Posted by: Kristin | March 14, 2009

Cutting Foreign Language Offerings at Higher Education Institutions

In the budget cuts faced by universities, foreign language offerings are still considered the “extra” and first to go, despite the growing recognition that students themselves are demanding more critical languages such as Chinese & Arabic.

I’d like to echo what one student says in this article (linked below from the Seattle Times): “It’s amazing to me, given that there’s so much more emphasis on Americans becoming more globally aware”.

Language is the primary tool to understanding another culture.

Now more than ever before, if the US is going to continue its leadership in this global economy, we absolutely need to be preparing our youth with the language and leadership skills to succeed in this complex, ever-changing; interconnected world.

Being a global leader requires leadership and understanding. We can’t fully understand another if we always expect the other person to speak OUR language.

It’s like the difference between web 1.0 and web 2.0. Is our relationship one way with me giving you information only (through my language) or it is based on a true exchange, an interaction where I understand you and you understand me (on that note, please consider “commenting” below!)?

Learning another language sends a message that I’m willing to understand you!

I’m happy to hear our new administration is also changing the tone of our foreign policy to reflect the latter. NOW we have a basis to work together!

Of course we need to support this with our public institutions and actually encourage and provide access to language learning vs. cutting the few language options we actually do offer…

Foreign Language Cuts


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