect student to 120 million native speakers around the globe and many people also learn German as a second language. It is the 3rd most popular foreign language taught worldwide and the second most popular in Europe and Japan, after English.

Russian (Northglenn Campus)
Russian is spoke by 150 million people as their primary language and another 120 million as their second language.   It is considered to be the 4th most influential language in the world (Weber, 1977) and is spoken is 16 countries as a primary or secondary language.  Russian is an official united Nations language.  To promote worldwide interest, Russia decreed 2007 as "The Year of the Russian Language."  Russian has been designated a critical language by the U.S. government.

French (Aurora, Douglas County & Fort Collins Campuses)
French is ranked seventh worldwide based on the number of speakers, but it ranks second based on influence. French is spoken by 75 million people as a first language and another 190 million people as a second language.  French is spoken in 53 countries.  In 26 of those countries it is the official or co-official language.  While French offers a European cultural grounding as well as a connection with French-speaking Canada, it is also important to note that there are 19 French-speaking countries in Africa and 5 in the Caribbean.

Mandarin Chinese (Aurora, Colorado Springs, Douglas County, Fort Collins & Northglenn Campuses)
Global Village Academy teaches standard Chinese (pu tong hua) using simplified characters (han zi).  Chinese is spoken by 1.1 billion people as their primary language, and another 20 million as their second language.  It is the #1 language int he world based on the number of speakers and is spoken in five countries.  Chinese currently ranks 6th in influence, but its influence is expected to increase dramatically, both economically and politically.  Chinese has been designated a critical language by the U.S government.  Chinese is an official language of the United Nations.

Spanish (Aurora, Colorado Springs, Douglas County, Fort Collins & Northglenn Campuses)
Spanish is spoken by 417 million people worldwide, including 28 million in the United States, making the US 5th worldwide in terms of the number of Spanish speakers. Spanish is the most studied language in the United States with over 4 million high school students and 750,000 college students learning Spanish. It is the official language of 22 countries, most notably in Mexico and Latin America. With close to 106 million first-langauge speakers, Mexico has the largest populations of Spanish speakers int he world. Spanish is an official working language of both the United Nations and the European union.