We live in a multi-cultural world. Daily our children, as they journey into adulthood, will come into contact with people from different countries and cultures. Having a basic understanding of how those people speak and their customs will help them to reach a better level of understanding.
Earlier this week I was in a supermarket purchasing needed supplies. A woman and her children were trying to find some items and having difficulty because of the language barrier. They were visiting in our country and almost overwhelmed with the amount of grocery options available to them. After much gesturing and laughter I guided them to the milk section and they grabbed a gallon of milk. Before leaving me the mother quickly hugged me and said something to me that I hope was Thank-you. How much easier this would have been if I could have spoken even the beginning phrases of their language!
It is not unusual for me to come into contact with people who speak limited english. Their native tongue is most often Spanish. Misunderstandings occur because of the lack of ability to communicate effectively! I do not want our children to experience the same difficulty. Most cultures speak either english or one of the latin based languages. With a grounding in one of the romance launguages the other ones of the european countries are easier to learn and reading becomes possible. Spanish is a fun one to learn and can be done on the computer. Italian is another possibility.
There is a growing need for learning sign language. Think of how much fun you can have communicating with family members and not letting anyone else know what you are saying! By learning sign language your students can talk to scientist from many cultures. Expand your homeschool children's ability to communicate with others! Have some fun.