ERIC Number: ED341240
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Oct-19
The Changing Structure of Demand for Language Education and Its Impact in the Foreign Language Classroom.
Reasons for the increased demand for second language education and implications for language education are discussed. After an introduction that focuses on the changing world of work, including global competition and telecommunication advances, it is noted that foreign language skills are becoming essential career skills. Six factors are offered that explain why the world will not be "English only" and why language skills are important. These include the following: demographics; the shifting economic power of developing countries; education's silent revolution, in which postsecondary enrollment is growing dramatically; the relative importance of language skills as public policy, with language issues perceived to be matters of national identity; technology and the falling cost of translation; and globalizing organizations. Indirect evidence of growing demand for language skills is seen from business, government, and education leaders. Seven points that have implications for language education are addressed: more people need foreign language skills; higher levels of proficiency are needed; U.S. language education programs are scattered with varying offerings and little articulation between them; instructional technology is not widely used in language instruction; more direct contact with foreign cultures is needed; and curricular reforms are needed to provide the foundation and sustain other changes. (LB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Conference on Bridging Theory and Practice in the Foreign Language Classroom (Baltimore, MD, October 19, 1991).