NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED498998
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov-13
Pages: 29
Abstractor: ERIC
Enrollments in Languages Other than English in United States Institutions of Higher Education, Fall 2006
Furman, Nelly; Goldberg, David; Lusin, Natalia
Modern Language Association
With the continuous support of grants from the Department of Education, the Modern Language Association (MLA) has since 1958 gathered and analyzed information on enrollments in languages other than English as reported to them by United States institutions of higher education. This latest and twenty-first survey examines trends in enrollments for individual languages for fall 2006. The information gathered was added to their database from previous surveys, thus allowing for comparative studies and historical depth. In the fall 2006 survey, they instituted a new level of detail by asking for a breakdown of enrollments between first- and second-year classes and upper-level language courses to have a more realistic view of the possible competency levels of students in each language. Registrars, institutional research officers, and other school representatives were contacted to provide MLA with the enrollment data of their institution. The results presented in this report were collected from a total of 2,795 AA-, BA-, MA-, and PhD-granting colleges and universities. These 2,795 institutions represent 66.3% of all higher education institutions in the United States. MLA's survey of enrollments in language courses for fall 2006 reports information from 99.8% of the 2,801 eligible colleges and universities. Their response rate of 99.8% is the highest in the history of the MLA enrollment survey, topping by a slim margin the 99.6% return we secured in 2002. Of the 2,795 institutions that responded to our survey, 91.7% (2,564) reported enrollments in at least one language other than English. Two hundred thirty-one showed no current enrollments in languages; a small number of these were branch campuses whose enrollment numbers were reported with those of the main campus. Responses came from 966 two-year colleges and 1,829 four-year institutions. No language courses were offered in 7.8% of responding four-year institutions and in 9.1% of responding two-year colleges. The study concludes that with the development of new media, expansion of study-abroad programs, and increasing international contacts, students in this first decade of the twenty-first century have new opportunities to develop their linguistic abilities in concert with their other educational or vocational interests. As the need for fluency in foreign languages and knowledge of foreign cultures intensifies, the need for starting language learning earlier and for sustained language learning becomes apparent. From K-12 through college, students should have the opportunity to learn languages, including those that are, at present, less commonly taught. (Contains 19 tables, 7 figures, and 8 notes.)
Modern Language Association. 26 Broadway 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10004-1789. Tel: 646-576-5040; Fax: 646-458-0030; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Modern Language Association of America, New York, NY.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A