College enrollment in foreign language courses plummets

Between 2016 and 2021, college enrollment in non-English languages dropped 16.6% nationally — the steepest decline since the Modern Language Association began recording these data in 1958.

There were over 1.18 million foreign language enrollments at 2,455 institutions in fall 2021, according to a report released by MLA on Nov. 15. That’s more than 236,000 fewer enrollments than 2016 and almost 500,000 fewer than 2009, when national enrollment in languages peaked at 1.67 million.

Languages that saw the most dramatic enrollment decreases during the five-year period included German (-33.6%), Arabic (-27.4%), modern Hebrew (-26%) and French (-23.1%).

Read more from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


Most Popular