ERIC Number: EJ1182083
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Beyond a Bridge to Understanding: The Benefits of Second Language Learning
Abbott, Martha G.
American Educator, v42 n2 p39-43 Sum 2018
Today, growing legions of parents are advocating for second language learning in their local schools. These parents do not consider second language acquisition a skill that's just "nice to have," but one that is vital in an increasingly global environment. This environment requires Americans to equip themselves with languages that will allow them to interact not only with those outside its borders but also with those in local communities whose first language is not English. The 2017 report, "America's Languages: Investing in Language Education for the 21st Century," by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, was commissioned by a bipartisan group from both the Senate and the House of Representatives to examine: (1) how language learning influences economic growth, cultural diplomacy, the productivity of future generations, and the fulfillment of all Americans; and (2) what actions the nation should take to ensure excellence in all languages as well as international education and research. Five recommendations from the study are: (1) Increase the number of language teachers at all levels of education; (2) Supplement language instruction across the education system through public-private partnerships; (3) Support heritage languages already spoken in the United States; (4) Provide targeted support and programming for Native American languages; and (5) Promote opportunities for students to learn languages in other countries.
Descriptors: Second Language Learning, Global Approach, Cultural Pluralism, Second Language Instruction, Native Language Instruction, American Indian Languages, Partnerships in Education, Language Teachers, Study Abroad, Bilingualism
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A