Backed by Henry Luce and Andrew W. Mellon Foundations, Report Shows Need for U.S. to Invest in Language Learning to Remain Competitive
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences today released the final report and recommendations of the Commission on Language Learning, a national effort established to examine the current state of U.S. language education, to project what the nation's education needs will be in the future, and to offer recommendations for ways to meet those needs.
"This report arrives at an important moment in our history," American Academy President Jonathan Fanton said. "While English continues to be the most commonly used language for world trade and diplomacy, there is an emerging consensus among leaders in business and government, teachers, and scientists that proficiency in English is not sufficient to meet the nation's needs in a shrinking world. And parents are beginning to understand that there are real benefits to teaching their children a second or third language in addition to English: cognitive benefits, important habits of mind, and new and valuable perspectives on the world."
While more than 65 million U.S. residents speak a language other than English at home, that number represents only 20.7 percent of the total population, and only a fraction of this cohort is considered proficient in reading, writing, and speaking a second language...