Foreign Language Essay

Foreign Language Essay

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Only 9% of the U.S. population is bilingual, and less than 8% of college students enroll in foreign language courses (Baron). The United States has not put enough emphasis on the importance of foreign language education. People are not aware of the price this country pays due to a lack of language professionals. Its national security and diplomacy are lagging behind. American companies are becoming less prevalent in the international economy. Americans are isolated from culture that thrives in their communities. However, the future generations can be salvaged from this weak state with foreign language education. The teaching of foreign language in American public schools will help shape a culturally-nourished nation ready to advance into international political, economic, and social affairs.
The national security and diplomatic affairs in the United States has suffered and will continue to if foreign language education is not rectified and strengthened. Perhaps the most severe tragedy on American soil, 9/11, exposed the language-related weaknesses of the U.S. government and intelligence agencies. After 9/11, the intelligence community revealed that it was only 30% prepared in languages crucial to national security (Holt). Although the government, had 123,000 hours of Arabic language recordings following the attacks, there weren’t enough linguistic professionals to analyze the information (Holt). In 2006 the FBI reported that only 33 FBI employees had limited skills in Arabic (Holt). However, they weren’t even in departments in which their skills could be used towards counterterrorism (Holt). The breach in national security is widening when intelligence agencies can only offer agents with “limited” language skills. There are intel...


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...gn-language-educ_b_127588.html>.
Lowery, George. "Cornell Chronicle: U.S. Should Emphasize Foreign Language Education." Cornell Chronicle Online. 24 Oct. 2007. Web. 03 Jan. 2012. .
Osborn, Terry A. The Future of Foreign Language Education in the United States. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey, 2002. Print.
Pufahl, Ingrid, Nancy C. Rhodes, and Donna Christian. "CAL: Digests: What We Can Learn From Foreign Language Teaching In Other Countries." Center for Applied Linguistics. Sept. 2001. Web. 02 Jan. 2012. .
Ramzy, Austin. "Get Ahead, Learn Mandarin - TIME." TIME World. Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews - TIME.com. 26 June 2006. Web. 02 Jan. 2012. .

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