(Source: http://www.change.org/ideas/view/obama_introduce_esperanto_as_a_foreign_language_subject_in_schools (Accessed 27-01-2010))


Obama, introduce Esperanto as a Second Language subject in schools.

In this time of global communications and encouragement of international diplomacy by the American government, implementing lessons on the international language, Esperanto, in American schools would be a grand gesture of goodwill towards the international community.

The obligation to learn English has been a weight on the lives of millions of people worldwide, because, although a very beautiful language, it is also very difficult. It takes a person an average of 7 years to learn English, and thousands of dollars in expensive English courses.

The idea that everybody speaks English is erroneous. Most people can't speak more than "Hello", "Good bye" and "thank you". If you travel, the only places where you can really converse in English are in hotels and tourist places. If you really want to learn about a culture while traveling, and meet the locals, English would be a very poor tool.

Esperanto was designed to be the international language and is on its way to becoming so. It is easy (one can learn it in 4 to 8 months, instead of 7 to 10 years as is the case with English). If Americans gave it a push, it would soon become the world's second language. (Russians would speak Russian and Esperanto, Americans would speak English and Esperanto, Brazilians would speak Portuguese and Esperanto, etc. This is the idea. Everybody being able to communicate easily with one another, without the need of translations, hand signs, etc. Esperanto already has a vast literature and millions of speakers world wide.

It is also NEUTRAL. It is not from any ONE country, but to ALL countries. Itís public domain. A bridge-language, for all to communicate with easy and equality of conditions (because everyone involved would have to learn it). No one country would hold the communication advantage of having learned it since birth.

In regards to advantages for americans: Esperanto helps kids learn other languages, and increases the childís capacity for logical thinking. This has been proven true in numerous studies since the 1920s. The learning of Esperanto improves the motivation of learners, and improves the grades in every other subject matter.

The first documented experiment was in England - Bishop Auckland, 1918-21; later studies: New Zealand (1924), New York (1931), Manchester (1948-'65), Sheffield (1951), Finland (1963), Hungary (1970), Germany (1980), 5 European countries (1990), Italy (1993) and Australia (2000). The 1931 work was by a team led by the eminent educational psychologist, Edward Thorndike of Columbia University. The plain facts are that young people enjoy learning Esperanto; they learn it up to 5 times more quickly than other languages and the skills learned are readily transferable."

The learning of Esperanto also increased the childís curiosity to learn about different cultures and different points of view. It makes them more tolerant human beings and gives them a grand opportunity to make good friends worldwide.

The implementation of Esperanto in American schools would make kids more tolerant people. And we certainly need more tolerance in this world.

Other links found when viewing comments on this page:

http://www.arionshome.com/esperanto/

http://www.esperantofriends.blogspot.com/

http://icxlm.org/indexa.htm


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