This article is based on a report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. According to it, language education is dwindling at every level. Summary of some of the important findings of the study:
- About 20% of the US population speak a language other than English at home, but just 10% of the population is proficient in a language other than English.
- Nearly two thirds of foreign language speakers speak Spanish, but about 350 languages are spoken in this country.
- By the third generation descendants of immigrants only one in ten can speak their heritage language fluently.
- The share of secondary schools teaching other language is steadily declining.
- At the college and university level Spanish is the most commonly studied world language, accounting for 54% of all student enrollments in 2013.
- The study of languages from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia has grown since the early 1990s.
Personal Note: The improvements in Google Translate and apps such as Anki, Cerego, and DuoLingo make it fun and much easier than ever to learn a foreign language. I am constantly looking up a word on Google Translate.