Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

America’s Lacking Language Skills

“Budget cuts, low enrollments, and teacher shortages mean the country is falling behind the rest of the world.

Educators from across the country gathered in Washington, D.C., this past Thursday to lobby in the interest of world languages. It was Language Advocacy Day, an annual event on Capitol Hill that is aimed at garnering more federal support for language education.

As I sat in sessions and congressional conference rooms, I heard a persuasive urgency in these educators’ voices. Each year as national budget priorities are determined, language education is losing out—cuts have been made to funding for such instruction, including Title VI grants and the Foreign Language Assistance Program. And the number of language enrollments in higher education in the U.S. declined by more than 111,000 spots between 2009 and 2013—the first drop since 1995. Translation? Only 7 percent of college students in America are enrolled in a language course.

The Joint National Committee for Languages advocates for integrating language education with subjects ranging from engineering to political science—anything, really.

‘It’s not a nice-to-have,’ Rivers said. ‘Languages are a need-to-have.’ “

Read more @ http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/05/filling-americas-language-education-potholes/392876/

Languages do matter!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: