Why learn French?

Why learn French?

According to statistics, more than 1 million Americans speak French, making it the fourth most common language in the U.S. "Spanish and French are the most popular languages to teach children. In both cases, there is an element of 'teach what you know,' and since so many parents have been exposed (as native speakers or through school programs) to French and Spanish, these are the languages they can more easily pass along to their children," Bova says. College degrees in the language are becoming more common. "If one wants a language for international business, politics, or travel, French is best," says Pablo Solomon (pablosolomon.com), a former teacher, counselor, and consultant to the U.S. Department of Education. "French is also the language of choice in the arts." According to the 2012 Tourism Highlights publication from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), France is ranked No. 1 on the international tourist list. (China is No. 3, Spain is No. 4, Italy is No. 5.) And with more people traveling abroad, "they may have a goal of traveling to a French-speaking country where the language can be reinforced for the child," Lancry points out.

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