Excuse me, Robert Burton (Readers' Forum, Oct. 22), but I did not spend 20 years teaching "foreign culture appreciation." Outside of visiting the country itself, there aren't many opportunities for anyone to actually speak another language, but by the end of their first year, my foreign language students (now called world language) could carry on a basic conversation with anyone they met. I spoke Spanish to them from the first day of school and expected them to answer me in Spanish. Over the course of the year, they learned to talk about weather, clothes, holidays, families, foods, time, activities, work and school.
American public high schools do really teach foreign languages.