ERIC Number: ED336953
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Dreams, Realities, and Nightmares. The Present and Future of Foreign Language Education in the United States.
Draper, Jamie B., Comp.
The National Education Goal that calls for increased ability to communicate with other nations and understand other cultures is one of six goals established at the 1989 Education Summit between President Bush and the 50 state governors. In response to this goal, the Joint National Committee for Languages surveyed the National Council of State Supervisors of Foreign Languages and other individuals responsible for foreign language education at the state level. Specifically, this sixth annual survey on the status for foreign language education sought to determine the "ideal" foreign language program: how much language instruction should be offered and/or required at the elementary and secondary levels; what levels of proficiency should be obtained; what languages should be offered; and what preparation is needed by foreign language teachers. Descriptions of major problems and the current status were also requested. The 37 surveys returned (out of a total of 51 sent) indicated as a whole that more than 30% of high school students are enrolled in foreign language classes, but that there is little information on K-8 enrollment because many states do not collect that data. Data from each state are presented in the following format: enrollment figures; languages offered; requirements; percentage of school districts offering language instruction; pre-service and in-service teacher preparation; and current initiatives. Problems cited include inadequate teacher profiency, articulation difficulties, emphasis on technology to the exclusion of human interaction, and insufficient public support. (LB)
Descriptors: Articulation (Education), Comparative Analysis, Data Collection, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Enrollment Trends, Higher Education, Inservice Teacher Education, National Surveys, Preservice Teacher Education, Public Policy, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Programs, State Programs
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Joint National Committee for Languages, Washington, DC.; National Council for State Supervisors of Foreign Languages.