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In recent years, much of the discussion regarding foreign language education has centered on its perceived benefits: a more robust economy, stronger national security, improved cognitive ability, and advantages in college admissions and the job market, just to name a few. Recent surveys show that 85 percent of American adults now believe that it is important for youth to learn a second language, yet 79 percent of Americans are still monolingual. It’s time to shift the discussion from “Why should we learn a second language?” to “Why aren’t we learning languages?”
Languages for All? The Anglophone Challenge, an international forum on language education and policy in the United States and other English-speaking countries, seeks to address this question. Rather than reiterate the importance of language study, we are inviting leaders and managers from government, business and education to tell us why they are or are not supporting increased language education.
Our panel of leaders, managers, and experts will lead a frank discussion of recent developments in language learning, including what’s worked and what hasn't, whether these developments are affecting their decisions to support language or not, and whether they expect any change in the future. Attendees will also learn what other English-speaking countries facing similar challenges are doing.
To read the Languages for All White Paper Executive Summary, click here. We welcome your reactions, questions and comments. Please tweet with the hashtag #languagesforall or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEDIA ADVISORY: International Forum on Barriers to Language Education at UMD Sept. 30
Click here for a list of our sponsors.
Click here to learn more about our speakers.