• Roseville, Calif.

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Regarding the July 3 Kyodo article “Japanese ‘critical’ in U.S. language scheme“: If we in the United States want to start promoting Japanese — or any other language — we should start by encouraging a variety of languages in our public schools. As a teacher credentialed in Japanese, my students always clamor madly to be able to learn it — scores of them. You don’t see that kind of devotion in most subjects.

Yet they are denied by unimaginative administrators and tired bureaucrats. The response of my first principal was that since there wasn’t a standardized test for Japanese, he didn’t want to “waste the time.” A second principal let me offer a class if I supplied my own materials. I did, and now we have students transferring to our school just to take the class.

I desperately hope that we don’t continue to leave our students in an intellectual drought to the detriment of, among other things, national security.

jeff takada

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