There has been a steady decline in language learning in schools. According to the Pew Research Centeronly one in five K-12 students in the United States now learns another language, and only 10 states and the District of Columbia make learning the world’s languages a prerequisite for graduation. ‘secondary studies.
New Jersey has the highest number of students studying a global language (51%), followed by the District of Columbia (47%) and Wisconsin (36%). However, in the vast majority of states, less than 25% of students learn another language – and only 9% of students in Arizona, Arkansas and New Mexico. Compare that to Europe, where 92% of students learn a foreign language, observes Pew.
The decline in language learning trickles down to the college level: According to the Modern Language Association, university and college enrollment in language courses dropped by almost 10% from 2013 to 2016. During this same period, higher education establishments cut 651 foreign language programs at national scale.
This decline could have devastating effects on students’ ability to understand the challenges facing global communities. Lack of accessibility to world language courses can also spoil career prospects for students.
Benefits of learning another language
When students study a second language, they not only learn to speak and write; they also explore the multiple facets of a different culture. Students should immerse themselves in the values of a certain region to learn about the language, customs and traditions, foods and pastimes. It is the curriculum of a world language course.