Timing is crucial Another important consideration is the age at which students begin to study a foreign language. The following are just a few of the most timely and relevant examples. A recent study found that only 25% of Americans are fluent in a foreign language. Kathleen Stein-Smith, PhD, associate university librarian and adjunct faculty at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, is the author of The U. For decades, leaders in government, education, and business have confirmed the need for the development of foreign language skills in order for Americans not only to be secure and competitive, but also to live richer, more fulfilling lives. Brain scientists say that in order to speak a language as well as a native speaker, children must begin to study the language by age 10. She examines the next steps needed to develop specific career pathways that will meet the current and future needs of government, business, and industry, and empower foreign language learners through curriculum and career preparation.
Challenges to the development of foreign language skills among English-speaking Americans include the sense that English is the global lingua franca. Many Americans would even have to travel a significant distance to experience a large community of foreign-language speakers within the U. Stein-Smith argues that once you remove the first generation immigrant population from those numbers you are left with an extremely negligible number of ci. As Senator Paul Simon wrote in 1980 in The Tongue-Tied American, we can either be tongue-tied or fluent. Challenges to the development of foreign language skills among English-speaking Americans include the sense that English is the global lingua franca. A strategic social marketing campaign is needed, and in order for the campaign to be effective, the Language Enterprise, defined as the partnership of academe, government, and private enterprise, must play an active role.
He has also published several books and articles on philanthropy, higher education, heritage languages, cinema, and the arts. Lack of a language policy in the U. Also Spanish would be the first language we would be forced to learn most likely because its the most important today. Kirsten Tripodi, Fairleigh Dickinson University Dr. Researchers at the Modern Language Association recently found that colleges lost 651 foreign language programs from 2013 to 2016 — dramatically more than the one foreign language programs that higher education lost between 2009 and 2013. Stein-Smith has argued persuasively that in an increasingly global world, this language deficit challenges our ability to protect our national security, ensure our economic prosperity, and foster our social integration…in a vastly complex global world, which is more and more based on a knowledge economy, the ability to communicate effectively around the globe is more essential than ever.
Fabrice Jaumont holds a Ph. Researchers at the Modern Language Association recently found that colleges from 2013 to 2016 — dramatically more than the one foreign language programs that higher education lost between 2009 and 2013. Stein-Smith exposes how individuals are disadvantaged through their inability to effectively navigate the global workplace and multicultural communities, how their career options are limited by the foreign language deficit, and even how their ability to enjoy travel abroad and cultural pursuits is diminished. I think the problem is going to be spreading foreign language classes to schools. In a globalizing world America needs to be competitive by teaching foreign languages to its populace.
In addition, lack of foreign language skills may make many Americans less competitive in the global workplace, and on a personal level, prevent us from enjoying travel, literature, music, etc. At the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, for instance, officials announced plans to eliminate 13 majors — including French, German and Spanish — as part of an effort to cut costs. Outside of a traditional school setting, challenges exist, as learning another language requires time and energy, both of which are typically in relatively short supply to adults. In many parts of the world, multiple languages co-exist, or travel to an area where another language is the predominant or official language is a matter of a short trip. The report cites showing that 44 states and Washington, D.
Schools have lots of programs they need to spend money on, but they can only afford so many and foreign language isn't a priority, but it should be. As has already been mentioned, at the college level, only 8% of students are enrolled in a foreign language course, and this relatively small enrollment is heavily concentrated in elementary levels and in the Spanish language. For decades, leaders in government, education, and business have confirmed the need for the development of foreign language skills in order for Americans not only to be secure and competitive, but also to live richer, more fulfilling lives. Americans are among the least likely in the world to speak another language, and this lack of foreign language skills has a negative impact on the economic and national security of the U. Today most countries speak English because it is such a global language and I think that is a part of the reason why we don't have it and also we need to spend money on the four major subjects in school so we can try and help ourselves. The Gift of Languages helps us prepare and understand the necessary paradigm shift to adopt and implement a multilingual curriculum and mindset in our schools and communities.
Government can support language learning through policy and law, which tend to lead to consistent funding for language initiatives at all levels. The report cites federal statistics showing that 44 states and Washington, D. Scarce in schools Part of the problem I see is that so few students in the United States — just — study a foreign language at the K-12 level. People who speak another language , have access to a , and can more fully in other cultures or converse with people from diverse backgrounds. Lack of a language policy in the U. It could be due to the fact that more colleges have foreign language requirements. Even if an American has the desire to learn another language, challenges remain.
And those figures are lower than the 75 percent and 31 percent, respectively, that they were in 1997. Perhaps the most subtle and insidious challenge is a pervasive lack of interest in other languages and cultures among many Americans, as this interest, or intrinsic motivation, is the most effective driver of successful foreign language learning. Research has shown that immersion students in Canada than non-immersion students. On a personal level, we can choose to learn new languages and encourage our friends and family members to do so as well. It could be due to the fact that more colleges have dropped foreign language requirements. We can join groups to advocate for foreign languages, or even run for local office.