To the editor: Monsieur Crees, Merci!  Your column on Jan. 18, “Pardon My French,” was magnifique! Heaven help us if Mr. Gingrich hears about the new graduation requirement in Michigan for students to have two years of a world language or show proficiency through testing. Preparing our students for life, and careers in a global economy is the goal. I appreciated your information on the many bilingual people in US history and shared this with my French students. We have a unit of study later in the year that covers career possibilities with a knowlege of French. I have my students become aware of the U.S. connection to France that exists historically and currently. I would like to highlight a few of the many reasons studying French can provide numerous career opportunities: French is spoken in 55 countries by over 200 million people; French is the official language of the United Nations, NATO, UNESCO, the International Olympic Committee, the European Union, and the International Red Cross; French is the second most commonly taught language in the world after English; French and English are considered the only two global languages; France is the second leading investor in the USA; over 2800 French companies have subsidaries that generate approximately 500,000 jobs in the USA (Zenith, Bic, Mack Trucks, and Dannon to name a few); 2,400 U.S. companies are in France creating 650,000 jobs (IBM, Microsoft, Mattel, Dow Chemical SaraLee, Ford, and AT&T for example). These are but a few. Thank you once again for reinforcing the importance of knowing a second language.

Maggie Keating

Big Rapids