Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Securing America’s Future: Global Education for a Global Age

Securing America’s Future: Global Education for a Global Age

“In the most prosperous nation on the planet, with the most extensive system of higher education, we are notoriously inept at imparting languages to our youth.

We desperately need to understand other countries and other cultures—friend and foe alike. We are unnecessarily putting ourselves at risk because of our stubborn monolingualism and ignorance of the world.

Most colleges—like our educational system generally—have taken relatively few steps to remedy this shortcoming. It is the rare campus where anyone other than a language major is required to achieve proficiency in a second language—and the ranks of language majors are dwindling. Beginner’s language courses may be crowded, but enrollments beyond that are sparse. Is it any wonder that the U.S. State Department and our intelligence and security agencies are chronically short of analysts and diplomats with critical language skills?”

Languages do matter!

 

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