Language education in elementary schools: Meeting the needs of the nation

Language education in elementary schools: Meeting the needs of the nation INTRODUCTIONLanguage teaching in the United States has often been subject to the ebbs and flows of social, political, and economic demands. Economic and political reasons help explain the growth in enrollments in Japanese courses during the Japanese economic bubble of the 1980s as well as the recent growth of Chinese and Russian. Likewise, language teaching has been influenced, to some extent, by the advances in research in second language acquisition. For example, recent research on the cognitive benefits of bilingualism and its coverage by mainstream media (e.g., Bhattacharjee, ) has contributed to a renewed interest in immersion education. Additional research has documented strong and sustained public support for language education (Rivers, Robinson, Harwood, & Brecht, ). However, the 2006 General Social Survey found that only 25% of American adults indicated that they knew a foreign language and, of those, only 7% reported having learned the language at school (Devlin, , para. 6). What is more, a 2017 report on language enrollments in K–12 education in the United States published by the American Councils for International Education found that “a total of 11 states have foreign language graduation requirements; 16 states do not have foreign language graduation requirements; and 24 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Foreign Language Annals Wiley

Language education in elementary schools: Meeting the needs of the nation

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Publisher
Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
Copyright
© 2018 by American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
ISSN
0015-718X
eISSN
1944-9720
D.O.I.
10.1111/flan.12313
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

INTRODUCTIONLanguage teaching in the United States has often been subject to the ebbs and flows of social, political, and economic demands. Economic and political reasons help explain the growth in enrollments in Japanese courses during the Japanese economic bubble of the 1980s as well as the recent growth of Chinese and Russian. Likewise, language teaching has been influenced, to some extent, by the advances in research in second language acquisition. For example, recent research on the cognitive benefits of bilingualism and its coverage by mainstream media (e.g., Bhattacharjee, ) has contributed to a renewed interest in immersion education. Additional research has documented strong and sustained public support for language education (Rivers, Robinson, Harwood, & Brecht, ). However, the 2006 General Social Survey found that only 25% of American adults indicated that they knew a foreign language and, of those, only 7% reported having learned the language at school (Devlin, , para. 6). What is more, a 2017 report on language enrollments in K–12 education in the United States published by the American Councils for International Education found that “a total of 11 states have foreign language graduation requirements; 16 states do not have foreign language graduation requirements; and 24

Journal

Foreign Language AnnalsWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2018

Keywords: ; ; ; ;

References

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