Academic journal article Foreign Language Annals

Actfl Press

Academic journal article Foreign Language Annals

Actfl Press

Article excerpt

Experts from ACTFL are often interviewed by major news organizations for our educated perspective on foreign language issues. Although we do not have control over precisely what gets printed (or left out), we are always glad to be consulted when languages are in the news.

"We really can't understand other people without speaking their language,' says Marty Abbott, past presi- dent of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. 'If we don't learn that, we will continue to be a resented populace.'

Historically, Americans have felt little compulsion to learn other languages.

'Because of our geography, we've never had the compelling need to work in multiple languages,' Ms. Abbott says, 'unlike Europeans, who must cross borders all the time.'... [F]oreign language advocates continue to face an uphill battle. Glastonbury High School recently celebrated its 40th year of Russian language instruction, but Christine Brown, director of foreign language programs for the Glastonbury, Conn., schools says many language departments in other schools must, with each round of budget cuts, produce new studies reiterating the benefits of language instruction-better grades and cognitive skills, stronger English language skills. …

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