Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Why Foreign Language Education Matters

“Our companies lose international contracts to competitors, our scientists miss important collaborations, international assistance organizations fail to understand local customs critical to advancing America’s interests, and average Americans are deprived of a cultural enrichment in their lives.

Our national security is heavily dependent on translators, specialists, and interpreters within the intelligence community, the diplomatic corps, and the military.

Our ability to compete in the global marketplace — one in which China and India continue to rise – is dependent on our knowledge of other languages and cultures.

Language learning is a long-term process; unfortunately there is no short-cut to acquiring fluency in a foreign tongue. It takes hard work, individual commitment, and the proper institutional support. We must ensure that we increase the supply line of students who have strong language skills.”

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Languages do matter!


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