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Clayton Lewis on Why Learning a Foreign Language Matters

Feb 23, 2012


Clayton Lewis, Head of School at Washington International School, was a featured respondent in The New York Times Room for Debate” blog, where he sought to refute former Harvard president and former secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summer’s suggestion that it was not essential for English-speaking students to learn another language. Lewis argues that learning a different language is essential for understanding that culture—and for having a broader perspective more generally. Furthermore, Lewis concludes, learning other languages helps to counter the notion that Americans are merely cultural imperialists.