Learn more about the Foreign Language Survey and read an executive summary of the survey report.
CAL Board of Trustees Statement on the National K–12 Foreign Language Survey
In the increasingly interconnected world of the 21st century, Americans must be able to communicate effectively in English and other world languages. Yet while countries around the world are implementing language programs that position their students to become multilingual world citizens, results of a recent national report by the Center for Applied Linguistics (Rhodes & Pufahl, 2010) reveal that opportunities for U.S. students to learn a foreign language have declined:
The Board of Trustees of the Center for Applied Linguistics is alarmed by these trends and considers foreign language education in the United States to be in a state of near crisis. Reversing these trends and meeting the need for a language-competent U.S. citizenry will require a comprehensive long-term strategy that makes language learning a national priority. CAL’s Board endorses the report’s recommendations, urging those responsible for education policy and practice to do the following:
Our nation’s capacity to maintain national security, promote international cooperation, compete effectively in a global economy, and enhance our domestic well-being depends on our ability to communicate in other languages and across cultures. It is time to heed the calls for action by countless organizations, business leaders, government agencies, and individuals to acknowledge the well-documented individual and societal benefits of foreign language learning and to incorporate foreign languages into the core curriculum at every level of education and in every community across the nation.
Rhodes, N. C., & Pufahl, I. (2010). Foreign language teaching in U.S. schools: Results of a national survey. Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics.