Monday, July 31, 2006

Foreign Language Education in the Global World

Did you know that in all European countries, at least one foreign language is compulsory for all elementary students? It is quite normal for European citizens to speak at least three languages. While In the United States, approximately one fourth of all elementary schools offer a foreign language program and most US citizens can only speak one language. It is unfortunate that not all schools in the United States require students to learn a foreign language in elementary school.

The ability to speak a foreign language is a tremendous asset that the United States needs to cultivate. More businesses than ever are working in the international arena and are now requiring their employees to speak a foreign language. Speaking a foreign language might possibly be about as useful as getting a college degree when it comes to entering the job force. As the job market becomes more and more competitive, those with foreign language skills have the upper edge. If the United States is to keep a competitive edge in the international business world, we are going to have to succeed in educating more of our citizens to communicate in other languages.

Learning a foreign language isn't just useful abroad. The ability to speak a foreign language is also incredibly useful here in the United States. Whether in public service, sales or tourism, many employers are looking for employees with foreign langauge skills. Given this reality it is really quite surprising that more parents aren't demanding foreign language education in schools.

What We Can Learn From Foreign Language Teaching In Other Countries

1 comment:

doc said...

Great post Liza. Check out this article from Converge Online: http://www.convergemag.com/artsandhumanities/Languages-in-2020.html