Local, state and national officials need to put their support behind programs that will encourage more teacher education at the postsecondary level, increase funding opportunities for students to choose that career path, provide incentives for schools to expand language programs, and give ALL students … from elementary through postsecondary … concrete reasons to take language study seriously.
Officials at the highest levels of national government must recognize the critical role that languages play in our national security and economic strength, and in our ability to build mutually beneficial relationships with other cultures. We need multilingual representatives who can interact and negotiate with other countries and cultures, and doing so in other languages often can assure that meaning and intent are not lost in translation.
America’s leadership role in the global economy also relies on greater understanding of the diverse cultures with whom we interact, trade and compete. Since cultural awareness is an integral part of all language learning, these educational programs build a population of graduates who possess the broad knowledge such understanding requires. This is how our leadership can build stronger international relationships … and avoid international conflicts.
- An article by Rep. Rush Holt, Member of Congress & the Committee of Education & Labor “Why Foreign Language Education Matters” (September 18th, 2008)
- This video addresses the shortage of Foreign Language Speakers in Government and the impact on national security.