November 2017

Steve Leveen’s Response in the WSJ

2024-05-01T17:23:46-04:00By |Articles|

  Ed. Note: A July 16, 2017 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal maintained that “fluency in coding is a more useful skill than French, Spanish or Russian.” Steve disagrees! Here is his letter to the editor that was published in the July 25th print edition of the Journal. The world is not headed toward one language. The fact that we see signs in English around the world doesn’t mean the Japanese or Chinese or Egyptians are abandoning their native languages. Rather, they are learning English and becoming bilingual. The U.S., on [...]

November 0018

The Surprising Truth About American Bilingualism: What the Data Tells Us

2024-05-01T17:24:44-04:00By |Articles|

We Americans think we suck at languages. We particularly think we suck when compared with European countries, “where everybody speaks three or four languages.” Yet this view of our country is outdated. The surprising truth is that the United States is a world leader in bilingualism. This truth matters because the skills that American bilinguals possess not only help those individuals advance in their careers, but taken together, American bilinguals are key to building American soft power. By bilingual, I mean someone who actually uses two or more languages on a daily basis. It’s not [...]

April 0016

Cratering Language Enrollments Reveal America’s Linguistic Divide

2024-05-01T17:22:58-04:00By |Articles|

The Modern Language Association calls its recent survey of college language enrollments “staggering.” Enrollments in Spanish, French and especially German have cratered. In the dozen years between 2009 and 2021, language class enrollments dropped 29.3%, or by almost half a million students nationwide. It is the largest decline since the MLA began documenting language class enrollments back in the 1950s. Yet, in contrast, the number of American bilinguals has grown 260% in the last 50 years, from about 20 million in 1970 to more than 76 million today. How can both trends be true? The answer [...]

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