ERIC Number: ED152089
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Importance of Foreign Languages for Today's Students.
Sims, Edna N.
This paper discusses the crisis in the teaching of foreign languages brought on by the willingness of higher education institutions in the United States to discourage the study of foreign language as a general educational requirement. A questionnaire recently administered to the graduating class of a major university found that the courses students wished they had taken included foreign languages, literature, English, creative writing, science, and philosophy. Bearing in mind the questionnaire results, an attempt is made to evaluate the benefits of foreign language study for the population of the United States. The argument that the time spent learning a foreign language is disproportionate to the benefits received is shown to be false, and the effectiveness of foreign language knowledge in reducing provincialism is demonstrated. Foreign language study can enhance understanding of one's native language. World multilingualism should be accepted as a reality. Proficiency in a foreign language is also necessary for many graduate degrees and for successful communication in international politics. This proficiency is also rapidly becoming an indispensable job skill for many types of employment. (CLK)
Descriptors: Communication (Thought Transfer), Core Curriculum, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Education, Degree Requirements, Educational Benefits, Higher Education, Job Skills, Language Attitudes, Language Enrollment, Language Instruction, Language Skills, Second Language Learning, Second Languages, Student Attitudes
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the College Language Association (37th, Jackson, Mississippi, April 21-23, 1977) ; Best copy available