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ERIC Number: EJ837692
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar-6
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
The Study of Foreign Languages Should Not Be a Zero-Sum Game
Brockmann, Stephen
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n26 pA33 Mar 2009
The move of the University of Southern California to eliminate its German department in order to shift resources to Asian languages has sparked a debate about the relative importance of learning European languages. College administrators seem to assume that global shifts in economic power call for changes in the distribution of their budget for the study of foreign languages and cultures, rather than an increase in that budget as a whole. That misconception, in turn, suggests that administrators see the much-discussed globalization of the world's economy as a process by which particular countries and regions become more important, while other countries and regions become less important. The author explains why the American schools cannot afford to forget the study of European languages. The first and most important is that studying them is crucial to understanding the world as it exists today, which has been largely formed by Europe. Another consideration is the relationship between Europe and America. Finally, Americans should not underestimate the importance of ethnic heritage for individual language learners. Educators need to encourage all college students to study foreign languages and cultures, and they need to increase budgets for foreign-language departments, not just shift limited funds from one language to another.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Asia; California