Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Foreign language ‘emergency’ hinders U.S. economy and foreign policy, report warns

“The inability of too many Americans to learn or speak anything but English constitutes a foreign language “emergency” that could end up harming the economy and impairing U.S. foreign policy, according to a survey.

Only 20.7 percent of American adults can speak a foreign language — compared with 66 percent of all European adults who know more than one language, says “America’s Languages,” a report released in March by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The findings were discussed this week at a briefing hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations.”

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Languages do matter!


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