Study a Foreign Language
Foreign Language Study — Part of National Education Goals 2000
"By the year 2000 all American students will leave grades 4, 8, and 12 having demonstrated competency in challenging subject matter including English, mathematics, science, foreign language, civics and government, arts, history, and geography..."
Why Study A Foreign Language?
Personal, professional, social and economic considerations all point to the advantages of learning foreign languages. Seeing the world from the perspective of another culture prepares our youth for education beyond high school, and for life in the 21st century, a time when we live in an ever connected and ever complex global society.
Through immersion in language and culture, including...
- Current Topics
...students see how people their age in other parts of the globe approach the same life questions, opportunities and problems.
According to the CIA World Fact Book, only 5.6 percent of the world's total population speaks English as a primary language.
"The English language alone is probably sufficient if all we need to do is buy our products abroad, if we need to purchase foreign goods and services. But when it comes to selling a product abroad, one must understand the psychology and the belief structure of the client. If you are selling America abroad and telling America's story abroad [...] then you must understand the value systems of that foreign public that you are speaking to."
— Dr. Dan Davidson, President of the American Councils on International Education
Myriad of businesses, industries and agencies have need of people with foreign language skills:
- Government Agencies
- Travel Industry
- International Law
- Public Policy
- Scientific Research
- Service Sector
Knowing more than one language enhances opportunities in all these fields.
"I believe that in this new economy every high school student should be close to fluent in a foreign language when he or she graduates. We should begin teaching foreign languages in our elementary schools, and then in middle schools and high schools. English is a beautiful language and every American student must be a master of it. English is surely a world language. But learning a foreign language exposes young people to new cultures and new horizons and helps them understand English better. We have strong evidence today that studying a foreign language has a ripple effect, helping to improve student performance in other subjects."
— Richard Riley, U.S. Secretary of Education under Bill Clinton
Improved Test Scores
Research has shown that math and verbal SAT scores increase with each additional year of foreign language study by improving analytic and interpretive capacities. Most colleges and universities require a minimum of two years of high school foreign language instruction for admission. Knowledge of a foreign language and culture is considered to be part of what every educated person should know.
Students attaining proficiency in a foreign language will be well on their way to becoming 21st-century world citizens, prepared for college and the world beyond.