ERIC Number: ED192559
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1980-Apr-15
Reference Count: N/A
More Competence in Foreign Languages Needed by Federal Personnel Working Overseas. Report by the Comptroller General of the United States.
Comptroller General of the U.S., Washington, DC.
This report discusses the effectiveness of current programs and personnel policies in federal agencies with respect to foreign language needs. Overall, the United States has about 16,700 federal positions requiring language skills. The General Accounting Office (GAO) found that the foreign language competence of American personnel abroad is less than adequate for maximum effectiveness and efficiency, though some agencies are better than others. This inadequacy is attributed to the fact that the system for defining foreign language skill requirements is insufficient or nonexistent, and improvements are needed in foreign language assignments and in training policy and procedure. Low foreign language proficiency limits job performance, but efforts by federal agencies to meet language needs are hampered by: (1) inadequate planning which places insufficiently skilled people in language-related positions, (2) inadequate language training, (3) unforeseen turnover in these language-related positions, and (4) the fact that second language skill is only one of many capabilities an employee needs. Recommendations are given to help improve personnel policies and practices, language training programs, and the process for determining foreign language requirements. (PJM)
Descriptors: Competence, Evaluation Criteria, Federal Government, Government Employees, Language Proficiency, Language Skills, Personnel Evaluation, Personnel Policy, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Programs
U.S. General Accounting Office, DHISF, P.O. Box 6015, Gaithersburg, MD 20760 (free)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Comptroller General of the U.S., Washington, DC.