Speaking, Reading and Writing
Just living in our society requires the understanding of English. Your children will excel in life if they understand how to properly speak, read and write. Fredrick Douglass, an American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman who escaped from slavery, and became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing (see more on www.wikipedia.com), said, "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free." This is true. Command of language is central in all subjects as it is the primary way we communicate. Writing has always been important and with the information revolution it has become even more so. We use writing constantly as we communicate socially and in business. There are many resources for teaching your children English and we have listed a few books which could help.
Foreign Languages and Cultures
Both Lee and I are from multi-cultural families. Lee's mother was born in Finland and English is her second language. My family history is partly Greek and my Greek relatives are fantastic. Learning another language not only expands a child's mind but allows them to experience a different culture with all the rich history, literature, knowledge and understanding associated with that culture. When we grow up in a society we learn all the cultural aspects of that society and think of that as the way life is. When you get the opportunity to travel and meet people from different parts of the world you find that the ideas you have grown up with are not always the same as the ideas others have and there are great aspects of all cultures and as we apply the best into our lives, our experience in life becomes richer and deeper. For example, in the United States we are raised with the culture that everyone is equal and that everyone has the opportunity to succeed and be anything they want. This is "the American Dream." It is a great principle and the English language backs it up. We all speak as equals. In many parts of Asia, the culture teaches a deep respect for the elderly, the Korean language itself uses a different form of speech if you are addressing someone older than you than if you are addressing someone of your same age or younger. It is built into the people of Korea to respect people that are older than you and to honor them. This is a great principle that is part of their culture. Taking the best of the American culture and combining it with the best of the Korean culture gives a greater depth than if we soley focus on our own. Language arts help in life.